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Q&A: Darwin tyre rules explained

Everyone’s talking about tyres! What’s the latest goss?

Word on the street – or should we say pit lane – is that the decision-making folk over at the V8 Supercars Commission have decided to chuck a set of soft tyres into the mix to spice up SuperSprint racing.

Awesome! So can they be used for any race across the weekend?

Nope, teams are limited to using the four soft tyres in the second 60km Saturday race only and the corresponding qualifying session. The hard compound tyre and a mixture of both will continue to be used for the first race and Sunday’s 200km mini-marathon respectively.

Will we see this at every round?

At the moment, the change is only implemented for Darwin. But ya never know! If the allocation proves to be successful, it could be brought in for the remaining four SuperSprint rounds of the season – Ipswich, Sydney Motorsport Park, Pukekohe and Phillip Island.

Will there be some mixing and matching of compounds between races?

Saturday’s soft tyres can’t be used in Sunday’s race and vice versa. As previously though, the hard tyres used in the first race on Saturday can be carried over to Sunday.

Which compound is going to be best around the Hidden Valley circuit?

“In 2014, Darwin was a mixed-tyre round with two sets of hard tyres for Saturday’s races and two sets of softs for Sunday,” says Car 1 Race Engineer, David Cauchi. “Hards were allowed to be reused on Sunday. Considering we had two poles and two race wins on the hard compound tyre, I would have to pick the hard tyre as our compound of choice. I think there is plenty of potential there to perform well on both compounds and it will be an interesting challenge going from hard to soft from Quali 1 to Quali 2 and Race 1 to Race 2 respectively.”

Apparently the track has recently been resurfaced. How will that affect the racing?

“The resurface will definitely mix things up setup-wise as data from previous years is less relevant with the new surface,” Cauchi continues. “It will take some time for drivers and engineers to get their heads around what is required to go fast so we might see some bigger performance differences between cars. How long the tyre will last on the new surface is another unknown so this will spice up the racing as drivers will be finding the limits of both compounds during the first two races on Saturday. All in all it should be an exciting weekend of racing.”