Tyre limit complicates weather puzzle

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

The three-set wet tyre limit in place at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 could play a crucial role in determining today's winner if changeable weather eventuates.

Most V8 Supercars drivers worked their way through two sets of Dunlop wet tyres in yesterday's two inclement 100km races and face a 200km mini-marathon this afternoon that could include both wet and dry conditions.

Because like most V8 Supercars events this one has a 12 wet tyre limit, that means they have one set of brand new wets left to use. If conditions stay wet they will have to either try and get through the entire race on that set or also use the best of their used treaded rubber.

And if it is a wet-dry race then it gets even trickier and a brave call on suspension set-up could determine the winner.

"I wish I hadn't done skids at the end of that second race today," joked VIP Petfoods Holden Commodore driver Shane van Gisbergen, the winner of both Saturday races.

"If it's variable all day it is going to be exciting, but I hope it's pouring down all-race."

Championship leader Jamie Whincup, who finished third in both races in his Red Bull Holden Commodore, said it would be a case of mixing and matching the best of the used tyres if more than one set of wets were required this afternoon.

"If it's wet all day tomorrow then we will all put our new set of wets on and then recycle what we have used today and use the best of what we have got.

"I think it will be fine, it won't be dangerous at all around here, but it will be loose as loose ... the cars will be all over the place towards the end.

"It's the same for everyone, so everyone is going to be competing the best with what they have got, so no drama I say."

Dunlop V8 Supercars Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons said suspension set-up will also be crucial if the conditions are mixed and both slick and wet tyres have to be used.

The only consolation is that the teams have no shortage of slicks to use today if there are dry conditions in qualifying and the race, although they have only one set of faster soft slicks available.

"Ideally if you knew if it was going to stay wet then you would stand the front tyres up and then take the camber off it and soften the car up considerably," Fitzsimons explained. "Where the killer is if it's wet at the start and it looks like it is going to dry out later.

"Then they go with a dry weather set-up because the car needs to be fast at the end of the race and that's where you really need to be careful.

"But a lot of guys won't be able to do anything until tomorrow when they see what the weather is doing.

"It's just going to be one of those things; who is going to react the quickest and be prepared with your set-ups and then roll the dice with half an hour to go."

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter