Dunlop expect new lap records this season
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All Supercar track records will be under threat this season due to the successful development of the category’s new control Dunlop Sport Maxx tyre, according to Dunlop’s Supercars Operations Manager, Kevin Fitzsimons.
Of the 15 tracks to be used by Supercars this season there are 10 different drivers who currently hold lap records and eight who own qualifying records and all of them will be competing this year.
The first records to be put under the microscope will be the 3.22km Adelaide Parklands street circuit this weekend where Fabian Coulthard set a new qualifying mark of one minute and 20.0168s last year in his DJR Team Penske Ford.
The Adelaide race lap record of 1:21.0507s was set by Jamie Whincup in a Holden Commodore back in 2012. Whincup was the closest to come to his own record last year with a lap of 1:21.5714 in Saturday's opening race.
The longest-established lap records stand at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway and Perth's Barbagallo Raceway which were set in 1999 and 2004 respectively by Jason Bright.
Team Vortex’s Craig Lowndes owns the most lap records with three (Albert Park, Queensland Raceway and Pukekohe).
Red Bull Holden Racing’s Jamie Whincup has five qualifying records to his name (Barbagallo, Albert Park, Sandown and Townsville and Bathurst).
While the teams enjoyed a full day of testing at Sydney Motorsport Park last Tuesday, they will only have two 40-minute sessions in Adelaide on Friday before qualifying.
The new Dunlop Sport Maxx is approximately 15mm wider than its predecessor and is a very different shape due to a flatter tread surface from sidewall to sidewall which will result in more rubber on the road.
It also has a stiffer construction and weighs about 500 grams heavier than the previous tyre.
Each car in the Supercars championship will be allocated 432 tyres for the season which means a total of 11,232 tyres for the year, excluding any wildcard entries.
Whincup was involved in a full day of testing the new tyre at Queensland Raceway back in May, but a second test with Mark Winterbottom was cancelled after just two laps due to rain at Phillip Island in August.
All development from that point was done in-house at Calspan Engineering in Buffalo, New York.
The tyre was extensively laboratory tested in the US and all teams were provided with more than 100gb of data.