Pirelli will supply its P Zero to the 30 supercars of the British GT Championship grid at Rockingham for round two of the 2017 season. The two-hour endurance race takes place at the newest track on the British GT calendar, with the Northamptonshire circuit’s American-style banked oval providing a notable feature in the 1.94-mile International Super Sportscar Circuit layout. The oval forms the first corner, banked at seven degrees, after which comes a heavy braking zone onto a twisty infield section where tyres have to withstand continual braking and traction energy.
Giti Tire rides again with Fun Cup UK, having returned as official tyre partner for its second consecutive season. New for the 2017 season, the tyre manufacturer has taken its place on the grid too with a fully liveried GT Radial racing car. The company said the extension of its partnership with the series is part of its growing involvement in European motorsport. The car will be used to raise consumer awareness of the brand while supporting a number of marketing activities throughout the GT Radial Performance Centre (GTPC) network alongside exclusive UK distributor, Micheldever Tyre Services.
The Yokohama Rubber subsidiary dedicated to motorsports activities will be dissolved on 30 June, the tyre maker announced today. The operations currently handled by Yokohama Motorsports International Co., Ltd. will be transferred to a new internal Motorsports Department that will be established on 1 May.
Alain Prost believes that allowing Formula 1 teams to combine different compound tyres on the same car, and giving them the option to compete without switching to a different compound, would make for a race with more surprises and greater freedom for drivers. But Pirelli isn’t having any of this. Pit stops are viewed as integral to the F1 spectacle, and the F1 tyre supplier dismisses the mixing of tyre types as impractical.
Dunlop celebrated a double podium on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in the last race before the 24h race at the end of May. The top two finishers were Dunlop equipped Audi R8 LMS cars; the local Phoenix-Racing team taking the chequered flag ahead of the similar car from the Audi Sport Team WRT team.
GRT Grasser Racing Team has won the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza in its #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, using the Pirelli P Zero DHD tyre. The drivers making up the team were Christian Engelhart, Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti. In race two of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, also run on 23 April, Antonelli Motorsport drivers Loris Spinelli and Mikael Grenier emerged victorious.
Pirelli has defined the development programme for its 2018 slick and wet weather Formula One tyres in agreement with F1’s teams and the FIA. Starting with the recently completed Bahrain test, the programme will conclude with testing on 14-15 November at Interlagos, Brazil.
United Autosports won, while TF Sport claimed the GTE class win at the 4 Hours of Silverstone on Dunlop tyres. Both teams were making their class debuts in the series; all teams opted for the medium option in the cool conditions.
The Dunlop-shod GMT94 Yamaha team took its third Le Mans 24 Hours victory with a strong performance in the second round of the FIM Endurance World Championship on the Bugatti track. The team took the lead at the 21 hour mark and overcame a late collision with another bike to win by just over a minute. The win on Dunlop’s commercially available KR106/KR108 tyres marks the second victory for David Checa, and the first for Niccolo Canepa and rookie Mike Di Meglio.
Jota Sport number 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing was the first new generation FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP2 race winner at the 6 Hours of Silverstone on Dunlop’s tyres. The number 31 Vaillante Rebellion and TDS Racing completed the podium. Jean-Felix Bazelin, director of operations, Dunlop Motorsport, said: “It was the first race of the year with the new regulations in LMP2 with much more power and more downforce, and cars with relatively little mileage and data so we have all learned more this weekend and will improve for the next race.”
Pirelli has conducted its first in-season test of 2017 at the Bahrain International Circuit, which hosted last weekend’s grand prix. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel tested next year’s development tyres with Pirelli throughout Tuesday, for one of the two days, driving a total of 130 laps on the tyres. The next test will take place from 16-17 May in Barcelona, where Renault and Toro Rosso will try out some 2018 development tyres on behalf of Pirelli.
Earlier this month, Bridgestone’s Nico Thuy commented that the tyre maker was “aiming for great results with our new team partners” during the year’s FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) series, and during the second round event this goal was realised with a second-place finish. On 16 April, some 75,000 spectators watched the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team finish the 24 Heures Motos Le Mans less than 20 seconds behind fellow Yamaha-backed team GMT 94. The two teams finished 12 laps ahead of the rest of the field.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix with a two-stop strategy, from the second row of the grid. All the drivers apart from Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein stopped twice, while his team mate Marcus Ericsson was the only driver to begin the race on the soft tyre. In the warm conditions of the evening, degradation was contained on both compounds, enabling drivers to push hard throughout every stint.
Dunlop motocross riders had a successful Easter weekend, running on the Geomax MX3S front and rear tyres, to seal a victory and a podium in Italy.
The second race of the 50th Nogaro Easter Cup was won by the pairing of David Hallyday, son of French pop singer Johnny Hallyday, and Morgan Moullin-Traffort, driving a Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. Moullin-Traffort, an experienced racer who began his karting career alongside Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, started the race from fourth on the grid today before handing over to Hallyday, who like his father is an actor and singer, but has also taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours on five occasions, with a best result of seventh in class. Conditions were dry and warm throughout the opening round of the GT4 European Series, watched by an estimated 40,000 spectators.