The introduction of the new Dunlop Sport Maxx control tyre for the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship could see lap records tumble according to the tyre-maker’s Supercars Operations Manager, Kevin Fitzsimons.
Dunlop has modified the construction of its Supercar tyres for 2017 in one of the major technical changes for the upcoming season.
The new tyre is 15mm wider and with a slightly modified shape, which has increased the amount of grip available to the drivers as well as a stiffer construction improving durability.
Rick Kelly set a 1:28.7751s lap at the Sydney Motorsport Park test, beating the practice record set by Chaz Mostert in 2016 of 1:28.8272s.
“I am sure there will be plenty of Supercar track records that will come under threat this season given the right conditions,” said Fitzsimmons.
“They could be under threat as soon as this weekend at the opening round in Adelaide.
“The feedback from the test at Sydney Motorsport Park last week was very encouraging and everything indicates we will have a faster and more durable tyre.
“There has definitely been a leap forward and that can only mean faster and better racing for the fans.
“At the same time we have the opportunity to gather more and more data which can utilised by the Dunlop engineers to help us produce better road tyres for everyday consumers - at the end of the day, that is why we go racing.”
Supercars veteran Jason Bright, who previously called the change in tyres one of the biggest in the category’s history, remarked on the speed improvements from the new Dunlops.
“It was quite amazing to see the speed from the new Dunlop straight out of the box on such a hot day at Sydney Motorsport Park,” said Bright.
“There is no doubt that if the conditions are right then track records will be under threat at a lot of circuits this year.
“I would be pretty happy to keep my name in the record books at Barbagallo and Darwin and maybe add a couple more along the way.
“Everything points towards more speed and durability and that can only be good for everyone.”