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Dunlop secures Townsville 400 sponsorship

The V8 Supercars announced Dunlop as the naming rights sponsor of North Queensland's largest annual event the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400. Dunlop Brand Manager, Melissa Tilley, said that the Dunlop Townsville 400 is shaping-up as an iconic event in Australia's motorsport calendar.

"Dunlop has been at the forefront of motor racing from more than 120 years and we are delighted to have secured the naming rights to the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400," Ms Tilley said.

"We see this new race as one of the marquee events on the calendar and are just as excited about it as fans are. "As the official tyre supplier, providing around 10,000 tyres each year, we enjoy a long standing and successful relationship V8 Supercars due to the many synergies that exist between our businesses."

"We both represent performance, experience and enjoyment. We are both innovative and focused on our goal to stay at the front of the field," she said. V8 Supercars Australia CEO Cameron Levick said that Dunlop has made a wise investment in the Townsville event that will consume North Queensland in July.

"Dunlop is already a very important part of the V8 Supercar family and they clearly recognise just how big this event will be in July. The benefits of partnering this event are enormous," Mr Levick said.

"With 70,000 tickets already sold and beds at a premium, the event is already a success for the city. Our marketing to the rest of the country officially starts today, which will give the event an even greater kick," he said. As the official tyre supplier to the V8 Supercars since 2002, this year is a milestone year for Dunlop with the Townsville sponsorship as well as the introduction of the new 'SP Sport Maxx Sprint' soft option tyre at selected championship rounds.

"Arguably the largest change in the championship's history is the introduction of the SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyre to be used alongside Dunlop's current SP Sport Maxx Control tyre at select races," Tilley said. "As requested by V8 Supercars, the new 'Sprint' tyre's performance deteriorates with time, coming back to the lap times of the current 'Control' tyre after approximately 20 laps. It is approximately 1.5 to 2 seconds quicker per 60 second lap, and will last around 80 km."

"Therefore, strategies each team employs as to when they fit the "Sprint" tyres will play a very important role and result in much more action both on track and in pit lane," she said. A soft tread compound has been adapted to the exact same casing as the current SP Sport Maxx Control tyre and will be used in the 'sprint' races, being introduced at Winton (VIC) and then used at Symmons Plains (TAS), Hidden Valley (NT), Ipswich (QLD), Sandown (VIC) and Barbagello (WA). At these rounds, teams will be allocated one set of four of the new SP Sport Maxx Sprint tyres for racing where it will be compulsory for them to use it at some stage during the weekend. 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.

Apr2009