Supercars will revert to the former naming system for its tyre compounds when the new supply contract takes effect next year.
The two slick tyre compounds will again be known as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ in 2020 as part of the new deal with Dunlop.
They had been identified as ‘soft’ and ‘super soft’ respectively since the start of the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, despite there being no change to the actual tyre compounds in that time.
The more significant implication of the new tyre contract is the end of tyre banks, with cars to arrive at events on a set of warm up tyres but otherwise have fresh rubber at their disposal for all sessions.
“Dunlop has been a highly valued long-term partner and an integral part of the on-going success of Supercars since 2002 and this new deal will take our partnership through more than two decades,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
“Our ongoing partnership with Dunlop is proof of our desire to align Supercars with the best in motorsport.
“The addition of new tyres for practice sessions is part of our joint-plan with Dunlop to transition the tyre supply model from a Tyre Bank to Tyre Allocation.
“Each team will be required to bring only one set of pre-marked tyres per event.
“By allowing teams to use new tyres in practice, we are aiming to improve performance from session to session at each of our events, which is a win for our fans as well.
“We are delighted to have reached this agreement, which guarantees a long-term stable future for a crucial component of Supercars for all of our teams.”
Despite there being no change to the tyre compounds when the names were changed in 2017, there was a fundamental shift in tyre construction.
The 2017 breed of Dunlop tyres were of a squarer construction, featuring a more defined sidewall and larger contact patch.
A spate of failures at the Phillip Island 500, early in the season, led to a switch back to the 2016 construction for the other events where tyres are put under especially high loads, namely the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Pukekohe’s Auckland SuperSprint.
The older, rounder construction was recommissioned for all events from the 2018 season.
Specific tyre allocations for 2020 have not been announced, although Supercars has confirmed that the quartet of 100km races at Albert Park will require cars to run on both compounds.
Dunlop has also taken up naming rights of the teams’ championship and will continue to be the title sponsor of the Super2 Series.