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Dunlop's New V8 Tyre Questions Answered

In last month's Traction, an article featured on a new Dunlop tyre to be introduced at the V8 Championship Series round at Hidden Valley in Darwin. Traction caught up with Kevin Fitzsimons, Dunlop's V8 Operations Manager to find out more about the tyre :

Q: Why is Dunlop replacing the current control tyre?

A: Dunlop's product development team is continually looking at ways of improving not only the performance of its road and race tyres, but also the sustainability of tyre ingredients. With natural rubber becoming harder to purchase due to world demands, Dunlop has replaced the oil-based additive in the polymer binding agent of the V8 Supercar control tyre compound with a more sustainable synthetic material.

Q: Will the new control perform like the current control tyre?

A: Yes. And Dunlop's testing actually indicates an improvement in the tyre's performance - it will be business as usual on the race track.

Q: When will the tyre be available?

A: The new tyre will be available for use at Darwin's Hidden Valley race, July 4. The first shipment of 1800 tyres has now arrived for use from Hidden Valley through to the Phillip Island 500, with a second batch to follow for Bathurst and the remaining 2008 rounds. For Darwin, the teams will be provided with an extra set of practice tyres for the weekend. At future sprint rounds they will receive 16 new tyres, rising to 24 for Bathurst. The tyre will be available for the Fujitsu Series from 2009.

Q: Will the new control tyre favour shorter or endurance races?

A: Having been the sole tyre supplier to the V8 Supercar Championship Series and Fujitsu Series since 2002, Dunlop has provided a quality, competitive control tyre capable of performing at maximum efficiency in the widest of racing environments, and this new control tyre will carry on where the previous control tyre left off.

Q: Has the tyre been tested in Australia?

A: The new control tyre was tested by selected drivers from both Holden and Ford teams at Phillip Island two days after the Dunlop Grand Finale in December 2007. All drivers reported that the tyre preformed as well as or if not better than our current tyre.

Q: What is the response from V8 Supercars?

A: V8 Supercars acknowledge that the Dunlop tyre has been excellent for their competition use since its introduction to the series as sole tyre supplier in 2002. V8 Supercars is confident that Dunlop will continue to provide a product that excels in high speed or tight circuits and across all racing environments in the seasons to come.

Q: Is the tyre manufactured solely for the V8 Supercar and Fujitsu Series?

A: The tyre is solely manufactured for the V8 Supercar Championship Series and Fujitsu Series in Australia. Each Dunlop V8 Supercar control tyre is hand-made in Nagoya, Japan, and takes more than three hours to manufacture.

July 2008