Supercars rules out super soft tyre for 2017
Supercars has ruled out introducing a super soft compound in 2017 as it prepares for a second tyre test.
Red Bull’s Jamie Whincup evaluated a new construction and four new compounds at Queensland Raceway in May on behalf of the category and control supplier Dunlop.
A methodical analysis saw new compounds tested on the existing construction and the revised construction run with the current compounds.
Among the options was an ultra sticky, high degradation ‘super soft’ compound designed to add further unpredictably to the races.
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It is believed the tyre’s peak speed was approximately a second per lap faster than the current soft, with performance degrading linearly until reaching a ‘cliff’ at just over 60km.
The new construction was meanwhile also said to decrease lap times by around a second on the current compounds, ensuring a major leap in speed if combined with the super soft rubber.
Category technical director David Stuart told the Supercars website that the super soft will not be implemented but that the final tyre will still have enough degradation to promote exciting racing.
“When we first started talking about tyres about 18 months ago the official remit was a soft tyre that didn’t last as long as a tank of fuel,” Stuart explained.
“But a change of format, in race distance and the tyre has meant we can re-evaluate that and look how we can improve the racing even further.
“At the end of the day it is about the show.”
Supercars also evaluated a super soft midway through last year before electing to stick with the current compounds for 2016.
Another tyre test will take place at Phillip Island in the coming weeks, from which the data will be used to lock in the 2017 rubber.
The Phillip Island running will see the new construction evaluated with only the hard compound as the soft options are not deemed suitable to the high-speed layout.
Stuart has meanwhile confirmed to Fox Sports that the introduction of new regulations forcing drivers to slow down past accident zones is unlikely to take place until 2017.
The category has tested two systems across the recent Winton and Townsville meetings and had tabled an introduction as early as September’s Sandown 500.
An electronic speed limiter set to either 80km/h or 100km/h and a seperate system mandating minimum delta times through the micro sectors are both being evaluated.
Both are aimed to punish the current practice of drivers pushing hard to either catch the Safety Car or reach pitlane when the full course yellows are first called.
“We need to ensure that whatever system we implement — and it might not be one, it might be a combination of systems — are going to function as we think that they should,” Stuart said.
“If we had something that we were happy with and that we’d consulted (the teams), the Commission and the Board and everyone was happy, then we wouldn’t have any issue in implementing it this year.
“But I would think it’s probably a 2017 thing at this stage.”