Dunlop’s James Bailey excited for 2015 BTCC
Dunlop is entering it’s 11th year of title sponsorship of the British Touring Car Championship in 2015, and ahead of what’s already shaping up to be an exciting season, btcc.net spoke to Motorsport Communication Director James Bailey at Autosport International:
Tell us why Dunlop and the BTCC have enjoyed an amazingly long-standing partnership…
“We’ve been a part of the BTCC since the very beginning. We use the title sponsorship very heavily through our dealers – especially with things like hospitality – but it’s also a great way of engaging with the fans. There’s no other championship in the UK that has so many spectators, outside of the F1 Grand Prix nothing comes close, so it’s the right place for us to connect with the petrol heads.”
What have you learned from racing with the BTCC?
“In the BTCC we use the Dunlop Sport Maxx construction which shares a lot of properties with our road tyres. Even though all the cars are on the same tyre we never stop developing – every year we try to improve the product. One of the things that’s been really popular is the introduction of the soft tyre option which has added another layer to the tactics teams use on race weekends.”
It’s about more than just sponsorship for Dunlop in the BTCC – have you been pleased with recent rule changes that put even more emphasis on your product?
“We’re pleased with the way the soft tyre rule has developed – at the start many of the teams took the safer option and ran it in race three, but as they’ve learnt more about it we’ve seen more complicated tactics.
“For 2014 we put a slightly bigger step between the tyres, but it was still important that both tyres were able to complete the race distance with some level of consistency. Depending on the circuit and temperature, one tyre may simply be the better choice than the other, and it’s about understanding the circuit and the car to get the maximum out of the package.”
Will there be any major changes for 2015?
“There are no radical changes – there will be another upgrade to the tyre compound which is always a challenge as we have to make sure we come up with a tyre that works equally well for front and rear-wheel drive cars. For us the main news is that we’re going to be investing more in activation and engaging more with fans at the events. We bring what we learn from championships all around the world to make our tyres as advanced as possible in the BTCC.
“It all translates into the real world too – so many of the cars represented are sold with our tyres in the showroom.”