Dunlop Fills 2014 Le Mans LMP2 Podium With Jota Sport Taking Win

Dunlop Fills 2014 Le Mans LMP2 Podium With Jota Sport Taking Win

The 15th of June, Jota Sport took the chequered flag for the 82ndrunning of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour race with drivers Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Oliver Turvey claiming the coveted
trophies. The win is the fourth consecutive Le Mans LMP2 class victory – a new
record and the third consecutive podium clean sweep. Only Dunlop-shod cars
featured in the top three throughout the 24 hours of racing.

Dunlop teams finished the race in the
top three places with three different chassis manufacturers; Zytek, Ligier and
Alpine. The Ligier JS P2 car made its debut at the race making the podium
finish even more of an achievement. All three cars were powered by Nissan
engines.

Jota Sport is a regular contender in
the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and has a long association with Dunlop,
competing in the ELMS along with championship leaders Thiriet by TDS Racing and
Signatech Alpine who finished second and third respectively.

Under the guidance of Dunlop’s
engineers, teams began with a cautious strategy due to the amount of debris on
the track but ultimately the soft, medium and hard compounds proved capable of
double, triple and quadruple stinting with the right conditions, car set-up and
tyre pressures.

Race Report

Thiriet by TDS Racing (Ligier) qualified
on pole position but lost the lead to Jota Sport (Zytek) in the opening lap
with the 35 G-Drive Racing Ligier rounding out the early top-three. KCMG made
progress and after the first pit stops had moved to the front. Race Performance
managed to claim the lead until Signatech’s Alpine took over in hour four who
in turn conceded the top spot to the G-Drive who stayed at the front from the
third-way point until the latter stages of the race. During that phase KCMG had
an accident that subsequently caused a suspension failure and retirement.

Although the mid-stages of the race
were relatively uneventful for the podium finishers, the final hours were far
from smooth, with an extended G-Drive stop for an brake problem handing the lead
back to Thiriet by TDS. A minor collision in the seventh hour had dropped Jota
Sport down the order but the squad managed to slowly climb the Zytek back up
until it was lying in third. Thiriet by TDS then suffered from a suspension problem
returning the lead to G-Drive.

With less than two hours remaining,
Tristan Gommendy in the Thiriet by TDS overtook the G-Drive car for the lead,
with Jota’s Harry Tincknell also passing to take second. Gommendy set the first
sub 3min 38sec lap which was swiftly usurped by Signatech’s Nelson Panciatici wiping
another 0.005 seconds off the time to set the fastest race lap of 3:37.787, a
time of nearly 0.3 seconds faster than in 2013. G-Drive was forced to pit with
an engine problem, effectively ending any podium hopes. Despite needing a
‘splash and dash’ with 15 minutes remaining, the Jota car, driven by last
minute substitute driver Oliver Turvey, emerged ahead of the Ligier to take
victory.

Jean-Felix Bazelin, General Manager Dunlop Motorsport
Europe:

"Many congratulations to Jota
Sport. We have had a very good battle this year with the LMP2 class showing a
great deal of competition with the different chassis. To have five different
cars in such close competition for 24 hours is fantastic. We must thank our
teams for working so well with us. We saw a lot of debris damage to the tyres
during the test and our engineers worked closely with each team to get the best
performance without pushing the boundaries too far to give the best chance of
completing the race distance and that worked. We had a lot of very good
feedback from the teams and drivers and we are particularly proud of our range
of compounds which give choice, wide operating windows but above all
performance.”

Le Mans 2014 Provisional Classification (Dunlop cars in bold)
1 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN Nissan

2 Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan

3 Signatech Alpine Alpine A450 Nissan

4 Sebastien Loeb Racing Oreca 03R Nissan

5 35 G-Drive Racing Ligier Nissan

6 Newblood By Morand Racing Morgan Judd

7 Oak Racing – Team Asia Ligier JS P2 Nissan

8 Race Performance Oreca 03 Judd

9 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan

10 Caterham Racing Zytek Z11SN Nissan

11 SMP Racing Oreca 03R Nissan

Not Classified

Larbre Competition Morgan Judd

Retired

26 G-Drive Racing Morgan Nissan

KCMG Oreca 03 Nissan

Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan

Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan

SMP Racing Oreca 03R Nissan

For more information on Dunlop, visit www.dunlop.eu  or www.motorsport.dunlop.eu



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