Strong showing for Dunlop teams in pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test
- LMP2 pace 8 seconds faster than 2016
- Dunlop takes top 16 LMP2 times
- Aston Martin tops GTE Am class with fellow Dunlop-runner Porsche in third
- GTE Pro class Dunlop runners just 0.5 seconds from leader
A record 31 teams took to the Le Mans track on Dunlop tyres in the official Le Mans 24 Hours test day at the French track. Teams had the opportunity to gain eight hours of track data, particularly valuable for the LMP2 teams running the new-for-2017 chassis on the La Sarthe circuit for the first time.
The Signatech Oreca-based Alpine set the fastest LMP2 lap in the final hour of testing with André Negrao at the wheel of the #35 car. The times were expected to be quicker than 2016 due to the new higher powered cars but the 3:28.146 lap was some 8.2 seconds ahead of the fastest 2016 race lap. The top 16 cars were on Dunlop tyres, with the top four separated by less than one second over the 13.629 kilometre circuit. Between them the teams ran all three compounds with some quadruple stinting, in total covering nearly 12,000 kilometres.
In the GT classes, the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage topped the GTE Am class with the Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche car in third. In the GTE Pro class the Aston Martin Vantages were fourth and fifth, just half a second from the class leader. The medium compound was the GT runners’ favourite for the conditions, with teams capable of running into a third stint.
Sebastien Montet, Technical Director, Dunlop Motorsport:
“Today was very positive. The teams achieved a great deal. It was especially good for the LMP2 teams to prepare for the big race having no track data. The track conditions ranged from a relatively cool 18 degrees to above 30 which was ideal for giving teams the chance to try all three of their options with the times improving as the ‘green’ unraced track improved throughout the day as normal. We can now analyse data and work with our teams before the qualifying sessions next week to get the best performance possible for each of them.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place on 17th/18th June.
James BaileyEMEAUnited Kingdomjames@clivereeves.com44 790 4114 414