Features

Inside Dunlop - behind the scenes at the 6 Hours of Silverstone

evo joins G-Drive Racing and its Dunlop tyre engineer at the WEC

Sam Bird flies into his pit box, the number 26 Ligier JS P2’s carbon-ceramics squealing as it ducks to a halt. The car jumps up onto its stands and the mechanics, shod in black and orange overalls, dart to both sides and airgun off the front wheels. Two other mechanics work frantically to tug off the car’s nose with alarming ease. And this is just Free Practice 1. 

‘Sam’s complaining that the car is running too low; it’s bottoming out.’ Matt Rees, G-Drive Racing’s Dunlop engineer, has to shout over the thunder of a passing Aston Martin Vantage GTE. ‘We’ve not done enough laps to gauge what the tyres are doing yet.’ 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

We’re just seven minutes into Friday’s first practice session, but already the G-Drive Racing garage is buzzing with anticipation. This is the first round of the 2015 World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, and the French team is eager to get the season off to the perfect start. Last year the team narrowly lost out on taking the LMP2 championship win. No second guesses as to what result it wants in 2015. 

‘We’ve not touched the tyres, so we’ll have to see how they get on now,’ Matt yells. ‘We’ll be running this same set all session.’ The number 26, now wearing its nose again, drops back onto its Dunlops and fires into life. The car clunks into first and a heavy footed Sam sends the black and orange Ligier scrabbling out of its pit box, 4.5-litre Nissan V8 bouncing into its limiter.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s easy to get lost in the chaotic, hurried atmosphere of an LMP2 pit garage. But shine a spotlight on each mechanic, on each engineer and surrounding team member, and you’ll notice they’re all completely focused on their own job. Dunlop’s most experienced tyre engineer, Matt, is a perfect example.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/718-boxster/202408/new-porsche-boxster-t-2020-review
Porsche 718 Boxster

New Porsche Boxster T 2020 review

In many ways the best 718 Boxster to drive, but that sadly doesn’t paper over the inadequacies of the flat-four engine
2 Apr 2020
Visit/bmw/5-series-saloon/22919/2020-bmw-5-series-m-sport-facelift-spied
BMW 5 Series saloon

2020 BMW 5-series M Sport facelift spied

The BMW 5-series is about to get a fresh look, without bigger kidneys
1 Apr 2020
Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
1 Apr 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019