The Portuguese track of Estoril holds the final round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) on 23rd October. Dunlop teams will battle for four hours in a decider for who takes the ELMS overall crown, and the GTE class victors for 2016.
Estoril is the most aggressive track on the calendar in terms of surface, exacerbated if the conditions are hot. For 2016 Dunlop focussed on improvements to deal with these conditions and the medium and medium-plus compounds provide a variety of split-compound strategy options to optimise performance.
The open tyre competition series saw all rival tyre manufacturer-shod teams fall out of contention at the last round. While the top-six in the standings have chosen to race on Dunlops, only three can be crowned champions. Thiriet by TDS Racing (Oreca) leads with 92 points after winning three of the five events so far. Silverstone winners and Gibson squad G-Drive Racing follow some 14 points behind and the AF Corse run BR01 only has an outside chance needing to win the race and for TDS to score no points.
The all-Dunlop class is also led by a triple-winner; JMW Motorsport (Ferrari). The only championship rival is the Aston Martin Racing Vantage which needs to overhaul a 20 point deficit with 26 available for a win and pole position.
Dunlop is allocating the 2016 medium and medium-plus options for LMP2. In the all-Dunlop LM GTE class, teams continue with the season-standard specification, also medium and medium-plus compounds.
The European Le Mans Series 4 Hours of the Estoril starts at 13.30 CEST on Sunday 23rd October.
Entry list including Dunlop teams can be found here:
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « Estoril demands a lot from the tyres and our 2016 tyres will give the teams plenty of options for making the best set-up and strategy choices. The Parabolicas put demands on the tyres so changing the left tyres only for some stops could be a good strategy for many of the teams.
« In terms of the championship, TDS will claim the crown provided they finish and it would be a second ELMS/Dunlop title following their win in 2012. The Jota team has yet to take a title, despite being Le Mans winners, so if TDS run into difficulties it would be a worthy championship victory for Jota-run G-Drive Racing given our relationship since their 2005 LMP1 campaign. «