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Dunlop to Supply the Australian Mini Challenge for Three Years

MINI and Dunlop are synonymous with motorsport worldwide, therefore it is little surprise the two brands have joined forces as partners for the inaugural Australian MINI CHALLENGE Series that will start at Eastern Creek, Sydney on March 7-9.

The announcement that Dunlop will be the official tyre supplier to the Australian MINI CHALLENGE for the next three years continues a trend from other MINI CHALLENGE Series' around the world, where Dunlop has been the tyre supplier for many years now.

The association further cements the brand recognition Dunlop receives from motorsport in Australia as the official tyre of V8 Supercars Australia.

Synergistically, the eight round MINI CHALLENGE Series supports the V8 Supercar Championship Series, including iconic events at Bathurst, Sandown, Phillip Island and the final round of the Championship at Oran Park.

MINI CHALLENGE competitors will use the 215/45R17 Dunlop Formula R slick racing tyre and each competitor will be allocated a maximum of six new tyres at the beginning of every racing weekend.

"Dunlop and MINI are two famous motoring icons that have been inexorably linked for around 50 years. Throughout history, Dunlop has always been at the forefront of MINI developments. The strong historical link and continuing partnership between Dunlop and MINI is one that we are extremely proud of," explains Judith Swales, Managing Director & CEO South Pacific Tyres.

"Our association with the MINI CHALLENGE in Australia is an exciting development for Dunlop and we can't wait for the series to start."

MINI CHALLENGE Chief Executive Officer, Theo Psaros welcomed Dunlop on board.

"MINI CHALLENGE is an exciting addition to Australian motorsport and having the backing of Dunlop as the official tyre supplier for the Series just adds to that excitement," he said. "Already, the company has a huge presence in Australian motorsport through V8 Supercars, not to mention its other sporting activities, and this arrangement will assist in not only cementing, but growing that presence."

"MINI CHALLENGE enjoys a close relationship with Dunlop internationally and many aspects of the brand new MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE race car have been developed by BMW Motorsport in close consultation with Dunlop."

In a world first, MINI CHALLENGE in Australia will utilise the new R56 model MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racecar, shod with Dunlop 215/45R17 Dunlop Formula R slick racing tyres.

The eight round Series has attracted in excess of seven hours television coverage on the Seven Network as part of the V8 Supercars Television package.

The full calendar for the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE is as follows:

Round 1: March 7-9 - Eastern Creek, Sydney, NSW
Round 2: April 4-6 - Wakefield Park, Goulburn, NSW*
Round 3: May 9-11 - Barbagallo, Perth, WA
Round 4: June 7-9 - Sandown, Melbourne, Vic
Round 5: September 12-14 - Phillip Island, Vic
Round 6: October 9-12 - Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW
Round 7: November 21-23 - Symmons Plains, Tasmania
Round 8: December 4-7 - Oran Park, Sydney, NSW

*Denotes V8 Supercar Development Series round

February 2008