ELMS 2017: G-Drive Racing & JMW Motorsport take titles on Dunlop tyres
Dunlop has congratulated G-Drive Racing after the latter was named
(ELMS) champion for this year after the final round of the series this past weekend. The tyre maker comments that G-Drive Racing and the other Dunlop-shod teams delivered strong performance in the open-tyre LMP2 class, with all six rounds of the series won by a car racing on Dunlop tyres. Praise was also showered upon JMW Motorsport, the team crowned champion of the all-Dunlop GTE class.
“Congratulations to G-Drive Racing and JMW Motorsport, our 2017 champions,” enthuses Paul Bryant, event leader, Dunlop Motorsport. “The demanding Portimão circuit provided a great finale to a very close season of European Le Mans Series racing. We have a lot of experience at this circuit and we made a decision to focus on using our Medium and Medium Plus tyres rather than Soft. This decision gave our teams very strong and consistent race pace, with our winner finishing over a full lap ahead of the top non-Dunlop car. Endurance racing isn’t about one lap pace – it is about consistency and enduring performance over four hours, although getting fastest lap by 0.8 seconds from the competition was a welcome bonus too.”
The G-Drive Racing team, with drivers Memo Rojas, Ryo Hirakawa and Léo Roussel, was fourth at the LMP2 finale at Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal, a result that sufficed to secure the title. The finale was the only race of the season in which G-Drive Racing was absent from the podium – the team’s season tally includes one win, three second places and one fourth place. Dunlop-shod teams achieved 6/6 race wins, 18/18 podiums, 6/6 fastest laps, 5/6 pole positions and 740/751 laps led. The results take Dunlop’s record to 17 consecutive race wins and nine consecutive ELMS titles.
Prior to the start of the weekend’s racing, five teams were in with a chance of claiming the GTE title. Although finishing the race behind Proton Competition, the 18 race points JMW Motorsport gained in Portimão nudged the British team to the top of the GTE table ahead of TF Sport, who’d been points leader throughout the season and had claimed five podium finishes. Portimão was also JMW Motorsport’s fifth ELMS podium for 2017, including a win at Monza, in the Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Rob Smith, Jody Fannin and Will Stevens.
“As this ELMS season finishes, it is important to highlight the teamwork required to deliver top-class performance to our customers,” comments Bryant. “Our ELMS event team is a truly multinational group. In our team of track support engineers and operations experts we have 11 nationalities working closely together. For many of them, the season isn’t over. They travel to Shanghai and Bahrain to continue our challenge for the FIA World Endurance Championship titles and then begin work on the test programme for 2018. After the chequered flag waves, they are focused on the next win for our customers.”