New generation 18-inch tyres roll into Australia

Gordon Lomas

Tuesday 14th August, 2012 - 2:35pm

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Dunlop Motorsportr manager Kevin Fitzsimons with the new 18 inch Dunlop tyres

Dunlop Motorsport manager Kevin Fitzsimons with the new 18 inch Dunlop tyres

Dunlop’s first complete consignment of new 18-inch tyres to meet with the arrival of the 2013 Car of the Future will dock into Australia this week.

More than 1600 of the larger control tyres which will serve the entire 28-car field in testing for the COTF will arrive in Melbourne and the Gold Coast this Saturday, before being delivered to each accredited COTF manufacturer.

These follow the two sets that were delivered early in time for the historic TeamVodafone test at Queensland Raceway last Monday.

“There will be 580 hard and 580 soft compound tyres and 500 wet weather tyres in total,” Dunlop Motorsport manager Kevin Fitzsimons told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ve already had 120 hard tyres arrive into the Gold Coast last week and the remaining tyres will dock in Melbourne at the end of this week and be distributed to the teams as required.”

The long serving 17-inch tyres will be replaced in the series with the larger rubber which has been constructed to the same compound to the outgoing tyres.

Dunlop is hoping that the 18-inch tyres will prove to be as versitile as the smaller size rubber which have been incredibly flexible amid wide-ranging track and temperature tolerances.

“The construction method of the current tyre is 12 years old,” Fitzsimons said.

“For what it has been asked to do with 16 different track surfaces and huge temperature ranges that range from two to three degrees at Winton to 50 degrees in the Middle East or Darwin, it has been a very, very good servant to the category.”

The initial allocation will service the teams through to early in the New Year with around 16 of each compound tyre available for all 28 cars.

“It’s just a run of tyres so they (teams) have something to use,” he said.

“The compounds are the same as what we have existing with the 17-inch tyre so we know what we can and can’t do.”

It is expected that the eight accredited COTF manufacturer teams will get additional tyres to complete their two extra test days. Triple Eight’s test day at Queensland Raceway last Monday was held on two sets of the new hard tyres.

Dunlop will officially launch the new tyres, alongside its road-going sibling, during the Sydney Motorsport Park event in two weeks time.

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