By Alex Kapadia
Birmingham-based Dunlop tyres raced to success at the Le Mans 24 hours, with a clutch of podium finishes.
Despite missing out on the top spot, the tyres manufacturer had plenty to celebrate.
Just 27 of the 56 starters finished the gruelling race – and amongst them were an impressive 11 of the 19 Dunlop teams.
Dunlop tyres have been used by winners at the classic French endurance race a record 34 times, and went into the 2010 event hoping to add to its podium finishes.
The race was dominated by the diesel powered Peugeot and Audi contenders in the top three positions, but Dunlop matched their 2007 result of fourth place with the AIM Team Oreca entry.
The LMP1 class 5.5 litre V10 Oreca, driven by Soheil Ayari, Didier Andre and Andy Meyrick was the unequivocal winner of the unofficial ‘petrol powered’ race, a full four laps ahead of its nearest rival.
Jean-Felix Bazelin, the general manager at Dunlop Motorsport, said: “Dunlop’s target was to be the highest finisher behind the factory entered Audi and Peugeot cars, so to finish fourth – and be ‘best in class’ of the petrol powered entries is a fantastic result that rewards our intensive development of tyres for Le Mans Prototypes over recent years.
“Three thousand miles of intense racing and peak speeds of over 225 mph provide the ultimate test of a race tyre.
“I’m proud of Dunlop’s performance in supplying 19 cars and performing strongly in every class. It gives us a firm platform to build on our success in the remainder of the Le Mans Series and in future 24 hour events.”