Dunlop takes on the toughest race in the world – the Nürburgring 24 Hours
- 45th ADAC 24-hour Nürburgring race from 27th/28 May
- New tyre regulations in the FIA GT3 class
- Nordschleife places extreme demands on race tyres
- More than 4,000 Dunlop tyres needed for endurance epic teams
The highlight of German motorsport calendar is approaching - the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. More than 160 teams will be taking part in the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife on the weekend of 27th/ 28th May. Dunlop equips many manufacturer and privateer teams in the epic that tests man and machine.
This year the regulations in the FIA-GT3 class have changed with development tyres no longer being permitted. “Only commercially available tyres that any team can buy can be used," explains Alexander Kühn, Product Manager Dunlop Motorsport EMEA. "That is why we have reworked and redesigned our Nordschleife product range during winter tests in southern Europe and the first VLN races."
When it comes to tyre choice for the 25.378-kilometer-long combination of the Nordschleife and Grand Prix circuit, fast lap times are not the only consideration. Durability while under high loads and the ability to provide optimum grip while minimising tyre changes play a decisive role for drivers and teams. In the Nürburgring 24-hour race, tyre requirements are unique.
"In the various sections, a GT3 tyre must withstand partial wheel loads of 10,000 to 12,000 Newtons," says Bernd Seehafer, Technical Project Manager Dunlop Motorsport EMEA. "In addition, there are changeable weather conditions with asphalt temperatures of about two degrees in the wet to 50 degrees or above at noon. At the Nordschleife there are particularly challenging conditions for which Dunlop Motorsport develops a very special tyre. "
Dunlop brings more than 4,000 Dunlop tyres to the Eifel mountains
The unique demands of the biggest race in the world at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife produces an major requirement for tyres: 17 service trucks transport more than 4,000 race tyres to the Nürburgring. This allows Dunlop to provide a wide range of specifications for all track and weather conditions. The Nürburgring-Nordschleife is unique: 33 left turns, 40 right curves, and gradients up to 17 % and camber of up to 11% on 20.8 kilometres of the track. In a single lap, the drivers can experience as many elements as those in other race series experience in a whole season. At 620 meters above sea level, the driver can reach the highest point of the track at the start and finish in the bright sunshine then drop 300 metres into the valley to the lowest point in Breidscheid (320 metres), where it is raining. The know-how and the experience of the Dunlop tyre engineers are particularly important in changeable weather. More than 50 tyre engineers and service personnel are in operation from Thursday to Sunday to provide the teams with the tyres and support that they need to do battle with the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
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James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjbailey@goodyear.com44 7770 682413