All V8 Supercars use a ‘control’ tyre specifically designed for the category by Dunlop – the SP Sport 280/680 R18 tyre. Two slick tyres comprising of hard and soft compounds are used at different times throughout the year, while a grooved option control tyre is also available in wet weather conditions.
The soft tyre compound offers more grip, faster cornering speeds and lower lap times, but doesn’t have the same durability as the hard compound. While the hard compound is longer lasting, it doesn’t provide the same levels of grip as the soft tyre.
Each year the tyre regulations are reviewed and for 2014, the V8 Supercars Commission has changed the tyre rules for each event to ensure they are best suited to the best racing at each individual circuit. There continues to be a split of hard tyre-only, soft tyre-only and mixed tyre events.
After the 2013 tyre allocation was deemed too restrictive with teams having to save ‘green’ tyres for race days rather than for practice, 2014 regulations now require all teams return one set of tyres to supplier Dunlop after practice is complete whether they are used or not. These tyres are placed in the team’s tyre bank, to be used either as pre-marked tyres (pre-worn) for practice at future events or for test days. This is to ensure teams do more green tyre running during practice.
Of the 14 points paying Championship events and the one non-Championship event, 10 sprint rounds – the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge, the Tyrepower Tasmania 400, the Winton 400, the ITM 500 Auckland,the Perth 400, the SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin, the Coates Hire Ipswich 400, the Phillip Island 400 and the Sydney 500 – plus all three endurance rounds – the Wilson Security Sandown 500, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 all retain their tyre compounds as used in 2013 – see below.
The return of Sydney Motorsport Park in 2014 sees a second Mixed Tyre round (alongside the SKYCITY Triple Crown), while the Townsville 500 switches from a Mixed Tyre round in 2013 to a Hard Tyre-only round in 2014, the only compound change on the calendar.
Soft tyre-only rounds: MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge (16 Soft, 12 Wet), Tasmania Tyrepower 400 (24 Soft, 12 Wet), Winton 400 (24 Soft, 12 Wet), Perth 400 (32 Soft, 12 Wet), Coates Hire Ipswich 400 (24 Soft, 12 Wet), Armor All Gold Coast 600 (32 Soft, 20 Wet).
Hard tyre-only rounds: Clipsal 500 Adelaide (24 Hard, 16 Wet), ITM500 Auckland (32 Hard, 12 Wet), Sucrogen Townsville 500 (24 Hard, 12 Wet), Wilson Security Sandown 500 (24 Hard, 20 Soft), Supercheap Bathurst 1000 (32 Hard, 24 Wet), Sargent Security Phillip Island 400 (24 Hard, 12 Wet), Sydney 500 (24 Hard, 12 Wet).
Mixed tyre rounds: SKYCITY Triple Crown (12 Hard, 8 Soft, 12 Wet), Sydney Motorsport Park 400 (20 Hard, 4 Soft, 12 Wet).