Dunlop have introduced some key changes to the tyres they’ll provide BTCC teams with in 2017. The manufacturer believe they will provide greater traction and grip as the tyre size increases.
The new Dunlop Sport Maxx BTCC tyres are 20mm wider than their 2016 counterparts. Whilst the size will be the most noticeable difference, it will be the new constructions of the compounds that make the real difference. The “enhanced” construction, which have been trialled in the 2016 VLN Endurance Championship, will “improve steering response and braking stability”.
“On the gruelling Nurburgring Nordschleife, the Dunlop 265/660R18 tyre [which is set to be introduced in the BTCC] was the choice of the 2016 VLN Endurance Champions,” said Dunlop Motorsport EMEA PR and Communications Director, James Bailey. “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.”
The wet weather tyre, the “BluResponse Wet”, has also been upgraded as well as widened by 20mm. Dunlop believe the upgrade will “improve aquaplaning resistance with a revised tread pattern.”
There will be a new naming system introduced which will remind fans of the Formula One naming system. The phrases “soft” and “medium” tyres will no longer be used, though the rules about what tyres are used on a race weekend haven’t changed.
What was the Sport Maxx Medium tyre will now be the Sport Maxx Prime tyre. With the exception of Thruxton, the yellow walled Prime Tyres will be used by all drivers in two of the three races.
Each driver will choose one race a weekend to use the Sport Maxx Option tyre, which will either be harder or softer than the Prime tyre. Whether it’ll be harder or softer will be decided by Dunlop ahead of the start of the season. These will have a dark grey sidewall.
Thruxton needs a harder tyre due to the abrasive nature of the circuit. The Sport Maxx Hard tyre will be the compulsory dry weather tyre for all three races.
Feature image credit: Dunlop