DETROIT (Aug. 22) — American LeMans Series competitor Intersport Racing is switching to Dunlop racing tires for the rest of the season, suspending its development program with Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.
Clint Field, owner of Intersport Racing, which switched to the Creation chassis this year, said Dunlop has a knowledge base of the Creation chassis because they already supply the European Creation cars. He said there are two other LMP1 prototype teams using Dunlop tires whereas Intersport was Kumho´s only customer in the class.
Field said Kumho is making progress with its LMP1 tire, but it wants to try another tire for the rest of the season to see if it helps Intersport Racing pick up a little more speed.
Rudy Consolacion, motorsports manager for Kumho Tire U.S.A., said the company has made good progress with its LMP2 tire program because Kumho has four teams (two in the ALMS and two in the European LeMans Series) running the tires.
Consolacion said with just one team running the company´s P1 tire, its development program hasn´t progressed as quickly as Kumho or Intersport would like.
"We´ll focus on developing our LMP2 tires for the rest of this year and then re-evaluate our LMP1 program at the end of the season," he said.
Dunlop racing tires are made by Goodyear´s Dunlop Tyres U.K. Ltd. subsidiary in England and distributed in North America by Vintage Tyres Ltd. of Hubbards, Nova Scotia, and SascoSports Inc. of Alton, Va. Two other LMP1 competitors, Autocon Motorsports and Team Cytosport, also use Dunlop tires.
Intersport has finished on the LMP1 class podium five times this year out of eight races using Kumho´s LMP1 tire. Kumho originally agreed to supply Intersport with tires in the preseason when Intersport was planning to race in the lower-powered LMP2 category, then agreed to build larger tires when Intersport decided to move up to the more powerful LMP1 class.
The next round of the ALMS is the Grand Prix of Mosport from Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Aug. 23-26.