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Mike Stevens | Apr 29, 2009

Dunlop will introduce a new soft option tyre for the Winton round of the V8 Supercar Championship.

The Sprint tyre is designed to be faster than the control rubber, providing a gain of over a second per 60 second lap before quickly deteriorating.

Teams will receive a unique, pink-walled allocation of the Sprint tyre for practice sessions this year, allowing drivers to gain an understanding of its properties on the various circuits.

A yellow version will be used from qualifying to allow spectators to identify cars using the quicker rubber.

v8-supercars_mark-winterbottom_01
Mark Winterbottom in action aboard the #5 Orrcon FPR Falcon

Dunlop V8 Operations Manager Kevin Fitzsimons believes the new tyre will add an element of unpredictability to races this season.

“V8 teams can use the Sprint tyres to ‘turbo charge’ their cars against those riding on the more consistent Control tyre,” he said.

“This tyre will provide the speed to charge through the field, however, it will also mean more pit-stops so team tyre strategies will be critically important.”

Ford Performance Racing’s Tim Edwards welcomed the tyre’s introduction, revealing team strategy will now play a more significant role across the weekend.

“We're all very excited about the introduction of the tyres; it's going to mean there's a lot more strategy in the races so for our engineers and drivers it becomes a challenging exercise trying to understand the tyre and execute the best strategy,” he said.

Two-time Bathurst winner Rick Kelly believes the sprint tyre will increase the number of accidents as drivers struggle to adapt.

“With a lot of the driving we've got in the category, there are going to be a lot of misjudgements between drivers and there's going to be a lot of accidents, in my predications, because cars will be misjudging how fast the car in front of them is going at any time,” he said.

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