Dunlop has organized a tire test at Sebring with all four LMP2 constructors for December, aimed to help finalize the construction of its WEC and ELMS tires for the new-look prototype class.
The multi-day test is expected to be the first opportunity that LMP2 examples from Onroak Automotive, ORECA, Dallara and Multimatic-Riley will be on the track simultaneously, with only the Ligier JS P217 and Riley Mk. 30 expected to be present for the first IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona later this month.
“The Sebring track is representative of many things with a good surface and a significantly worse,” Dunlop’s Director of Operations Jean-Felix Bazelin told Endurance-Info.
“There are fast and slower corners. We found the effectiveness of Sebring in our tests with BMW a few years ago.
“Moreover, running in Florida in December guarantees good weather, which is not the case in Europe. The chassis manufacturers also have an interest in running in the U.S.”
With the new-for-2017 LMP2 cars delivering considerably more power, as well as being narrower than the majority of the 2016-spec machinery, it’s required tire manufacturers, such as Dunlop, to take an different approach to its tires.
“Many things are different,” Bazelin said. “The balance of the car is different and you have to deal with 15 percent more power, which is not nothing.
“We still have a lot of development work to do. The first tires took to the track in Bahrain late 2015 in order to have a first idea. A test was then organized in the U.S. last summer with a car developing 700 horsepower.
“At present, we have more data from the Ligier JS P217 because it’s the one which has completed the most kilometers.”
The Onroak-built Ligier test chassis has already arrived in the U.S. and will make its public testing debut at Daytona on Nov. 15-16.