Dunlop, Ferrari to Attempt Le Mans Series Hat-trick
Ferrari has committed to using Dunlop tyres once again to defend its title in the Le Mans Endurance Series GT2. The Italian car giant will be attempting to win a third successive championship title this year, with the Dunlop-shod Ferrari F430 being prepared by Team JMW for the new season. The car will hit the track for the first time in a pre-season test programme in Estoril, Portugal in February.
The team’s driver line up will be headed by 2007 and 2008 Le Mans Series Champion Rob Bell. The British driver has been a major factor in the growing strength of the Ferrari–Dunlop partnership during the past two seasons, and will once again be working closely with the team and Dunlop to develop the latest technology tyres to suit the F430 GT2. Rob’s co-drivers will be announced shortly.
Gary Wassell, Car Motorsport manager, Europe for Dunlop Motorsport stated, “Our partnership with Rob Bell, Jim McWhirter (Team Principal) on the Ferrari project has resulted in two championship wins. Our target this year is a third championship win and class victory at the Le Mans 24 hour race.”
The Ferrari F430 GT2 is the fastest and most developed racing version of the 197mph F430 supercar, and the Team JMW car will compete in the famous Le Mans 24 hour race as well as the Le Mans Endurance Series, a championship of 1000km endurance races at Grand Prix circuits such as Silverstone, Spa and Nurburgring.
The tyres for the Ferrari are made at the Fort Dunlop plant in Erdington, Birmingham, which employs over 300 skilled technicians and craftspeople. The plant made over 200,000 specialist high technology tyres in 2008.