The official European Le Mans Series (ELMS) test has taken place over the last two day at the Paul Ricard track in southern France. The 16 teams using Dunlop tyres, on seven different chassis completed over 17,000 kilometres during the 18 hours on track. The 2015 race at the same track covered 123 laps a distance exceeded at the test by nine Dunlop drivers on their own.
Dunlop-shod LMP2 teams topped four of the five sessions in terms of pace but the emphasis was on distance, with teams choosing to gather data on race distance performance. SMP Racing’s Stefano Coletti was Dunlop’s longest distance individual runner, driving 205 laps of the 5.791km track. G-Drive Racing completed the most laps of any team with 281. All together, the nine teams completed 1652 laps, a distance of over 9500 kilometres on the Oreca, Gibson, Ligier and BR chassis.
In the all-Dunlop LMGTE category, Andrew Howard put in the most laps with 158 laps in the Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin. Piergiuseppe Perazzini (AF Corse Ferrari) and Marco Seefried (Proton Competition Porsche) also surpassed the 100 lap mark. The category looks set for a particularly closely fought year with the majority of contenders separated by just 0.5 seconds.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support, Race Design & Development: « On top of the data from four days at Aragon, we now have plenty more to analyse before the Silverstone race in three weeks. The more we can prepare, the better the performance that we can achieve for our teams. The lap times were good and consistent and we’ve had good feedback. It’s an exciting time of year and everyone is now really looking forward to the real competition starting in April. »