Dunlop and Aston Martin Aiming for Le Mans Glory
Dunlop, Aston Martin Racing’s official global GT2 Development Partner, is to work closely with the British manufacturer over a three-year period in order to develop the Vantage GT2, which the Dunlop supported team JMW Motorsport will race in the 2010 Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hour. According to Dunlop, an intensive testing programme gets underway this month ahead of the opening Le Mans Series race, the 8 Hours of Le Castellet, on April 9-11. Participation in a number of selected high profile events may be added to the team’s calendar at a later date.
“This is a very exciting development for our team and reflects the efforts invested over the past seasons,” commented Jim McWhirter, JMW team principal. “This may be a new car for JMW, but the same desire, commitment and perseverance is still there and we are confident we shall be in the mix from the start. Dunlop has been an integral part of our success and it is extremely rewarding that they are joining forces with JMW and Aston Martin Racing in this challenging new adventure.”
“We have worked very successfully over the last four years with Jim McWhirter, winning the championship twice, and being runner-up once, in the very competitive Le Mans Series GT2 category,” added Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager of Dunlop Motorsport Europe. “It is therefore an obvious decision for Dunlop Motorsport to follow JMW Motorsport in their new challenge with a new car.
“Being associated with Aston Martin, the most prestigious English sports car manufacturer, is an honour and a thrilling prospect for Dunlop,” Bazelin continued. “It is also an opportunity for our designers to demonstrate their ability to be successful again with the same partner but another car. I am convinced that the ‘Best of British’ partnership of JMW, Aston Martin, Rob Bell and Dunlop can compete for the 2010 Le Mans Series podiums and stand out in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours.”
The tyres for the Aston Martin are made at the Fort Dunlop plant in Erdington, Birmingham, which employs over 300 skilled technicians and craftspeople, and produced more than 200,000 specialist high technology tyres last year. “In addition to our full technical support, we will put all our enthusiasm and passion into this fantastic new project. We want to contribute toward making the JMW-Aston Martin the winning package for 2010,” Bazelin concluded.