Dunlop showcases BTCC tyre technology in Geneva
Dunlop is highlighting a range of the latest specification tyres designed for the MSA British Touring Car Championship – one of the world’s leading championships for production based racing cars — at the Geneva International Motor show. The latest tyres provide drivers with a choice of compounds, bringing a new element of strategy to the closely fought sprint racing of the BTCC.
A tyre supplier to the BTCC since 2003, Dunlop was asked to introduce an ‘option’ tyre in 2013 to bring more strategic variables to the event, as the introduction of a softer compound tyre would add another dimension to the race.
Today, the BTCC tyre range includes three dry weather tires: the Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft, Dunlop Sport Maxx Medium, and the Dunlop Sport Maxx Hard – the latter specially designed for the ultra-high speed Thruxton circuit. The collection also includes the Dunlop Sport BluResponse racing wet tyre for rainy track conditions. All tyres are designed to perform over a race distance, but they are each designed to achieve excellent performance under specific track temperature and conditions.
“We are proud of the BTCC tyre line and pleased to showcase them at Geneva. The BTCC construction is based on key learnings that we took from Dunlop’s successful GT range. The three dry weather tyres use compounds and technology successfully used in other forms of racing – such as our European Le Mans Series Championship winning LMP2 program,” said James Bailey, Public Relations and Communications Director, Goodyear Dunlop Motorsport EMEA.
The tyres shown at Geneva feature a 2014 upgrade including a more pliable construction which maintains the durability Dunlop is known for while also giving better feedback to the driver, particularly under heavy braking and in corner sequences that call for rapid directional changes. It offers drivers an accurate feel, particularly during turn-in to fast corners.
The MSA British Touring Car Championship attracts teams representing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as BMW, Honda, Mercedes-AMG, Ford, VW, Audi, MG and Toyota. In 2015, the BTCC ranks will be boosted by the arrival of Infiniti, who have chosen the championship to support the growth of their premium brand in Europe.
“One of the challenges in BTCC is to design and develop a tyre that suits a wide variety of different cars. With the top four drivers in the 2014 championship driving four different models of car it shows our commitment to parity, consistency and equality in this hard-fought series,” added Bailey.
The tyre choice is the latest of many innovations that Dunlop has launched through BTCC. In 2009, Dunlop introduced Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) into the race tires to help the officials police the number of tyres used by competitors in the series. This technology is also used in fleet applications by the Goodyear Dunlop group – particularly in truck tyre management.
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