The introduction of new Dunlop control tyres is being hailed as having the potential to spice up the competition in the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Supercars will issue renamed soft and super soft rubber for 2017 with the tyres made to a different construction than the 18-inch rubber which has been used in the COTF era several years ago.
Essentially the ‘soft’ compound for this season will assume the role as the hard compound variation.
A closed test organised by the Supercars teams is scheduled for Sydney Motorsport Park on February 21 which will remain pivotal in gathering key set-up information.
Four sets of each compound will be distributed to the teams at the test which is being hailed as a ‘game changer’ to competition.
Walkinshaw Racing chief executive Adrian Burgess has echoed the sentiment mirrored by many of his peers by claiming it as a ‘control, alt, delete’ moment.
“We are excited about having the new tyre,” Burgess told Speedcafe.com.
“It will be a challenge for everybody. It’s going to be a control, alt, delete moment for the pitlane and give everyone an equal shot at getting their head around it as quickly as the others.”
While the Triple Eight juggernaut has dominated the sport with almost unabated regularity since 2008, Burgess is viewing the Dunlop rubber as potentially mixing up the pecking order.
“Normally the bigger teams get on top of it sooner,” he said.
“But I think it will be a good thing for all the engineers and drivers to be focussing their energies on tyre development and understanding what we’ve got.
“Hopefully it mixes it up a little bit.
“With respect to those guys in Brisbane (Triple Eight) for doing what they’ve done, it would be good to have a more level playing field where you’ve got more winners and a different outcome at the end of the year.
“We’d like it to be us and PRA would like it to be them and DJRTP would like it to be them.
“But hopefully it’s going to be a good year of racing.”
This season will be Dunlop’s 16th straight as the control tyre supplier for the category as it enters into a fifth consecutive contract which moves through to the end of 2019.