Dunlop ready for biggest ever EWC operation at 24 Heures Motos
- Biggest ever Dunlop operation in EWC history
- Exclusive supply of Superstock class begins
- Top BMW and Kawasaki factory teams choose Dunlop
This weekend sees the start of an important FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) season for Dunlop with the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans, France. It will mark the start of an exclusive supply to the Superstock class and the brand’s biggest ever presence in this highly competitive championship.
Dunlop will supply tyres to 42 of the 52 bikes racing at Le Mans. This is Dunlop’s biggest contingent in EWC history and includes seven bikes fighting for the overall win in the Formula EWC class, all 34 Superstock bikes, and a special experimental entry. While all Superstock bikes are racing on Dunlop tyres this season, the Formula EWC category is still open competition, with top teams like BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and Webike SRC Kawasaki France choosing Dunlop over the competition.
To support a record 42 bikes, Dunlop will bring 4000 tyres to Le Mans and the support of seven race engineers. Each Dunlop team will benefit from the same level of support and advice throughout the race to help them extract the maximum performance from their tyres.
Dunlop’s proven range of KR slicks are the basis of the tyre allocation. In addition to these, the top Formula EWC teams will be able to race on development tyres to support Dunlop in refining and defining the next generation of hypersport tyres. Superstock teams will have a choice of two front and two rear slick options.
David Auerbacher, Event Leader EWC, Dunlop: “EWC is a valuable arena for active development of new tyres, because one 24 hour race gives us as much track time as an entire season in a normal championship. With the typically variable weather conditions at Le Mans, it can be 5°C and 35°C within the same race, so we can measure performance in a wide operating window. We continue to invite our top teams to test new products in racing conditions and, as a result of this approach, three specifications validated by factory teams last season are now in our standard allocation.”
Alongside the manufacturer-supported teams from BMW and Kawasaki, five independent Formula EWC teams have also chosen Dunlop: Maco Racing, Motobox Kremer Racing, Wojcik Racing Team, Moto Ain and VRD Igol Experiences, all of which will race Yamaha YZF-R1s.
A new era in Superstock
While factory teams supported by manufacturers like BMW and Kawasaki compete for the outright win, a key part of the EWC philosophy is to provide a platform for independent privateer teams to race on the world stage. For several years, Dunlop has supported these with the Dunlop Independent Trophy. This season, with Dunlop becoming the exclusive tyre supplier to Superstock, the company’s support goes even further.
The 34-strong Superstock entry at Le Mans includes bikes from Aprilia, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. The new Dunlop Superstock Trophy, meanwhile, is a joint initiative between Dunlop and EWC promoter Discovery Sports Events to reward teams with free tyres based on their results at each round.
Wim Van Achter, Motorsport Manager, Dunlop: “We’re glad to have received positive feedback during the pre-event test days from new and existing Dunlop teams, who have praised our tyre performance and organisation. It’s crucial that we give the highest possible level of support to every team, whether it’s a full factory operation or a small independent team, so our race engineers can support them in unlocking the full potential of the tyres.
“Through our exclusive supply of Superstock, and the new Dunlop Superstock Trophy, we are pleased to collaborate in our long-term partnership with FIM and Discovery Sports Events to encourage privateers and keep costs down without sacrificing performance.”
On-track action at Le Mans begins on Thursday, 14 April, with Qualifying split between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The 45th edition of the 24 Heures Motos begins at 15:00 CEST on Saturday, 16 April. After Le Mans, EWC will host the 24H Spa EWC Motos (4-5 June), Suzuka 8 Hours (7 August) and Bol d’Or (17-18 September).
Dunlop Europe is one of the world's leading manufacturers of motorcycle tyres with an impressive track record of motorsport successes. Dunlop Europe is a technical partner of winning teams in the Endurance World Championship Racing, the official tyre supplier to the FIM Moto2 and Moto3 World Championship and the most successful tyre brand in the history of the Isle of Man TT. Off-road, Dunlop is the choice of MXGP race winners and champions.