Dunlop head to the Le Mans 24 Hours Motos, round two of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), full of confidence that their top teams will be able to utilise their latest development tyres to maximise their race and championship chances. Dunlop’s involvement in the EWC covers more than half the field with 38 of the 60 entries using their tyres. However with the EWC being an open tyre competition, development is critical.
Earlier this month, Dunlop entered the first round of French Superbike Championship as a ‘wild card’ entry with Xavier Simeon riding their Test Team Yamaha YZF-R1. This resulted in pole position, fastest lap and a race victory, proving the performance of the latest superbike tyres under race conditions ahead of the 24 hours.
Dunlop Motorsport Manager, Wim Van Achter explained the benefits of the Test Team win: “It was very positive, the lap times ticked all the boxes and having an ex-MotoGP rider testing tyres gives us an edge.”
Teams competing with Dunlop tyres at the front of the field include Honda Endurance Racing, VDR IGOL Pierret Experiences, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Maco Racing.
Van Achter predicts a strong 24 Hours: “It is very promising, we are really confident about the tyre performance and changes to the rider line-up with Simeon joining the VDR team and fellow former MotoGP stars Yonny Hernandez and Randy de Puniet strengthening the Honda squad alongside experienced EWC star Sébastien Gimbert.”
Qualifying - Points mean prizes
Ahead of the huge challenge of racing for 24 Hours, Dunlop have developed a new qualifying tyre that will give teams the ability to push for multiple laps. This is especially important as this season the top five teams are awarded points in qualifying.
Van Achter explained the benefits of Dunlop’s approach: “Our qualifying tyre will allow the riders to push harder for longer. This gives the teams multiple opportunities to set a faster lap and have a strong position ahead of the 24 Hours.”
In addition to development tyres the Dunlop EWC range also includes the KR slick range that's available to club racers and track day riders from the Dunlop dealer network. These production tyres were used to win the race overall in 2017 thanks to their consistent performance.
Dunlop Independent Trophy
As well as providing technical support to manufacturer-backed teams, Dunlop have jointly organized the EWC Independent Trophy which gives private teams financial incentives for strong results. Dunlop organised this trophy to incentivise private teams to compete alongside manufacturer teams.
Practice for the 24 hours begins on Thursday 18 April ahead of the 42nd edition of the 24 Heures Motos which starts on Saturday.
Source - News.Goodyear.Eu