The fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) proved to be another great race for Dunlop teams, with plenty of points scored at the German event this weekend. From the four classes, Dunlop teams took three wins and a total of six podium finishes after also claiming three class pole positions on Saturday.
LMP1 Private Teams
The number 13 Rebellion R-One of Imperatori, Kraihamer and Tuscher took the top step. Despite taking pole position, it wasn’t a straightforward race, with the sister Rebellion Racing and, also Dunlop-shod, ByKolles CLM taking the lead during the first two hours of the race. From there the Rebellion pair exchanged the lead, the #13 benefitting from the sister car’s engine problem in the closing stages. The double points from the Le Mans win means that the #12 Rebellion still has a significant points advantage.
The closely fought class saw pole-sitter #26 G-Drive Racing lead and set the fastest lap before retiring with a gearbox problem for the Oreca. Strakka Racing took over for a total of 15 laps of 178. In the last half an hour of the race Strakka’s Jonny Kane, in fourth, gained some 34 seconds but still missing out on a podium for the Gibson by just 0.071 seconds. It was the Le Mans-winning #36 Signatech Alpine, however, that dominated at the front of the field, leading for the last 89 laps in the hands of Menezes, Lapierre and Richelmi. The Ligier of RGR Sport by Morand followed just 16 seconds behind after showing strong and consistent pace. The class saw the fastest six drivers in the race from five different teams in four different marques Oreca, Alpine, Gibson and Ligier, all on Dunlop tyres. In the championship, Signatech Alpine leads from RGR Sport by Morand with G-Drive Racing in third place.
The #98 Aston Martin, driven by Dalla Lana, Lauda and Lamy took the LMGTE Am class victory, the squad’s second victory in the first four races of the season. The team led from after the halfway point of the race, building a gap to cross the line nearly half a minute ahead of the next car in class. In the Pro class, the #95 Aston Martin Vantage of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen led 83 of 170 laps but lost position due to luck with timings of the virtual safety car periods. The team recovered to claim third place, bringing the Aston Martin/Dunlop partnership tally to six podium finishes, including two wins in just four races. The 95 ‘Pro’ team lies third in the standings, just five points from the lead with the sister #97 car in fifth. The #98 ‘Am’ car is second in the standings.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « The racing in the WEC never disappoints and our teams did a great job today to battle in all four classes. It was good to see the RGR Ligier back on the podium after winning at Silverstone, but no one can dispute that the Alpine deserved the win today with great pace and consistency. I’m disappointed that G-Drive/Jota didn’t get any reward for their qualifying and race pace. Strakka was impressive this weekend, bringing themselves right back in the mix. Seeing the ByKolles lead was also very positive and it will be interesting to see how the three-way battles in the LMP1 privateer class unfold during the rest of the year. I’m very pleased to have a second win with the Aston Martin team. A new project is never easy and to be able to continue adding to the positive results is very rewarding. »