V8 Supercars stick with Dunlop until 2012
Dunlop has beaten rival manufacturers to win its third consecutive contract to supply the control tyre to teams participating in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series from 2008-2012.
Dunlop’s V8 Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons believes the quality of Dunlop’s tyre was the key factor for Dunlop winning the contract.
Dunlop’s control tyre, with just 4mm of tread and a contact patch of 80mm, is designed and tested to control a 1.5 tonne V8 Supercar capable of 620 horsepower at 7,500 rpm with a top speed of 295km per hour in temperature of up to 120°C.
The Dunlop V8 Supercar control tyre is manufactured at the company’s specialised racing tyre factory in Nagoya, Japan, where each tyre takes more than three hours to be hand-crafted.
But in a sport where technology and competition is everything – there has been no change to the tyres compound or structure since Dunlop took over the contract from Bridgestone in 2002.
The cars by regulation are equal which makes it hard to pass. There have been numerous discussions with Dunlop and the technical board on the subject of how to improve close exciting racing and increase passing during the race.
Suggestion of two tyres, a soft and a hard compound have been dismissed as has the talk of changing to 18inch rims. Kevin Fitzsimons claims there will be no change to the rim size staying at 17×11 inch until after 2012.
The tyre has a reputation of being reliable, safe and providing exceptional performance at every track and this is what the teams and drivers have raved about.
Kelvin O’Reilly, the general manager of TEGA, which represents the V8 Supercar teams, said: “The V8 Supercar tyre supplied by Dunlop is required to operate at maximum efficiency in the widest of racing environments. Whether it be hot or cold conditions, high speed or tight circuits, the Dunlop tyre has been excellent for our competition use.”
I guess this is a good argument for the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mentality.