BMW and Dunlop Win at Nurburgring
Dunlop tyres were the choice of BMW Motorsport in winning the Nurburgring 24 hour race this weekend. The classic race, held on the tortuous circuit that Sir Jackie Stewart once described as the ‘greatest and most challenging’ in the world, was won by the latest BMW M3 GT2, equipped with Dunlop Sport Maxx race tyres. The Dunlop tyres were designed, developed and manufactured in the company’s Motorsport centre at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, England.
The race is held annually on the gruelling Nurburgring Nordschleife, a track that ceased to be used for Grand Prix racing 34 years ago because the drivers deemed it too dangerous. The incredible circuit, in Germany’s Eifel Mountains has a lap length of 26 kilometres. This lap is nearly 10 times longer than some European circuits, and enables the organisers to allow over 200 cars to take the start of the race. The race is contested by several different classes, ranging from Le Mans specification ‘GT2’ cars such as Porsches, Ferraris and the winning BMW through to more standard touring cars such as VW Golf and Ford Focus models.
The winning BMW M3 GT2 was shared between four drivers, including World Touring Car Winners Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus and former German Touring Car racer Uwe Alzen. The fourth driver in the Dunlop-shod BMW was former F1 driver Pedro Lamy. The Portuguese star was overjoyed to set a record-equalling fifth overall win in the Nurburgring 24 hours, having first won in 2001. Muller describes the race as: “The 24 hours race on the Nordschleife is one of the most gruelling tests for driver and material. You’re not up against the other drivers here, you’re up against the track itself”
The Fort Dunlop plant in Erdington, Birmingham opened in 1917. Over the last ten years it has been redeveloped and now is home to the company’s European Motorsport Operations, producing 250,000 high technology racing tyres each year for the World Moto2 Motorcycle Championships, International GT and Endurance racing and also for national motorsport championships such as the German and British Touring Car Championships.