World Class Performance. Dunlop and Aston Martin Clinch Double Titles
- Aston Martin and Dunlop - Winner of the FIA World Endurance Trophy for LMGTE teams
- FIA World Endurance Cup for GT drivers won by Danish duo Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim, Aston Martin - Dunlop
In the first season working with Dunlop, Aston Martin Racing has claimed two titles at the 6 Hours of Bahrain FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season finale. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen have won the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers and the team has won the FIA World Endurance Trophy for GTE Pro Teams.
Class by class:
Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen won the final race of the season in the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, taking the total Dunlop/Aston Martin wins to five for the year. The all-Danish #95 squad took the lead from the mid-point of the race, with the Aston Martin GTE Pro Vantage duo leading all but 26 laps of the 174 lap race. The total tally of Aston Martin/Dunlop podiums reached nine for the first year of the partnership.
LMP1 Private Teams
Rebellion Racing won its last race in the LMP1 privateer category, taking victory with a four-lap margin. The team has won eight of the nine races in 2016, its first year with Dunlop tyres.
G-Drive Racing made an amazing recovery from the back of the grid, after a technical issue during qualifying, to win the race, their third consecutive win in the championship. From 31st, the team quickly gained positions by passing the GT cars to lie sixth in LMP2 after the first hour of racing. After four hours the trio of René Rast, Alex Brundle and Roman Rusinov were in third. An epic battle ensued for second and with Rast in charge of the final stint taking the lead with eleven laps remaining.
Xavier Fraipont, Managing Director, Dunlop Motorsport EMEA commented on the collaborative partnership:
‘To win both the Drivers' and Teams' titles in the first year of our partnership with Aston Martin Racing is a proud achievement. After a long period of success in the prototype category, we chose to take on the challenge of a FIA World Endurance GTE Partnership this year.
With Aston Martin Racing, we have built a very open and constructive relationship. This has been key to the wins in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which reflects a tremendous team effort by both companies. We will only have a short time to celebrate, as we will continue our testing programme for 2017 which had already started in September .We are developing new technologies for both LMP and GT with an intensive schedule of evaluation until the start of the 2017 ELMS, VLN and WEC seasons’
The partnership really began to score major successes in the second half of the year. A win in Mexico for the #97 car was followed by two wins for the #95 car of Sørensen and Thiim in America and Bahrain. In addition to these three victories in the Pro class, Dunlop and Aston Martin also scored two wins together in the LMGTE-Am category at Spa and Nurburgring. These successes, on five of the nine FIA World Endurance circuits have given Dunlop plenty of data and knowledge to prepare for 2017.