Dunlop clean sweep at ELMS 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring
- Dunlop top-5 in open tyre competition LMP2 top class
- Dunlop-shod Ligier, Dallara and Oreca manufacturers all lead race
- Aston Martin prevents all-Ferrari podium after LM GTE Am battles
- Tyre specifications give teams a myriad of tyre strategies
Today’s 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring in Austria saw the now-typical close competition in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). Both classes had Dunlop’s soft and medium tyre options available and teams chose a wide variety of strategies, from all-round single compounds to two different compounds splits for one or more wheels.
In the earlier stages of the race, the Isaakyan/Orudzhev Dallara had led the race but it was an Oreca/Ligier battle for the most-part. The lead changed nine times between the three race leaders. The United Autosports Ligier was the ultimate victor, with a margin of less than five seconds ahead of the G-Drive Racing Oreca as the challenge continued to the flag. The third podium spot was taken by Graff’s Trouillet/Petit/Guibbert squad, also fielding an Oreca, after successfully triple stinting their Dunlop tyres.
LM GTE was another close affair. On a track which favoured the Ferraris, the Aston Martins headed the challenge, first the Beechdean AMR and then TF Sport’s Vantages pushing for a trophy position. After four hours of combat, the Griffin/Cameron/Scott Spirit of Race Ferrari won from the fellow 488 GTE of JMW Motorsport with the TF Sport trio taking the third spot on the podium; the three cars were separated by only 26 seconds. As with the LMP2 field, the lead changed throughout the race with Spirit of Race finishing first after leading a total of 74 laps. The result tightens the series order with only 26 points separating the six regular contenders and only six points between leaders TF Sport and JMW Motorsport.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Motorsport
"Teams used a mix of strategies. It’s great to provide tyres that give them so many race options. We had just about every conceivable combination on track today – from all soft or medium to a variety of combinations using both. Graff’s triple stinted set performed really well and they looked good. United Autosports looked particularly strong and competitive all weekend with the ‘bronze’ driver doing a fantastic job. In GT, teams had the same tyre option opportunities and it was good to see TF Sport on the podium and finishing on the same lap after the strong Ferrari performance."
The next round of the European Le Mans Series is the 4 Hours of Le Castellet on 27th August.