Dunlop aims for back-to-back wins at 24H Spa EWC race
Dunlop heads into round two of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) season aiming to defend its victory in the 24H Spa EWC Motos, which was the site last year of a historic victory for Dunlop partner BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
The No. 37 BMW team will be looking for a second consecutive win in its home race, and will battle with a range of Dunlop slick racing tires from the KR109 and KR108 families. Last year, riders Markus Reiterberger, Ilya Mykhalchyk and Jeremy Guarnoni won the race by seven laps with their BMW M1000RR, surviving unpredictable weather conditions in the Belgian Ardennes. Heading into this year’s race, the BMW crew is third in the championship, so another win at Spa would be a valuable step towards the EWC title.
Also battling for a podium at Spa are the KM99 Yamaha crew, another local Belgian team, and the No. 14 Maco Racing and No. 53 Mana Au Competition bikes. These four Dunlop-supported teams will each have a choice of two front and four rear tire options designed to maximise their single-lap pace and long-distance race strategy.
As the exclusive supplier to the Dunlop Superstock Trophy, all teams in the second tier of EWC are supported by Dunlop, racing with a simplified range of similar KR racing slicks to their Formula EWC top-class counterparts. French BMW outfit Tecmas leads the championship in the Superstock class’ Endurance World Cup following its victory at the season-opening 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans. Another close battle amongst the 21 registered Superstock teams is expected at Spa.
David Auerbacher, Dunlop EWC event leader: “We are looking forward to supporting our teams in both classes at Spa. BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team showed pace and determination at Le Mans, and a back-to-back Spa win is the target this weekend. We’re also impressed with the new KM99 team, which challenged for the top four at Le Mans and is sure to be a podium contender, too. In Superstock, the quality of the field increases year on year. Tecmas might be the favourite after its Le Mans success, but a whole host of teams, representing several manufacturers, will be challenging at Spa.”
The longest track on the EWC calendar, Spa-Francorchamps offers a unique challenge to teams and riders. Its famed elevation changes and fast, sweeping corners combine with changeable local weather conditions that caught out many riders last year. Six Dunlop track support engineers each work as an integrated part of every Dunlop-supported team to assist with strategy, setup and tire recommendations throughout the race.
Auerbacher adds: “Anything can happen in a 24-hour race, especially at a track like Spa. Dunlop teams in both classes will have a tried and tested range of KR racing slicks with different compounds and specifications for different conditions and race strategies, as well as wet and intermediate tires. As ever, we continue our philosophy of ensuring all Dunlop teams on the grid have access to the same race-winning tires that the top factory teams use.”
A new, condensed timetable this year starts with free practice on Friday morning, leading into qualifying in the afternoon and a 90-minute night practice session ending at 23:00. The 24-hour race begins at 14:00 on Saturday, 17 June.
Dunlop Europe is one of the world's leading manufacturers of motorcycle tires with an impressive track record of motorsport successes. Dunlop Europe is a technical partner of leading Endurance World Championship teams, the official tire supplier to the FIM Moto2 and Moto3 World Championships and the most successful tire brand in the history of the Isle of Man TT. Off-road, Dunlop is the choice of MXGP race winners and champions.