Dunlop, who are the official tyre partner to the British Touring Car Championship announced during the weekend that there will be new tyre choices for the drivers to use at Croft and Rockingham as the tracks have quite an abrasive circuit.
During the last two years of the championship the teams and drivers have had to choose which race to run the ‘soft’ tyres in. For this year the drivers will have to nominate which race to use the new ‘Hard’ compound tyre Dunlop have created. During the other two races the drivers will have to use the Dunlop Sport Maxx ‘medium’ tyres.
Dunlop extensively tested the ‘hard’ compound drivers used at Thruxton around the Croft and Rockingham circuits the BTCC use and made the decision to change from getting drivers to choose which race to use soft tyres in to making them choose which race to run the harder compound in. The drivers will still be using the format of choosing which race to run the Dunlop ‘Sport Maxx Soft’ tyre compound in at Oulton Park, Knockhill, Silverstone and Brands Hatch as these circuits do not have such a rough abrasive tarmac.
Dunlop’s duty as the tyre partners to the championship is to extensively test the different tyre compounds around all 10 of the circuit layouts that the BTCC run on and decide which compounds would suit the circuit best as well as which would perform strongly over the distance of a race, then they must report it to the series organiser.
By changing the tyre choices at these two different circuits it will allow Dunlop to have more data and feedback from drivers which will help them decide on the tyre choices during 2017 and beyond.
It will be interesting to see how much the change in choices of tyre compounds will affect the three races held at each circuit. The next round of the championship takes place at Oulton Park, located in Cheshire, in four weeks time.
© Fay Tilley 9th May 2016.