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No soft tyre for Supercars finale at Bathurst

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 4th June, 2020 - 6:00am

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Hard tyres will be used in the 2020/21 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship finale

Supercars will not use the soft compound tyre in the final round of the championship set to be held at Mount Panorama next year.

Prior to the coronavirus-induced calendar changes, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, OTR The Bend, and ITM Auckland events were the only events set to use the hard compound tyre.

It can now be confirmed the season finale sprint event at Mount Panorama on February 5-7, 2021 will also utilise the hard compound tyre.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Dunlop Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons said the choice was made due to safety concerns.

“The big problem with the soft tyre is it’s designed to wear out,” said Fitzsimons.

“You’ve only got to look at places like Barbagallo and Winton where you get a lot of discarded rubber around the sweeping corners.

“You can’t have that across the top of the mountain at Bathurst because the walls are so close to you, the rubber has nowhere to go, the marbles would be diabolical.”

Fitzsimons said he would like to see the soft compound tyre used at the circuit, but ultimately the discarded rubber makes it unfeasible.

While street circuits like Gold Coast and Newcastle use the soft compound tyre, Fitzsimons drew parallels between Bathurst and Adelaide, which both have high-speed corners and close proximity walls are problematic.

“Would I love to see it? Absolutely,” he said.

“It would be fantastic to run a soft tyre there, but from the safety point of view across the top, it’s not a nice place to have a crash. It just would spoil the show.

“We poo-pooed that idea a long time ago for very similar reasons that the soft tyre isn’t run at Adelaide because the rubber that would be shed around Turn 8 would then hit the wall and then come back onto the racing line.

“The risk of a very serious crash there, taken into consideration, we decided to put a cross through that idea.

“The racing in Adelaide has been bloody good anyway on the hard tyre as it is in Bathurst. We’ve had some doozies.”

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

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