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Proton & Gulf Make Switch To Dunlop For WEC

The British tyre supplier gains another two WEC customers

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Proton Competition and Gulf Racing have become the second and third teams to choose Dunlop for a WEC GTE campaign, both confirming to DSC that they will race on the British brand’s rubber with their GTE Am Porsche 911 RSRs this season.

The Proton team made its decision following its test earlier this month on the full 2017-spec Dunlop GTE tyre at Aragon in Spain (below). Prior to that Proton also trialled Dunlop rubber at last year’s post-season Rookie Test in Bahrain.

“We tested the Dunlops at Bahrain and Aragon, and I must admit they’ve done a very good job with them for the Porsche in such a short period of time,” team owner Christian Reid said to DSC.

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“Of course in the ELMS it’s a spec-tyre and whilst it is a different Dunlop for the WEC, there are definitely advantages for us to work with the same people, the same engineers and the same supply chain.”

Proton has also confirmed to DSC that both its single-car GTE Am entry and two-car ELMS effort will utilise 2015-spec Porsches, in preference to the interim car raced in GTE Pro last year. Reid explained that the older car was easier to drive for amateur drivers and that with multiple 2015 cars available to the team, there were significant economies of scale over upgrading its existing cars to the 2016 package.

For this season, Proton Competition has switched to racing in only the GTE Am class after competing in both GTE categories last year with Porsche.

Gulf Racing meanwhile made its decision based on Dunlop’s work with the ELMS tyre too. The team will race with a fresh lineup featuring Australian GT up-and-comer Nick Foster together with the returning duo of Mike Wainwright and Ben Barker in its 2015-spec 911 RSR.

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“We are pleased that two experienced Porsche motorsport teams have chosen Dunlop as a technical partner,” said Xavier Fraipont, managing director of Dunlop Motorsport Europe.

“Following our successes in winning titles with Aston Martin in LMGTE last year, the selection of Dunlop after comparative testing is a strong endorsement of our performance.”