Supercars hedges bets on 2024 Bathurst tyre allocation

Declan Fraser's Tradie Mustang at the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Ross Gibb

AN early draft of the 2024 Supercars Operations Manual shows the category will move to the hard compound tyre at Bathurst next year.

However, that is only true for the February season-opener at Mount Panorama, with the Repco Bathurst 1000 still listed as being run on Dunlop’s soft variant.

This year’s Great Race was the first to utilise a soft control tyre.

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While it helped produce surprisingly quick times in Qualifying/Shootout trim, its impact on the endurance style of racing was criticised with drivers forced into conservation mode throughout the 161-lapper.

It is not entirely clear whether running the hard compound at the Bathurst 500 could be a trial for the 1000, or if the latter is locked into using the soft tyre.

The Bathurst 500 is the only one of the 12 rounds next year provisionally listed as using the hard tyre.

The hard rubber’s only racing outing in 2023 came at Albert Park where mixed compounds (hard and super soft) were in play.

There will be no repeat of that Albert Park format next year, given Supercars is set to lose access to the alternate pitlane. Instead its Formula 1 support act will revolve around four sprint races (on the soft tyre) with no pitstops.

The super soft is set to be in play at the 2024 Darwin Triple Crown, Tasmania SuperSprint and Sandown 500.

That leaves the soft pencilled in for Albert Park, Taupo, Wanneroo, Townsville, Sydney Motorsport Park, Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast and Adelaide.

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.