– Data gathered for all-new 2018 tyre range at Le Mans track
Today saw the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours cars take to the track together for the first time. The teams that have chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres took the opportunity to work on set-ups for the race with the 2018 all-new Dunlop tyre specifications combined with the Le Mans-specific aero packages and the upgraded Ligier and Dallara chassis.
Running time was interrupted by several red-flag and safety car spells, but teams still had the opportunity to complete the first essential tasks such as the obligatory 10 laps for rookie drivers and initial race run simulations. Today was also a good time to assess the new-season tyres on the Le Mans track, making the most of free tyre use before restrictions are applied from the start of the official practices on 13th June.
All available dry tyre options were put through their paces but the rain that threatened to appear towards the end of the eight hours of track-time failed to materialise, so teams will need to wait until practice, qualifying or even the race itself to work on set-ups if wet weather prevails.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « The test is always a good start but the timing of the red and yellow flags prevented several of our teams from setting faster times on new sets of tyres which is a bit frustrating. We have gathered a lot of data and have ten days to analyse and work with the teams on set-ups and strategies for the event itself. As the day progressed the ‘green’ track, with no rubber laid down on the road sections, improved in grip as usual. That will continue from practice onwards. The initial feedback is that the tyres are performing as expected so we are optimistic of some good battles and a good race to come. »
The 15 Dunlop-shod cars start the 86th Le Mans 24 Hours race on 16th June at 3pm local time.