Dunlop to introduce its new V8 Sport Maxx "Sprint" tyre at Winton
V8 Supercar fans and drivers alike will experience some radical passing at Winton Raceway next weekend with the debut of Dunlop's soft compound SP Sport Maxx "Sprint" tyre.
Arguably the largest change in the Championship's history, teams can now gain a significant speed advantage with the much faster "Sprint" tyre against teams using the consistent wearing SP Sport Maxx 'Control' tyre.
Dunlop's V8 Operations Manager, Kevin Fitzsimons, said that this faster tyre will make for highly entertaining racing.
"Compared to Dunlop's "Control" tyre, the "Sprint" is designed to be significantly faster early - around 1 to 1.5 seconds per 60-second lap faster - before wearing out rapidly," Mr Fitzsimons said.
"V8 teams can use the "Sprint" tyres to turbo charge their cars against those riding on the more consistent "Control" tyre.
"This tyre will provide the speed to charge through the field, however, it will also mean more pit-stops so team tyre strategies will be critically important," he said.
The SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyre will be recognisable both on and off the race track by a distinctive yellow marking on the wall of the tyre.
V8 Supercars CEO Cameron Levick said: "From a racing and entertainment perspective we have introduced a number of key changes this year, one of which is a softer compound tyre, with the specific purpose of creating more action for our fans.
"Dunlop went away with a brief last year to make this soft tyre and came back with the SP Sport Maxx "Sprint" - a tyre that may be several seconds faster per lap than a hard compound tyre but also one that will wear much more quickly.
"Each car will have to use the tyre at certain times during selected race weekends. So, for a period of time, you potentially have several cars with a big advantage against others that don't. Then, as the tyres wear, the drivers that have chosen SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyre may find themselves battling for grip.
"That's exactly what we hope to create - faster cars, slower cars, plenty of passing and more on-track drama."
Tim Edwards, FPR Team Principal said: "We're all very excited about the introduction of the tyres; it's going to mean there's a lot more strategy in the races so for our engineers and drivers it becomes a challenging exercise trying to understand the tyre and execute the best strategy.
"Every team in pitlane is going to think they've got the right strategy; unfortunately until Winton's over no-one's going to know who did and it will change for every race anyway. No one can predict when there's going to be a safety car and that will have a big impact. The fans are going to see cars running in 20th on the right tyres at the right time win the race."
The SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyre can only be used at Winton, Symmons Plains, Hidden Valley, Sandown Raceway, Queensland Raceway and Barbagallo Raceway.