Aston Martin Racing’s GTE-Am class entry has switched to Michelin tires for the remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, in a bid for the class title.
The No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, driven by Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, started the season on Dunlops, as part of AMR’s switch to the British tire manufacturer across both its GTE-Pro and GTE-Am class entries.
However, with GTE-Am enforcing one-year-old rubber, the No. 98 Aston has struggled with Dunlop’s 2015-spec compounds, which is believed to have prompted the change.
Lamy, Lauda and Dalla Lana, who have scored two class wins this season, currently sit second in the title race, 41 points behind leaders AF Corse, following a costly DNF at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Dalla Lana, in conjunction with the team, requested the switch of tires, according to AMR.
“Aston Martin Racing will continue to develop tires in partnership with Dunlop with the focus on the 2016 [GTE]-Pro class specification,” a statement from AMR read. “The No. 98 entry will revert back to the 2015 specification Michelin tire used in GTE-Pro last year.
“This decision allows AMR to benefit from the data and analysis work conducted throughout 2015, maximizing the entry’s chances of championship success.
“Aston Martin Racing continues its technical relationship with Dunlop in GTE-Pro to continue the development of the optimum constructions and compounds to suit the characteristics of the 2016 V8 Vantage GTE.”
A team representative told Sportscar365 that it’s their intention to revert any GTE-Am entries back to Dunlops for 2017, once they have sufficient data from each track to make informed choices on tire selections.
It marks the second team to make a mid-season tire switch, with Tequila Patron ESM moving from Dunlop to Michelins prior to last month’s Six Hours of Nürburgring.
As a result, the entire GTE-Am class is now Michelin-shod, with 19 of the 32 teams for next weekend’s Six Hours of Mexico on Michelin tires.