Changes to the Supercars tyre rules in 2018
Each year the Supercars tyre rules are reviewed and for 2018, tyre manufacturer Dunlop and Supercars have opted to switch to upgraded versions of its 2016 control tyre.
Why has Supercars reverted to the 2016 construction tyre?
Having moved to a new construction control tyre for the 2017 season with a flatter tread area and squarer sidewalls, the responsiveness of the tyres to camber, encouraged teams to run more aggressive set-ups. However, a spate of high-speed failures at the Phillip Island 500 and other events led to the category reverting from the 2017-spec ‘soft’ compound to the 2016-spec ‘hard tyre for the remaining high-load rounds at Bathurst and Pukekohe.
The cause of the failures was attributed to teams increasing negative camber settings, in excess of Dunlop’s recommended operating parameters to maximise the extra grip of the wider tread in the hope of making further speed gains. This led to a build-up of heat and stress on the sidewalls of the loaded tyres in the high-speed corners.
A test was held in early September 2017 to evaluate possible changes to the control tyre for 2018 with two newly designed soft tyres tested against the 2017 control tyre and the 2016 specification. However, going to Bathurst and Pukekohe with a known quantity was considered the most practical approach. This was followed by the decision to return to the 2016 shape tyre in 2018 rather than use strengthened versions of the 2017 tyres.
What’s new about the 2018 Supercars tyre?
The 2018 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx control tyre is a close variant of the 2016 construction. It features the more rounded sidewall shape used on the 2016 tyre and has been designed to spread the load and heat generated in the tyre across a greater area. New material has also been added to the construction to increase resistance to cuts and punctures.
The tread-width has also been reduced from 290mm to 280mm.
There are five types of control tyres for 2018, the Hard compound (H), the Soft compound (S), the Super soft compound (SS) and the Wet weather compound (W). However, only the Soft, Super Soft and Wet weather compounds have been assigned for use.
The’soft’ and ‘super-soft’ labels introduced in 2017 to distinguish between the harder and softer compounds of the rubber remain in place.
The two compounds will continue to be distinguished by different colour sidewall markings – white for the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx super soft tyre and yellow for the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Sprint soft tyre.
So what now for the 2017 construction tyre?
Dunlop is now developing reinforced versions of the 2017 rubber with a view to a 2019 reintroduction. Further testing at the Phillip Island circuit is planned for later this year.
What is the minimum tyre pressure for the 2018 Supercar tyre?
A minimum tyre pressure of 17psi is in force for 2018. The minimum tyre pressure must be achieved at any time the car is on the race track during any session.
What are the camber settings for the 2018 Supercar tyre?
It is recommended that teams use a static camber of less than -6.0 degrees front camber and less than -3.0 degrees rear camber in relation to their overall vehicle setup.
What is the 2018 Supercars Tyre Allocation?
|Event||Format||Additional Driver||All Drivers||Soft||Super Soft||Wet||Day|
|Adelaide 500||SuperStreet||-||12 S||28||-||16||Fri - 4 S / Sat & Sun 24 S|
|Supercars Melbourne 400||International SuperSprint||-||12 S and/or SS||-||24||12||Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun - 24SS|
|Tasmania SuperSprint||SuperSprint||-||16 S and/or SS||-||28||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 24 SS|
|Phillip Island 500||SuperSprint||-||16 S||28||-||12||Fri - 4 S / Sat & Sun 24 S|
|Perth SuperSprint||SuperSprint||-||16 S and/or SS||-||28||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 24 SS|
|Winton SuperSprint||SuperSprint||4 S and/or SS||16 S and/or SS||-||24||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 20 SS|
|Darwin Triple Crown||SuperSprint||-||16 S and/or SS||-||24||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 20 SS|
|Townsville 400||SuperStreet||-||12 S and/or SS||-||28||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 24 SS|
|Ipswich SuperSprint||SuperSprint||4 S and/or SS||16 S and/or SS||-||24||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 20 SS|
|Sydney SuperNight 300||SuperNight||-||16 S and/or SS||-||16||12||Sat - 16 SS|
|The Bend SuperSprint||SuperSprint||-||16 S and/or SS||2||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 24 SS|
|Sandown 500||Enduro Cup||-||20 S and/or SS||-||32||20||Fri, Sat, Sun 32 SS|
|Bathurst 1000||Enduro Cup||-||20 S||36||-||24||Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun 36 S|
|Gold Coast 600||Enduro Cup||-||20 S and/or SS||-||28||20||Fri, Sat, Sun 28 SS|
|Auckland SuperSrint||International SuperSprint||-||-||32||-||12||Fri Sat, Sun 32 S|
|Newcastle 500||SuperStreet||-||12 S and/or SS||-||28||12||Fri - 4 SS / Sat & Sun 24 SS|