V8 Supercars will assess Dunlop’s new tyre construction and compound options in May as the category considers introducing changes for 2017.
The test will take place at Winton following the SuperSprint championship event on May 20-22 and will evaluate a new softer compound option and a new construction of the hard tyre.
Both tyres being tested are the products of a previous test carried out last August by Triple Eight Race Engineering and driver Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore VF. That test resulted in excessively high levels of degradation of the soft tyre and prompted V8 Supercars to stick with the previous soft option for this season.
Development of a new softer tyre compound stems from the teams’ capacity to extend the longevity of the current Dunlop Sprint tyre, according to V8 Supercars’ sporting and technical director, David Stuart.
“What we want is a tyre that is going to offer us some good grip capabilities with wear that would ultimately on a soft tyre be less than a tank of fuel,” Stuart told v8supercars.com.
“It would be a soft that has a higher degradation rate than our current soft but not a higher grip rate.”
It is anticipated that the changes to the hard tyre’s construction will retain existing levels of durability but deliver more grip and better driveability.
“We might change the construction of the hard tyre if we find there would be a benefit to the racing,” Stuart told v8supercars.com.
“We are not going to make any changes that are going to jeopardise the show, jeopardise the racing. We want to enhance the racing. Make that better.
“The feedback from all the drivers is when they have grip they have the confidence to have a go.
“We want to try and extend that edge of grip so the drivers have the confidence to get into a corner and have a go.”
If the Winton test is deemed successful, a further test will take place before October to ensure introduction of the new tyres for 2017.