The ADAC TOTAL 24h of the Nürburgring has been rescheduled for September, leaving a cloud-shaped hole in Falken Motorport’s schedule. The tyre brand’s team is followed by an enthusiastic fan base, though, and Falken has found a way to engage them without the totemic event of its motorsport season.
Giti Tire Motorsport’s all-female racing team took to the grid of the second Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series meeting on 4 April. Professional WS Racing drivers Carrie Schreiner and Celia Martin got behind the gaming wheel of a virtual Giti liveried Audi RS3 LMS TCR for the three hour endurance race and finished 10th in the TCR Class.
Hankook Tire has become a sponsor of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the race event at the renown German circuit that previously went by the name VLN Endurance Championship and billed as the largest motorsport championship in the world. The tyre maker hopes this new tie-up will be the start of a “long term partnership” with the retitled, open tyre supply motorsport series.
Falken will run a pair of the latest specification GT3 Porsche 911 GT3 R cars in both the Nürburgring Endurance Series (formerly known as the VLN) and the Nürburgring 24h race in 2020. The Falken Motorsports race team, run by Schnabl Engineering for the tenth consecutive year, has ordered a new 991.2 chassis to run alongside its 2019 Porsche. Both cars will be identical in specification.
Giti Tire’s “busiest year-to-date in European motorsport” was capped by two victories by Giti and GT Radial sponsored partners. The all-female racing team, ‘Girls Only – Ready to Rock the Green Hell’, recorded their first ever class win in the ninth and last race of the VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft in their VW Golf VII GTI TCR. Meanwhile Benjamin Boulbes became a six-time French Drift Championship winner on GT Radial tyres.
Following a successful Bol d’Or 24hr, Dunlop heads to the inaugural 2019-20 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) 8 Hours of Sepang. Dunlop showed the adaptability and consistency of its tyre range in tricky weather conditions at the Bol d’Or 24hr as Team Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) took top honours. The manufacturer says the Sepang International Circuit will pose a new test for all 20 bikes utilising Dunlop tyres, with sweeping corners and wide straights, including a 927 metre back straight, at the 5.5km circuit.
From endurance racing and drifting to desert rallies, Falken Tyres has seen success in varied motorsport disciplines this season. The brand celebrated top-ten finishes in its 20th year at the Nürburgring 24-hour race and on the Peking to Paris Rally, while the season’s crowning glory has been drift driver James Deane’s double title win.
Goodyear will accelerate the development of its motorsport programme in 2020 in several German race series. Following a period away from the top level of sport, the tyre brand will build on its long and successful racing history at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, where Goodyear will equip numerous teams in the VLN Endurance Championship and the 24h Race. Its racing tyres will also be used in the two racing series DMV GT and Touring Car Cup (DMV GTC) as well as the DMV National Endurance Series 500 (DMV NES 500).
The Orange1 FFF Racing #563 Lamborghini won the final Blancpain Endurance Cup race of the season in Barcelona, helping the team to seal the overall and Endurance Cup titles with 185 points. The crew of Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Albert Costa, who replaced the unwell Dennis Lind, started third on the grid following qualifying, but eventually moved up to first spot to take the chequered flag.
Falken Tyres celebrated 20 years at the Nürburgring with sponsorship of the ADAC TOTAL 24-Hour Race (N24), held on 22-23 June 2019. The Sumitomo Rubber Industries brand’s team, run by Sven Schnabl, now fields two cars at the event, and in the VLN Endurance Championship. The UK’s Peter Dumbreck and Swiss driver Alexandre Imperatori drove the BMW M6 GT3 alongside BMW factory drivers Stef Dusseldorp and Jens Klingmann to claim an excellent sixth place finish, having started 31st on the grid, while the new Porsche 911 GT3R, driven by Austrian duo Martin Ragginger and Klaus Bachler supported by Porsche factory drivers Dirk Werner and Jörg Bergmeister, finished the race in 21st, having suffered an off that put paid to its chances of a top-ten finish. Falken also supplied racing tyres to Subaru Tecnica International’s WRX STI. Tyres & Accessories took the opportunity to catch up with Falken Tyre Europe’s new chief operating officer and president, Markus Bögner, on what is probably the rising company’s most important weekend of the year.
Falken Tyres is marking 20 years at the Nürburgring with sponsorship of the ADAC TOTAL 24-Hour Race (22-23 June 2019). The Sumitomo Rubber Industries brand is hosting more than 400 tyre retailers and almost 50 journalists from all key European markets at the “Grüne Hölle”, the oldest and most famous part of the Nürburgring racetrack.
Pirelli is bringing its rubber to Paul Ricard as it plays host to the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and the fourth round of the overall championship this weekend. The GT4 European Series and Blancpain GT Sports Club will feature too, both of which also run on Pirelli tyres. The endurance grid will feature 49 cars piloted by 147 drivers during the six-hour race, whichever comes first. There will be 10 manufacturers on the grid: Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche. All will run on Pirelli’s P Zero DHD2 slick tyres for the dry and the Cinturato WH for the wet.
Falken Motorsports has completed a shakedown of its 2019 race cars at Portugal’s Autodromo Internacional Algarve ahead of the 2019 VLN Endurance Championship, which begins on 23 March 2019. This season the team will introduce the new 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 R, with the test marking the first running for the new chassis as well as the new larger 300/680R18 Falken tyres fitted to the front axle to provide additional grip. The rear axle is fitted with 310/710R18 tyres, which are the same as the team’s previous model.
Dunlop has concluded a tyre test programme that will result in new tyres being introduced into the German VLN Endurance Championship. The tyre manufacturer hopes to make another step forward in performance to build on a successful season in the Nürburgring Nordschleife based series. Dunlop-equipped cars took several overall and class wins in 2018, and the tyre company used the session at Portugal’s Autodromo Internacional Algarve to test new ideas and concepts for the 2019 season.