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HomeNewsDunlop develops ‘mind-blowing’ new Supercars wet tyre

Dunlop develops ‘mind-blowing’ new Supercars wet tyre

A NEW and greatly improved wet tyre is set to be introduced to the Repco Supercars Championship next season.

Although yet to be formally signed-off by Supercars and control supplier Dunlop, a new wet tyre has been developed and tested.

It was run in wet conditions on the Gen3 prototype cars on the Monday following the Sandown round in August and will again be in action for demo laps this weekend.

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The existing wet tyre has long been lamented by Supercars drivers for being too hard a compound and therefore not offering enough grip in treacherous conditions.

That existing wet tyre will feature throughout this weekend’s Bathurst 1000, with a grim weather forecast for the next four days.

Broc Feeney drove the Gen3 Camaro on the new softer-compound Dunlop wet at Sandown and gushed over its performance.

“When you look at it it’s identical, but when you feel it it’s quite a lot softer,” explained Feeney in a Red Bull Ampol Racing video.

“We went out on it (at Sandown) and it’s a mind-blowing difference. It feels like what an actual wet should and gives you confidence when you’re out there.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to race in worse conditions because the tyre will be able to put up with it. (It’s) quite a lot faster, so it’s good.

“I was racing all of the current cars (on the ride day at Sandown), smoking all of them. They were probably like ‘what’s this bloke doing’ because I was on the new wet.”

Red Bull Ampol Racing team boss Jamie Whincup also hopes the new wet will mean Supercars no longer has to red flag races due to heavy rain.

The Gen3 Camaro pictured during dry running at Sandown. Pic: Supplied

“The wheel-spin difference down the straight was noticeable,” he said.

“Because the car doesn’t have the downforce, the standard Supercar wet was just wheel-spinning all the way down the straight, where the softer wet will handle it much better.

“I think to have the same straightline grip with the Gen3 car you need to have a better tyre.

“And if it means we can run an event that would normally be red-flagged and cancelled, that’s a win.

“We’ve had a few of those in the last couple of years, so I think that’s a gain to go to a new-style wet.”

Wet tyres were the talk of the Supercars paddock at Bathurst on Wednesday, with some teams unhappy about the lack of grooved rubber available.

Each car has just five sets to play with from qualifying onwards, despite there being seven compulsory pit stops in Sunday’s 1000km race.

Although teams are responsible for pre-ordering their own wet practice tyres, Dunlop has ensured every car will have at least two new sets of wets for practice.

Allowing those extra sets to be used in the race would have required a change to the regulations, meaning sign-off from Supercars, the teams and Motorsport Australia.

Supercars sent a note to its teams on Wednesday morning clarifying the unchanged allocation of five sets.

Opening practice is scheduled for 11am.

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