Supercars is hoping to put the tyre debacle that has plagued drivers this season in the rearview when they get new and improved tyres to replace the new and improved tyres they got to commence 2017.
Supercar circuits have been littered with rubber fragments as tyres, designed to increase handling and cornering speeds, instead showed a remarkable propensity to explode dramatically at the worst possible moments.
Dunlop Australia to the rescue. They are debuting some newly new and improved tyres for next year’s Supercars championship and are putting the new rubber through some tests to determine, one, that they can hold air and, two, that they can remain circular and intact for an entire period of usage.
It supposedly is a no-expense spared bid to clean the egg of the faces of a tyre company that has been in business for over 100 years and had the manufacturing process figured out long ago.
On September 4, two new tyre designs, manufactured in Japan, will be tested by drivers Michael Caruso, Scott McLaughlin and Garth Tander.
That, hopefully, will resolve the carnage that was most apparent in a Phillips Island race this year where no fewer than 15 cars experienced tyre blowouts.
The situation deteriorated to the extreme, such that the 2017 tyres were dumped for this year’s Brathurst 1000.
Dunlop already has passenger car tyres that can run for extended periods with serious punctures in the tread, but for racing models, they have resorted to using stronger walls.
With less flex to the sidewalls, it could be expected that handling will be negatively impacted, but not so much as handling is impacted by a tyre that suffers catastrophic loss of inflation rounding corners at high speeds.
Finding the perfect balance between handling and reliability is the biggest challenge a tyre manufacturer faces, regardless of the use for which the tyre is intended.
Supercar’s showcase event, the Brathust 1000, will be run on a new batch of the tyres that was proven reliable in 2016.