Dunlop introduces new BTCC tyre size, naming format
Dunlop, official tyre partner to the MSA British Touring Car Championship, predicts a “significant increase in grip and traction” following the introduction of larger tyre sizes and new constructions for the 2017 season.
The new Dunlop Sport Maxx BTCC is a size 265/660R18 tyre, a dimension that represents a 20mm increase in width compared with the previous 245/650R18 tyre. This increase in size is expected to improve performance, and Dunlop says performance will also be aided by the use of advanced compounds that provide consistent, enduring performance. Dunlop is also introducing an enhanced construction to improve steering response and braking stability.
A new naming convention will help spectators to follow who is using which tyre. At all races (apart from Thruxton) the Sport Maxx Prime tyre will be used. This was formerly known as the Sport Maxx Medium and, as before, will be used by drivers in two of the three races at each event.
In one race at each event a ‘Sport Maxx Option’ tyre will be used. This will be either a softer or harder compound than the Prime. Dunlop will announce which Option tyre will be used at each circuit before the start of the season. These will use a dark grey sidewall marking to help spectators differentiate them from the bright yellow sidewalls of the Sport Maxx Prime tyre.
At Thruxton, the Sport Maxx Hard Option tyre will be the compulsory dry tyre for all three races, as this uses a compound and construction that has been successfully proven on the abrasive Hampshire circuit.
In addition, Dunlop has upgraded the ‘BluResponse Wet’ tyre to improve aquaplaning resistance with a revised tread pattern and the same 20mm width increase as the Sport Maxx Prime and Option dry tyres.
The new BTCC tyres have been developed from Dunlop’s long experience in other championships as James Bailey, PR and communications director at Dunlop Motorsport EMEA explains: “On the gruelling Nurburgring Nordschleife, the Dunlop 265/660R18 tyre was the choice of the 2016 VLN Endurance Champions. These endurance races on the World’s toughest circuit are the perfect testing ground for tyres. The new Dunlop Sport Maxx and BluResponse BTCC tyres combine these endurance racing learnings with our existing BTCC circuit experience to create a tyre range that will provide greater traction and grip in 2017. We are confident that the new range will bring greater performance to an already spectacular championship.”