Supercars teams will have the opportunity for an on-track hit-out ahead of the season opener, with a Team’s test day scheduled at Sydney Motorsport Park on Tuesday, February 21.
This day will be the first time that Supercars teams will sample the new-for-2017 Dunlop control tyres, which have a revised construction designed to provide more feedback to drivers and a slightly larger contact patch.
The day will not be run by Supercars Australia, operating as a Team’s test, with the day coming out of the team’s bank of three allocated test days for 2017. The track will be closed to the public for the day in order to allow teams to focus on their testing programs.
With the new construction also comes a new designation for the tyre compounds. The yellow marked tyres are now designated as soft, whilst the white marked tyres are now designated as super-soft.
Teams will be allocated four sets of each compound for this test, with the high speed characteristics of the 3.93km Sydney Motorsport Park track ideal for data gathering ahead of the season opening Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
Supercars Australia Sporting and Technical Director David Stuart, who is in the United States with Dunlop for laboratory testing of the new tyres, said this pre-season test will allow teams to get a feel for the new tyres before they head to Adelaide.
“With the introduction of a new tyre, the Team Representatives on the Supercars Commission decided that a pre-season test at a neutral venue was necessary so that all teams and drivers could experience the characteristics of the new tyre before racing on them,” Stuart said.
“Whilst the day is not compulsory, it will be in the best interests of teams to attend as this change will represent a significant new technical challenge. Ensuring that teams have sampled the tyres and been able to collect data to analyse before the beginning of the racing season will be vital to on-track performance.
“The results of the laboratory testing that we are currently conducting will be supplied to all teams ahead of this test so that they can work through their chassis set-up changes needed to make the most of the construction change.”
“The choice of Sydney Motorsport Park means that all teams will have the same testing opportunity, with every team at the neutral venue on the same day providing equality whatever the weather and track conditions.
“What this new construction should provide is a different kind of feedback for drivers and engineers, and track time is the only way to effectively analyse this new feedback,” Stuart said.
The test will be the first time the new-look Supercars field will appear together in 2017, including the various movements in the off-season.
The day will mark Triple Eight Race Engineering’s first appearance as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, along with Scott McLaughlin in his Shell-backed DJR Team Penske Ford, Garth Tander at Garry Rogers Motorsport, Jason Bright in his Prodrive Falcon, Scott Pye at Walkinshaw, Nick Percat in a Brad Jones Racing Commodore, Dale Wood in an Erebus Holden and Simona De Silvestro’s first run as a full-time Supercars racer in her Nissan Altima.