Dunlop ready for new challenge in first 24H SPA EWC race
- Dunlop brings 3500 tyres to new 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps
- Specifications tested during recent test days
- Intermediate tyre on offer for mixed conditions
This weekend, the FIM Endurance World Championship heads to the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the return of world-class motorcycle endurance racing to the historic Belgian track. A new event like this always poses a challenge for everyone involved, but Dunlop is ready to race through the night.
This year in EWC, Dunlop is the exclusive tyre supplier to the Superstock class, which will feature 23 bikes at Spa. Fighting for the overall victory with Dunlop are the #37 BMW and #11 Kawasaki factory teams, along with four private EWC Challenge teams. Whereas all Superstock teams use Dunlop tyres, teams in the top Formula EWC class (combining the factory teams and the private EWC Challenge runners) have a free choice of tyre brand.
Preparing for the unknowns of a new race event has its challenges, but Dunlop has been hard at work to get ready for Spa, as Event Leader David Auerbacher explains: “We brought a wider range of tyre specifications to the pre-event test than we normally would, because we wanted to validate our choices in real-world conditions ahead of this new race. Fortunately, our predictions were correct so we confirmed our planning and supporting teams throughout the two days of running.”
In that pre-event test, it was a Dunlop team - the #37 BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team - that set the lap record, a 2:20.344 by Markus Reiterbeger. However, these two days of testing were less about outright pace, but rather about learning the circuit, which last hosted the championship 21 years ago. While this might be the long-awaited return of international-level motorcycle racing to Spa, Dunlop does have experience in other two-wheeled events here, such as in the 6 Heures Moto won by the Dunlop Test Team with BMW riders Reiterberger and Kenny Foray last August.
Auerbacher adds: “Spa-Francorchamps is notorious for its unpredictable weather conditions, so being prepared for rain is crucial. Alongside the wet tyres, we’re bringing a rear intermediate for both classes. This gives teams slightly more options on strategy, as the intermediate comes into its own in drying or slightly damp conditions, whereas a full wet tyre is suited to heavy or consistent rain.
“Our slick tyre allocation is made up of different specifications of our tried and tested KR range. Formula EWC teams can choose between three fronts and four rears, while every Superstock team has a choice of two fronts and two rears.”
This weekend’s first on-track action is scheduled for Thursday morning, followed by practice and qualifying sessions throughout Thursday and Friday, including a Thursday evening night-time session ending at midnight. The 24-hour race starts at 13:00 CEST on Saturday, 4 June.
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.