Dunlop tests BTCC soft compound
Dunlop has completed its first test of its new MSA British Touring Car Championship soft compound tyre at Rockingham. In 2013 drivers of NGTC specification cars must use one set of soft compound tyres for one of the three races following a regulation change. Drivers must nominate the race in which they will use the tyres without the knowledge of other drivers’ strategies before Saturday’s qualifying session.
Dunlop says the new tyres are constructed using a compound “four steps softer” than the regular tyres and which was developed in prototype endurance racing. Testing at Rockingham last week showed that the tyre met the goals set by TOCA of initially providing a minimum one second per lap performance advantage for the first three to four laps followed by a steady drop-off in performance.
The new rules have been designed to add an exciting dimension to the racing with tyre management becoming a fundamental part of race strategy. The soft tyres will be used at nine of the ten BTCC rounds in 2013, the exception being Thruxton where the track is too aggressive to allow the safe use of the soft option.
Michael Butler, Dunlop BTCC team leader, said the test had gone well: “Rockingham was a successful first test of the new soft compound tyre at one of the most aggressive circuits. We met the objective of lasting the race distance and all the performance parameters set by TOCA. We will carry out more testing at other circuits when the weather improves to validate the results further.”