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New Supercars tyre deal a ‘unicorn’ part of 2020 plans

Tom Howard

Thursday 8th August, 2019 - 6:00am

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The new tyre deal will improve entertainment and save money

Supercars boss Sean Seamer has described a move to abolish tyre banks and increase the allocation for next year as a ‘unicorn’ part of the championship’s 2020 plans.

The arrangement will not only improve the racing for fans but also save teams a lot of money, according to the championship CEO.

The decision will see teams run on fresh Dunlop rubber at each round next season instead of having to manage their tyre resources and bring pre-marked tyres to the track for use in practice sessions.

It will follow a similar process used for the annual visit to New Zealand with teams given all new tyres for the event due to strict quarantine laws that prevent teams bringing in used tyres to the country.

The lack of tyre quality in practice has long been a bugbear of drivers and teams.

Dunlop, which is understood to have agreed a new five-year deal as Supercars official tyre supplier, will issue significantly more tyres to entries next year compared to this season.

While in the process of cutting costs for 2020, Supercars says the increase in rubber will in fact save teams money.

This will be achieved by a mutually beneficial agreement between Dunlop and Supercars, while the removal of tyre banks is set to reduce expenditure in storing old tyres and significantly decrease workshop time in preparing tyres for race meetings.

“The changes that we’re proposing to get rid of the tyre bank will save a lot of money,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“That is a unicorn piece for us because it saves the team money and it dramatically improves the racing for the fans. So that’s something that’s been a core focus of that.”

The new tyre deal is part of a number of changes expected for next season as the category looks to make the championship more appealing and sustainable for teams.

Supercars is working to extend the life of engines which will see teams reduce the amount of rebuilds completed per season.

Improving the durability of engines to eliminate the cost of a rebuild per season is among the proposals on the table, which is set to save squads as much as $40,000 per entry.

To achieve the longer life, it is expected that engines will drop in power by as much 15 horsepower, a figure that is unlikely to be noticed on the track by drivers and fans.

The introduction of control dampers is being investigated that could in the long run save teams money.

In addition to these cost saving measures, Supercars is investigating a reduction aero on the cars and the use of drive-by-wire throttles as part of its technical package reform for next year.

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