Dunlop invited teams to participate in a pre-season tyre test at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain this week. The five day test concludes this afternoon, with 21 cars from 16 teams across four championships taking part. The teams will have collectively driven more than the equivalent distance of four Le Mans 24 Hour races over 20,000 kilometres.
The teams and Dunlop engineers have been working together during the five days to optimise the all-new 2017 tyre range and various chassis set-ups in preparation for the season ahead, in particular the official tests for the VLN, European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) taking place in two weeks.
In the LMP2 class, teams from both ELMS and WEC were present with a total of nine Ligier, Dallara and Oreca cars. GT cars present included two Aston Martin Vantages and two new-for-2017 Ferrari F488 GTE. Cars also featured from the German VLN and DMV series.
The all-dry event enabled all slick specifications across all classes to be tested, with the emphasis being on optimising set-up for specific chassis. The LMP2 teams have a big challenge with all-new tyres and all-new cars for the season and progress was made with each team. With Aston Martin, time was spent adapting the tyre and car set-up for the change in regulations which restricts tyre use for the GTE class this year.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « Everyone is keen to know how much faster the cars are, but it’s much more complicated than a ‘seconds per lap’ difference. We believe that our 2016 learnings from LMP1 have given us a good basis for our 2017 range with increased performance. Our existing relationships and service culture with our partners is a big bonus in getting results more quickly. Our extensive LMP2 experience with tyre restrictions has also proved invaluable in helping Aston Martin to adapt to the 2017 regime. Of course our goal is to take more titles after such a successful first year back in the class.
« A big thank you to all our teams for coming to Aragon and supporting us to have as many partners present as possible has been a big help to a strong start for the 2017 season. We now have two weeks to analyse a huge amount of data across the championships, classes, chassis and teams so that we can help everyone get the best from their tyre and car combination at Monza and beyond. »