Aim to build on 45 consecutive wins
Sebring circuit brings unique challenges
Jackie Chan DC Racing in the championship lead
The Dunlop Motorsport team and their FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) teams are heading to the legendary Sebring circuit in Florida, where the WEC SuperSeason resumes 117 days after the last race in Shanghai.
That race saw Dunlop take a 45th consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship win, when the Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stéphane Richelmi took LMP2 victory in a torrentially wet race.
The Sebring circuit provides a unique challenge in the endurance racing world. The track’s character, particularly the bumps and transition between different types of surface, requires a different set-up to more conventional venues.
Dunlop’s philosophy of always pushing forward to improve means that Sebring will mark the debut of a new specification of tyre.
Sebring will see LMP2 teams having the option of using Dunlop’s ‘C specification’ for the first time. FIA World Endurance Championship regulations allow up to three dry weather tyre specifications to be used in a season, but until now only a soft A and harder B specification were needed to suit track characteristics.
The introduction of the C tyre showcases a different approach for Dunlop. The focus was on providing both improved feel at the rear and enhanced front-end controllability. Not only does this provide more precision on bumpier circuits like Sebring, but has also improved grip on more conventional, smoother circuits. This gives a wider, more comfortable operating window, boosting confidence for the wide range of drivers in the LMP2 field. This was achieved by tuning both the front and rear tyres to achieve a forgiving balance, but without losing the peak performance of the soft A spec tyre.
All three specifications have undergone extensive testing on Dallara, Ligier and Oreca chassis at a variety of circuits, including Silverstone, Sebring and Navarra. Mathias Kipp, Dunlop Motorsport Sales Manager is happy with customer feedback: “We listened to our teams who told us they were happy with the performance consistency of the existing specification tyres but wanted a third option that was more user-friendly for a wide range of drivers and more suited to difficult surfaces. We’ve seen that the C spec gives much-improved driveability on the Ligier chassis and also works well on the Dallara and Oreca too. It’s the right event for our partners to use this 3rd specification in order to win in the final phase of the Super Season.”
The WEC track action starts on Wednesday 13th March, with the 1000 Miles of Sebring (approximately 8 hours of racing) beginning at 4:00 pm local time on Friday 15th.