News 4 Sep 2009

ASBK: Dunlop on show as Superbikes and V8 Supercars unite


Dunlop tyres will play a leading role in a history making race meet at Phillip Island next weekend (September 11-13), as both V8 Supercars and Superbikes get set to race at the same event.

Dunlop will be a common theme, as sole provider of control tyres to the V8 Supercar Championship Series, and a major sponsor of the Australian Superbike Series and tyre of choice for all factory teams.

Thanks to this year’s racing calendars matching, both of these leading Series are able to compete on the same weekend, with the Superbikes racing on the undercard to the V8s L&H 500.

Ken Wieden, Dunlop Motorsport & Motorcycle Manager, said that this event is a great achievement for Dunlop tyres, and a wonderful testament to the quality and reliability of the product.

“To have our tyres in use on both these high performance vehicles, at such a landmark historical event is a great showcase for us,” Mr Wieden said.

“Having been supplying the control tyre for V8 Supercar Championship Series for the best part of a decade, we feel that we are truly part of the motorsport landscape in Australia.”

“Dunlop is also the dominant tyre across all classes of Australian Superbike racing, with almost 100 per cent fitment including all factory teams.”

“This is really going to be fantastic event for Dunlop, to have our tyres play such a significant role, not only in the racing for both vehicles, but also in such an historical event, with both cars and bikes competing over the same weekend.”

Mr Wieden said that a reason for Dunlop’s success and popularity is their excellence in analysing track, tyre and vehicle data to improve tyre performance and deliver and exceed expectations, which is emphasised on a circuit such as Phillip Island, particularly for motorcycles.

“The Phillip Island circuit is one of the most demanding circuits in the world on motorcycle tyres as most of the time the bike is on the left hand side of the tyre and also at high speed,” Mr Wieden said.

“Enormous strain is put on these tyres because the extreme heat build up in turns 11 & 12. The bikes are reaching almost 225 kph through turn 12 at near to full power so the rear tyres are sometimes reaching over 170 degrees celsius in this part of the circuit.

“Around Phillip Island, the Dunlop shod Australian Superbikes will racing on “off the shelf” production compounds as well as having many comparative performance restrictions, however they will doing lap times similar those of the highly modified World Superbikes.“

Kevin Fitzsimons, Dunlop V8 Supercar Operations Manager, also commented on the challenges the circuit places on the tyres of the four wheeled V8 Supercars.

“The Philip Island circuit places a huge amount of lateral loading on the tyres of the V8 Supercars with the many fast and flowing corners throughout,” Mr Fitzsimons said.

“Only about 30% of the circuit is a straight, which means that 70% of the time the vehicles will be loading the front tyres during the lap. This makes it extremely hard on the front of the car, including the tyres, so car setup critical in producing quick times.”