Two open competition titles for Dunlop in FIA WEC
With the 6 Hours of Bahrain, the current FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season drew to a close. Reflecting on an “amazing season of racing,” Dunlop has congratulated Aston Martin Racing and Vaillante Rebellion for their class victories. Both raced on Dunlop tyres in open tyre classes; Aston Martin Racing won the FIA World Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Teams and Vaillante Rebellion won the FIA World Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams. Each of the teams began the event leading the standings and both claimed race victories in Bahrain to secure the crowns.
The LMP2 category saw a battle to the flag, the champion ultimately being decided by just 10.696 seconds after 72 hours of racing through the season. The #31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca opted for a different pit stop strategy to the #38 Jackie Chan by DC Racing entry, with whoever won the race taking the title. The lead changed between the pair nine times, with car #38 closing the gap to the end after the final stops but not getting close enough. The trio of Julien Canal, Nicolas Prost and Bruno Senna won four of the last five races and stood on eight of the nine podiums this season.
In the LMGTE AM, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda took their seventh pole position, fourth win and eighth podium finish of the year after the final six hours of racing. The squad dominated in the Aston Martin Vantage’s final WEC outing, leading 107 of the 112 laps, crossing the line one minute and 17 seconds ahead of the closest competition. Two of the three potential champions going into the final round had chosen to compete on Dunlop tyres, with the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche finishing fourth in the race, second in the Drivers’ standings and ranking third in the team competition.
Dunlop’s second WEC GT season since returning to the class last year delivered eight pole positions, seven wins and 15 podium finishes across the five cars and two classes, including the Aston Martin GTE Pro win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“We have had another amazing season of racing and it’s great to win another two titles in open tyre competition,” comments Xavier Fraipont, managing director, Dunlop Motorsport and motorcycle EMEA. “The WEC is a great championship – demonstrated by such close racing and excitement to the last seconds of the season, particularly with the LMP2 class here in Bahrain. It is only our second year back in WEC GT racing, so to claim another title with such close competition is a real achievement. All the hard work has paid off – so a big thank you to all our race teams, and our own team – the designers, the people at the factory, the engineers and all the support staff who have been involved.”