Dunlop team SERT reinforces championship lead with 24 Heures Motos podium
- Podium and championship lead for Dunlop-supported Suzuki SERT
- Unpredictable weather conditions create hectic 24 Heures Motos
- Dunlop Independent teams celebrate strong results and Superstock podium
Dunlop has a number of achievements to celebrate following an unpredictable 24 Heures Motos endurance race at Le Mans, including podium finishes in both classes and the overall FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) lead after an entertaining return to racing.
The EWC season got back underway after an eight-month break with the rescheduled 24-hour contest at Le Mans, France, on Saturday and Sunday, 29-30 August. It was a challenging race for all involved, given the lengthy gap in racing since the previous round, the strict but necessary COVID-19 restrictions to ensure everyone’s safety, and the changing weather conditions.
Nevertheless, Dunlop’s partner teams showed great pace and potential throughout the race, leaving Dunlop as the tyre manufacturer with the most bikes in the top ten positions when the chequered flag fell at 12:00 on Sunday. The most successful Dunlop-equipped team was Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), which finished in third after a hard-fought race.
Riders Gregg Black, Etienne Masson and Xavier Simeon all put in impressive performances and crucially bounced back from two crashes in the difficult conditions which lost them time and the chance to finish second. SERT used the same specification of Dunlop front and rear slicks all race, except when it elected for wet weather tyres, showing the versatility of the Dunlop racing tyres even in the most unpredictable conditions.
Rain came and went at different stages of the race, but it was never too heavy, allowing teams the strategy options of choosing between slick and wet tyres. The cold track temperatures further added to the challenge.
Another noteworthy showing came from Dunlop partner BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, which was consistently in the top five positions all race long until an unfortunate crash in the final ten minutes which meant it couldn’t cross the line to be classified. Earlier in the race, BMW and SERT were both battling it out as contenders for the lead.
Dunlop-supported independent teams have results to celebrate
Elsewhere in the field, some of Dunlop’s leading independent teams also put on entertaining performances. These included No Limits Motor Team, which claimed second position in the Superstock class and an impressive ninth overall, battling up there with a number of top-class Formula EWC machines.
No Limits Motor Team also raced a Suzuki but the Superstock class GSXR-1000 is considerably different to the Formula EWC version used by SERT. Luca Scassa, Christopher Kemmer and Luca Vitali’s results put No Limits Motor Team second in the Dunlop Independent Trophy standings.
The winner of the Dunlop Independent Trophy was Wojcik Racing Team with its Formula EWC Yamaha YZF-R1. The Polish outfit finished seventh overall, as the third-highest Dunlop bike, behind VRD Igol Pierret Experiences’ Yamaha in fifth.
Wojcik riders Gino Rea, Broc Parkes and Axel Maurin all had a consistent run to take home maximum prize money from the Dunlop Independent Trophy, through which Dunlop supports privateer teams with prize money at every round. So far, 128 teams have received prize money through this initiative, and Dunlop is distributing another €140,000 to teams this season to help the independent outfits that are so important to endurance racing.
Wim Van Achter, Motorsport Manager, Dunlop: “Congratulations to all our partner teams who are leaving Le Mans celebrating good results; especially SERT and No Limits Racing Team. SERT did a magnificent job in the difficult conditions. We shouldn’t forget the efforts of BMW Motorrad EWC, which should have finished with an impressive top-five result if it wasn’t for an unfortunate crash at the end of the race. We’re proud to see so many Dunlop Independent Trophy teams finish high up the order, too. It’s a testament to the versatility of our racing tyres, highlighted by SERT choosing to use just one slick compound.”
The EWC season concludes with the 12 Hours of Estoril on 26 September, where champions will be crowned. Dunlop team Suzuki SERT leads the standings with 127 points; 40 clear of its closest rivals. BMW Motorrad EWC is fourth, Wojcik is sixth and VRD Igol Pierret Experiences seventh. All four are in mathematical contention for the title, but SERT’s healthy points lead gives the Suzuki team a strong starting point ahead of the Portuguese race.
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