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HomeNewsWhy Heimgartner expects ‘fuzzy phase’ in wet races

Why Heimgartner expects ‘fuzzy phase’ in wet races

ANDRE Heimgartner believes Dunlop’s new, softer wet tyre will come with the side effect of a bigger crossover window in mixed weather races.

Thursday practice at the VAILO Adelaide 500 was a rare case of a fully wet Supercars session this year, with teams still limited in their knowledge of the revamped rubber.

The new-for-2023 wet is designed to better handle torrential conditions but is more prone to degradation.

With up to 15mm of rain forecast for tomorrow and as much as 8mm for Saturday, today’s running might prove invaluable.

“It’s obviously a new wet tyre and none of us have done any meaningful testing on it,” said Heimgartner, who finished the day as the top Chevrolet driver in second, behind Chaz Mostert.

“It was pretty difficult (with the wet tyre in qualifying at Albert Park), you would only get through half a lap and it would deteriorate.

“This is a different style of track and I think we have all learned from it too, so it was good to get a few laps. They’ve definitely gripped up but it will more be the longevity of them that everyone will be working on.”

For much of Practice 1, lap times did not improve in line with the conditions drying, with tyre wear a limiting factor.

Triple Eight did roll the dice by sending its drivers out on slicks at one stage, only for rain to pick up again.

With each Adelaide race scheduled for 78 laps, Heimgartner is tipping some tricky periods if rain is still a factor by then.

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“No one has done more than five or six laps in that session, I don’t think,” he said.

“I think it will be fine if it’s a totally wet stint but here often it’s drying, dryer lines, different stuff, so you’re going to see a bigger blurred line (with when to switch from wet tyres to slicks).

“I think there will be a bigger crossover to a certain extent because the wets just won’t hang on, so there will be a fuzzy phase in the race where it’ll be pretty dicey on either tyre that you’re on.”

Supercars are back in action for Practice 2 tomorrow at 12:35pm local time (1:05pm AEDT), ahead of qualifying later in the day.

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