For the season opener of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), Dunlop is to supply tires to 42 of the 52 bikes set to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle race in France this coming weekend.
As the exclusive supplier to the Superstock class, the race will mark Dunlop’s biggest ever contingent in EWC history. All 34 Superstock bikes, seven bikes in the Formula EWC class, and an experimental entry will run the company’s tires.
To support each of the 42 bikes over the weekend, Dunlop will bring 4,000 tires to the circuit along with seven of its own race engineers to ensure each Dunlop team has additional support while achieving maximum tire performance.
Dunlop’s KR slicks will form the basis of the tire allocation, with some of the top Formula EWC teams having the option to race on development tires. Teams which choose to do so will aid Dunlop in the refinement of its next-generation hypersport tires. Furthermore, Superstock teams will have the option of two front and two rear slick tires.
“EWC is a valuable arena for active development of new tires, because one 24-hour race gives us as much track time as an entire season in a normal championship,” explained David Auerbacher, event leader EWC, Dunlop. “With the typically variable weather conditions at Le Mans – it can be 5°C and 35°C within the same race – we can measure performance in a wide operating window. We continue to invite our top teams to test new products in racing conditions and, as a result of this approach, three specifications validated by factory teams last season are now in our standard allocation.”
Wim Van Achter, motorsport manager for Dunlop, added, “We’re glad to have received positive feedback during the pre-event test days from new and existing Dunlop teams, who have praised our tire performance and organization. It’s crucial that we give the highest possible level of support to every team, whether it’s a full factory operation or a small independent team, so our race engineers can support them in unlocking the full potential of the tires.”
In addition to the manufacturer-supported teams from BMW and Kawasaki, five independent Formula EWC teams have opted for Dunlop tires. These include Maco Racing, Motobox Kremer Racing, Wójcik Racing Team, MotoAin and VRD Igol Experiences.