TYRES IS­SUES BLIGHT THRUX­TON

Motor Sport News - - Headline News -

A new spec­i­fi­ca­tion of tyre will elim­i­nate fail­ures that blighted the race week­end at Thrux­ton and caused two of the meet­ing’s three BTCC races to be short­ened, ac­cord­ing to cham­pi­onship of­fi­cials.

Four cars suf­fered prob­lems with their Dun­lop rub­ber dur­ing the open­ing race at mid­day, and Matt Neal’s fail­ure on his Team Dy­nam­ics Honda Civic Type R on lap 11 caused a multi-car pile-up that led to the race be­ing red flagged.

Par­tic­u­larly warm tem­per­a­tures on race day were blamed for the is­sues, and se­ries boss Alan Gow met with Dun­lop heads af­ter the open­ing round in Hamp­shire. They de­cided to shorten the race dis­tances by 9.4 miles and run over 12 laps rather than 16.

A state­ment from the se­ries bosses stated: “For rounds eight and nine, due to high track tem­per­a­tures and af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with Dun­lop, the race dis­tances will be re­duced to 12 laps.”

Dun­lop’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor James Bai­ley said that the sup­plier had brought the same com­pounds to the meet­ing as it had in 2014 and 2015, but it had found that the new RML parts, which a num­ber of teams have fit­ted this sea­son, mean that the cars are work­ing “more ef­fi­ciently and putting more load through the rub­ber.”

Se­ries di­rec­tor Gow said the right de­ci­sion had been made last week­end and that the prob­lem was un­likely to re­cur be­cause a new larger tyre would be in­tro­duced in time for next sea­son.

“Ev­ery year – with­out fail – in race one at Thrux­ton some teams have tyre fail­ures, usu­ally as a re­sult of push­ing the bound­aries ei­ther on their sus­pen­sion set- up or over use of the kerbs,” said Gow. “In races two and three they usu­ally don’t have those same prob­lems be­cause they al­ter their set-up or driv­ing style to suit. The same thing hap­pened this year, ex­ac­er­bated by the un­sea­son­ally high tem­per­a­tures.

“Only four cars in that first race had tyre prob­lems – so that’s some 85 per cent of cars that didn’t have that is­sue. And three of those four tyre fail­ures were as a re­sult of kerb strikes. It’s no co­in­ci­dence that those who took the rec­om­mended route on set-up as well as avoid­ing the over-use of kerbs, such as Adam Mor­gan did, reaped re­wards.

“That’s not to say it isn’t be­ing looked at – of course it is. Every­one is quick to blame the tyres and share no re­spon­si­bil­ity…yet how come those same tyres do the same race dis­tances for the next two races on the same day on the same track with­out is­sues?”

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