Dunlop WEC teams head to the Americas

© DR

Rounds five and six of the FIA World Endurance Championship take place in Mexico and America in September. The two six-hour races follow a major mid-season Dunlop development test for LMP1, LMP2 and LMGTE categories, looking at the next generation of tyres.


The Dunlop testing was conducted at the Monza track in Italy over two days, and also a week on track at the Sebring International Raceway circuit in the USA. The LMP1 programme featured continuing the development of the tyres, finding very good progress towards the 2017 new specifications. LMP2 work was fundamental due to the new manufacturer regime for 2017. All four manufacturers were represented with a focus on creating a post 2016/ pre 2017 specification to enable teams to test their 2017 cars on new generation tyres before the season begins. The 2017 LMP2 product will be finalised after the 2016 season concludes.

The LM GTE programme continued with Darren Turner, Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen testing the Aston Martin at Monza, joined by Dunlop development driver Daniel Serra. The two day test was primarily working on the next 2016 tyre specification, from which the 2017 LM GTE Pro and Am class specifications will be derived. Pre-evaluation testing was also carried out by Darren Turner at the Goodyear Dunlop test facility in Mireval, France.

6 Hours of Mexico and 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas
Racing takes place at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on Saturday 3rd September. Two weeks later on 17th September, the teams reconvene at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas, USA. Despite the anticipated high temperatures, Dunlop is nominating the soft and medium compound tyres for the LMP2 teams. While Mexico is a new track for Dunlop and the WEC, advance information indicates that the surface properties are similar to COTA, having low grip. The Aston Martin Racing LMGTE Pro cars and the LMP1 privateers (Rebellion and ByKolles) continue to use Dunlop confidential tyres that are unlimited in terms of specification.

Signatech Alpine currently leads the LMP2 standings with a 38 point advantage over RGR Sport, the Mexican team which will be looking for a second win on home ground. A guest entry from Greaves Motorsport features Luis Diaz, a previous Dunlop race winner with Level 5 Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series. Aston Martin Racing lies second in the Cup for GT Manufacturers, with the two LMGTE Pro entries lying third and fifth in the GT Teams’ standings.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « We’ve made significant progress towards our new tyre specifications in all classes. It was particularly good to have Darren Turner’s input at our own test facility which helped us to progress our specifications for both Pro and Am classes for next season.

« For the next two races we appear to be making a surprise nomination of soft and medium specifications when we expect high temperatures. While convention is that high temperatures mean that you need a harder tyre, the low grip of COTA means that harder compounds slide more and we have developed very durable soft tyres that can provide the grip needed in the hotter conditions. We are expecting the Mexico track to be similar in terms of grip – it’s almost like a street circuit. The key there will be helping our teams in the limited time to optimise set-up starting with no data. »

The 6 Hours of Mexico round of the FIA World Endurance Championship starts at 13.30 local time on Saturday 3rd September.

The 6 Hours of COTA round of the FIA World Endurance Championship starts at 17.00 local time on Saturday 17th September.

LMP1 – Confidential tyre range – full range for all conditions
•Dunlop’s return to LMP1 competition for the first time since 2012
•Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 10 sets plus two single tyres
Dunlop has developed new tyres for these teams and is allowed to continue development throughout the year. While the number of tyres for each event are restricted there can be changes to specifications for following events.

LMP2 – Set specification (soft, medium, medium-plus, intermediate, wet)
• Open tyre competition
• Two out of three dry specifications nominated per event
• Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 7 sets plus two single tyres
The LMP2 range is completely new, developing from the strong 2015 performance but providing a wider operating window and greater consistency.

LMGTE Pro – Confidential tyre range – full range for all conditions
• Bespoke product for Aston Martin Racing
• Two car entry
• Tyres permitted per 6 hour event: 10 sets plus two single tyres
The LMGTE Pro range will continue to be developed throughout the season.

James Bailey,