Dunlop and Supercars to hold tyre talks

Supercars tyres are up for discussion between the championship and Dunlop this weekend. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Supercars tyres are up for discussion between the championship and Dunlop this weekend. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Supercars and control tyre supplier Dunlop are due to begin discussions at Symmons Plains this weekend about the possibility of developing Gen3-specific rubber.

Tyres were among the relatively few carryover items from the previous generation, deemed to be suitable for the transition to Gen3 due to the new cars’ reduced downforce and lighter weight.

Dunlop’s Australian motorsport manager Kevin Fitzsimons is scheduled to meet with Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess during the Tasmania SuperSprint.

They plan to review the performance of the three versions of the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx control tyres – soft, super soft, and hard compounds – after the first three rounds at widely varying circuits.

While there is no firm plan to re-design the rubber specifically for Gen3, Dunlop and Supercars will evaluate tyre performance so far and discuss if a change of construction could make the racing closer.

Several drivers have expressed concerns that the tyres are still sensitive to heat build-up when the cars are running close together, quickly losing grip.

By contrast, in cleaner air, degradation of the soft and super soft compounds has been less than expected.

Dunlop has other tyres of different construction that could be tested later in the season to develop a range of rubber specifically for Gen3 if eventually deemed desirable.

Dunlop’s Fitzsimons is generally “happy” with how the existing tyres have performed, with the cause of the reported heat issue still to be determined.

He confirmed that the meeting with Burgess at Symmons Plains this weekend was a scheduled review.

“It was always planned to get three different circuits under our belts,” Fitzsimons said. “Now that we have some races done, we’ll see what needs to be changed, if anything.”

Reduced loading on the tyres was behind the move to use the soft and super soft compounds almost exclusively this season.

The hard variant’s only appearance was at Albert Park, alternated with the super soft over the four sprint races for variety.

The soft compound will be used at the Bathurst 1000 for the first time this year.

Previously, high cornering loads at Mount Panorama dictated the hard tyre for safety reasons.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]