– Promise of good open tyre competition battles ahead
The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2018/19 Super Season begins this weekend with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian event is the first of eight on the WEC calendar, which includes two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, five six-hour races and a race at the Sebring track – a total of 78 hours plus 1000 miles of racing.
By regulation, the LMP2 tyres are fixed for the full season, so Dunlop’s tyres competing at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps next week will also contest the final round in June 2019.
The soft/’A’ and medium/’B’ tyre options that were used during the pre-season test ‘The Prologue’ will be the nominated tyres for this event, with the intermediates and wet tyres available for the unpredictable Ardennes conditions. The same tyres were first officially on track with the WEC teams at the Le Castellet Prologue in early April, but the European Le Mans Series teams have already put them through their race paces, taking the top two steps of the podium at the same track three weeks ago.
The Spa track is renowned for diverse conditions, with air temperatures from as low as 6 degrees to over 26 degrees and unpredictable rain patterns, which combined with undulations such as the iconic Eau Rouge corner, makes the track a challenge for teams to find the right set-up for the race.
This season sees Dunlop partner teams all competing in the LMP2, the only class featuring open tyre competition. G-Drive Racing will be looking to repeat the 2017 result of pole position and win, but the 2017 Le Mans LMP2 victor, and second place overall, #38 Jackie Chan team has a good history of success at Spa so will be a strong challenger from improving on the third place from last year.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support: « It’s great to be getting underway with the Super Season this weekend. Spa has elements such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont high speed corners which bring high loads so it’s always a good test for us. We’re looking forward to a good fight this season. We saw a great battle at Le Castellet in ELMS so I’m sure we will have plenty more great races in WEC.We have already had our first win on our 2018/19 specification tyre in the ELMS but it looks as though we could have our strongest challenge in LMP2 for some time which will make for some great racing – true open-competition is back! »
The race starts at 13.30 CET on Saturday 5th May. It will be the only WEC opportunity to gain race data before the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.