Dunlop’s epic Le Mans in numbers
With this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans just around the corner, Dunlop, which boasts it has won the endurance race more times than any other tyre manufacturer, thought it a good time to share some facts about its impact at last year’s running.
The 2017 edition of the race saw five Dunlop teams, quintuple-stint, while the tyre maker also laid claim to two of the overall podium finishes. It set three out of three fastest laps, and took two out of three class wins. Dunlop’s rubber, which led for a total of 769 laps across seven teams and three classes, was also used on six of the podium-winning cars. It completed 9632 laps overall, working for more than 525,000 tyre kilometres, or more than 13 times around the Earth, which equates to an astonishing 245 million tyre revolutions.
The numbers from that race also show how the tyre-maker has set its sights on being faster, stronger and longer lasting every year.
Some of the figures on that first point are impressive, with Ho Pin Tung’s fastest lap of 3:28.632 also his theoretical best time – he didn’t better any of his sector times when setting the new LMP2 Le Mans race record. Nelson Piquet Jr was also on form when it came to fast laps, and proved to be one of the most consistently quick LMP2 drivers – his best 10 laps average was 3:29.738 – less than one second from his best lap time of 3:28.785, and this in a race in which the top LMP2 car was only one lap behind the LMP1 racewinner.
In GTE Pro. Daniel Serra in the winning #97 Aston Martin was the fastest driver, with #95’s Nicki Thiim in third. While in the GTE Am class, after 24 hours of racing, four Dunlop shod racers finished on the same lap –separated by just 8.5 km after 4484 km of lapping the hallowed Circuit de la Sarthe.