Every day, Dunlop tires help thousands of drivers handle changing road conditions. But during Saturday's inaugural running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Baltimore Grand Prix, Dunlop tires provided a whole different type of traction - travelling at speeds of more than 150 mph through the streets of downtown Baltimore.
In the Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) class, Dunlop-equipped cars swept the podium, with the No. 20 Oryx Dyson Lola-Mazda coming in first, the No. 16 Dyson Lola-Mazda in second, and the No. 12 Autocon Lola-AER finishing third.
Conquering the temporary 2.1-mile street circuit was a challenge for drivers and tire developers alike, because track surfaces varied throughout different sections of the course.
"Whenever we come to a temporary street circuit like Baltimore, the track dynamics change so much over the course of the weekend," said Chris Dyson, driver of the No. 16 Dyson Lola-Mazda. "Tire performance is more critical in these situations than any other venue.
Because most ALMS races are lengthy in laps and overall racing time, the teams switch drivers throughout the competition during pit stops. The tires, especially, must be consistent for long runs, and this season Dunlop has provided traction for the series' top teams in both the LMP1 and GT classes.
"We couldn't have been happier with the performance of the Dunlop tires in the race," said Dyson. "The durability and grip that they gave us made the difference between us and our competition."
Dunlop tires also performed well for BMW Team RLL's pair of M3 GT's, which finished second and fifth in the GT Class.
With only two races remaining in the 2011 ALMS season, both Dyson Racing and BMW Team RLL lead the manufacturer, driver and team championship standings in their respective classes. Dunlop leads the tire manufacturer standings in both classes.