Winning in the 'tyre war' - Dunlop looks back on 2018’s highlights
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- G-Drive Racing #26 Championship winning carG-Drive Racing #26 Championship winning car
Dunlop, the most successful tyre company in the history of Le Mans 24 hours and the Isle of Man TT, added several significant ‘blue riband’ successes to their tally this year.
On four wheels, Dunlop continued its focus on endurance racing as a test-bed for tyre durability and performance, extending their winning streak in the European Le Mans Series. G-Drive Racing claimed the title in the top LMP2 class with one round in hand. The title is the tenth consecutive won on Dunlop tyres.
In the highly competitive series, Dunlop teams took 4 out of 6 wins. In the Le Mans 24 hours, victory went to Signatech Alpine on their home ground. This was Dunlop’s 8th consecutive 24h win in the LMP2 category and part of an unbroken run of success in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“We faced strong competition in LMP2, which was the only class at Le Mans to feature a tyre war, so we are grateful to G-Drive and Alpine for putting their faith in Dunlop to win the 24h and the championship. We don’t take success for granted. Competition pushes our engineers and designers to reach new heights in performance and we’ve already identified areas to develop for 2019 and beyond.” said Ben Crawley, Car Motorsport Director.
It wasn’t just the high-downforce Le Mans prototype category where Dunlop customers tasted champagne this year. In GT3 racing, where production based supercars do battle, the Dunlop equipped Porsche 911 GT3 R of the Frikadelli Racing team won twice on the toughest circuit of them all - the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
For Dunlop and Porsche these back to back wins in the German VLN Endurance Championship marked two significant anniversaries. 2018 was Porsche's 70th and Dunlop's 130th anniversary. Ben added: “It was satisfying to win with Porsche in GT3 racing. Dunlop’s latest generation Sport Maxx Race 2 has been developed together with Porsche in order to meet the demanding requirements for the new 911 GT3 and GT2 RS, so it was great to support that road partnership with a racing success story.”
In Motorcycle racing, Dunlop’s yellow caps were a constant feature in Isle of Man TT week, but it was Peter Hickman’s Senior TT win that made the headlines. Dunlop was able to claim the accolade of being the fastest road race tyre in the world. Hickman set the first ever 135mph average lap on the mountain circuit to secure the 13th consecutive Senior TT victory for a bike on Dunlop tyres.
Off road, Dunlop riders scored wins in MXGP with Clement Desalle winning in Russia and Kiara Fontanesi taking her 5th Women’s title on Dunlop. But the biggest Dunlop winner was Eli Tomac who won the $1 million bonus for sweeping the three main events at the Monster Energy Cup Supercross in Las Vegas.
Wim Van Achter, Motorcycle Racing Manager, reflected on the highlights: “Many of our successes in road racing and motocross were achieved with Dunlop tyres that are available from any of our motorsport dealers. That shows how we can rapidly we bring new race and hypersport tyres to market by cascading technology from our development partner teams”.
Dunlop racing tyres are developed and serviced by a multi-national team, with team members based in Birmingham, Montlucon, Hanau and Luxembourg.