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Dunlop modifies tyre allocation for season restart

Simon Chapman

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Wednesday 3rd June, 2020 - 2:00pm

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Fewer tyres are expected to be used when Supercars resumes

Dunlop Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons is expecting fewer tyres to be used amid shorter event formats when the Supercars season resumes at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Staff at the Melbourne-based facility returned to work on Monday after a coronavirus-induced break.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Fitzsimons said the team has had to readjust its stock in the wake of the global pandemic.

As a result changes to the Supercars calendar, tyre allocations have been reshuffled and orders cancelled amid an anticipated reduction in tyre usage at events.

When the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship recommended, every event excluding the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be a two-day meeting.

“It will be modified only because of the amount of track time,” Fitzsimons said of the teams’ tyre use.

“There are always challenges, but this is a unique situation we’re faced with here.

“We’ve been keeping in touch with Adrian Burgess (Head of Motorsport) at Supercars, especially now that we’re heading back to racing again, to get some tyre numbers and as to what we need to do moving forward.

“A lot of the prep was already done. We’ve already got the tyres here in stock in Melbourne, which will cover us right through to the original Sydney date at the end of August.

“Tyres for Sandown, Perth, and Tasmania are already here as is Townsville, Darwin, Winton, and Sydney.

“We’ve got all those covered. It’s just a matter of ticking boxes and getting things back rolling again. We’re ready to go as soon as the season starts again.

“There have certainly been some challenges, just rehashing and cancelling of production because we’ll be using fewer tyres than predicted.

“We’ve just got to move a few production things around. Apart from that, it’s situation normal.

“With the tyres we already had here we were able to shuffle things around as a replacement of Gold Coast and Newcastle because those productions were scheduled for July,” Fitzsimons added.

“That’s the benefit of us having stuff in production months before a race meeting. It just gives us flexibility when it’s needed.”

Fitzsimons’ team will run at a reduced capacity of just five people when the season gets underway at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27-28.

With teams reduced to a maximum of 13 personnel and Supercars management working from home, Fitzsimons said his team will help where it can.

He hopes the resumption of racing is dry as a wet weekend would put added pressure on an already slim team.

“We’ll have three tyre fitters and our truck driver will be pulling stock too. Touch wood, it’s not wet, that puts added pressure on when we’re a couple of guys down.

“We’ll make do. We’re keen to help out Supercars where we can. There may be times when we may be quiet and they’re short-staffed.

“We can help them out in any way with running the show whether that’s with the TV guys laying cables or whatever the case may be, it’ll be everyone helping everyone.

“We’re all on reduced staff but I’m looking forward to the challenge and getting back to racing again.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is set to resume at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 27-28.

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