09:41 AM

Dunlop tyre test brings 26,000 km of 2018 data for new season

Motorland Aragon, between Barcelona and Zaragoza, hosted another Dunlop pre-season test this week, with more cars and teams than last year opting to take part from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the VLN German endurance world.

This year sees the teams all having new tyres across the board, with every specification redesigned for all championships in the 2018 season. The conditions brought the opportunity for the wet and intermediate tyres to be tested in addition to the various slick compounds. In addition to the work of the 20 engineers, remote assistance was also provided across Europe with designers in Birmingham (UK), Hanau (Germany) and Colmar-Berg (Luxembourg) using relayed track data to assist.

Key Numbers

  • 5 days
  • 25 cars
  • 18 teams
  • 120 specifications available
  • 3500 tyres brought
  • 1000+ tyres tested
  • 10 trucks
  • 45 fitters, engineers and support staff
  • 5468 laps
  • 26793 km

Over half of the cars present were prototypes, with Dallara, Ligier and Oreca chassis all represented. From the ELMS, where Dunlop is the one-brand tyre supplier in the GTE class, Proton and AF Corse tested with a Porsche and Ferrari respectively. Of the VLN and possible Nürburgring 24 Hour contenders, six teams fielded nine cars, including the Glickenhaus, a BMW, Audis and Porsches.

While the Formula One world was not so far away testing in Barcelona this week, the teams put in a collective 26793 km, with tyres being tested up to four times the distance of a Formula One race, completing 65 laps, well over 300 km on one set.

The next major test for the teams is less than one month away when WEC teams have their official test at the Paul Ricard test on 5th and 6th April. ELMS teams take over the track for their pre-season test on 9th and 10th April, followed just three days later by the opeing round, the 4 Hours of Le Castellet at the same track.

Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support

“With all-new tyres for all our championships and classes there has been plenty for teams to test. We have our new one-brand ELMS GTE specification tyres here and new products, customers and partners in the VLN too so it has been very productive.

“Last year, this was the first test with the new regulation LMP2 cars so we now have tyres designed with a full year of learning and data. We can see a big step forward in performance, consistency and drivability plus optimised suitability across the three chassis.

“We must thank all our teams again. A big part of what we do is work together with all our partners rather than having a client/customer relationship, and spending up to five days together here gives us a good start to the season.”