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Supercars working to lock in 2020 tyre supplier

Tom Howard

Wednesday 24th April, 2019 - 6:00am

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Dunlop has been the control tyre supplier since 2012 pic: Ross Gibb

Supercars aims to lock in its control tyre supplier for 2020 before August having revealed it has received interest from ‘a couple’ of manufacturers.

The championship’s arrangement with current tyre provider Dunlop is up for renewal at the end of the season having operated in the role since 2002 with the last contract extension arriving in 2016.

Dunlop currently provides two compounds from its Japanese factory to Supercars, known as soft and super soft, as part of a deal which is understood to be cost effective to teams.

The product on the whole has sufficiently met the brief barring a change to the tyre structure for 2017 which led to a spate of failures at Phillip Island that year that has since been reversed.

While ‘happy’ with the service from Dunlop, Supercars is currently evaluating its options moving forward. 

However, a deal with any supplier would need to be reached before August to ensure tyre production can be completed before the start of the 2020 campaign.

“I think the technical department said to me that we want to get this done by August at the latest, so that the tyres can go into production,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“Production dates on tyres are going to dictate those conversations. 

“But, we’re really happy with Dunlop. We’re really happy with how the conversations are going as well.

“So there’s been a couple of other expressions of interest from other partners that are obviously participating in Australian and other forms motorsport already. 

“But like I said, we’re really happy with Dunlop. They’re a good partner, and our priority is getting to a quick decision so we can start to produce a plan for next year.”

Although teams are largely satisfied with the product from Dunlop, one area that has proved to a bone of contention is the tyre allocations permitted by the category.

Last year there was a proposal tabled to scrap the use of tyre banks meaning that teams would be provided with fresh rubber for use at each round instead of carrying over a selection of tyres from previous rounds. 

This year tyre allocations at regular SuperSprint events have been increased from 24 to 28 tyres, with that expanding to 36 at Bathurst and 32 for Gold Coast and Sandown, due to the demise of two Racing Entitlements Contracts (REC). 

Teams will however have 32 tyres per car at their disposal at Pukekohe, as squads are unable to bring in used tyres due to New Zealand’s strict quarantine laws.  

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