More details have emerged surrounding the Dunlop Series’ bigger and better Bathurst challenge for later this year.
The Series will – for the first time in history – run a showcase 250km mini endurance race on Saturday October 11 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, giving teams and drivers a real taste of competing at Australia’s greatest circuit.
And adding another element is the opportunity for V8 Supercars teams to give their co-drivers more laps around the Mountain, by offering them as potential co-drivers for the Dunlop Series race in addition to their Championship duties.
A number of co-drivers already compete in the Dunlop Series, with Paul Dumbrell (driving with Jamie Whincup) leading the points, Ash Walsh (driving with Scott Pye), Andrew Jones (Jason Bright), Chris Pither (Dale Wood), Paul Morris (Chaz Mostert), Cameron Waters (Jack Perkins), and Ant Pedersen and Andrew Heimgartner, who will drive together in the Super Black wild card entry, hotly contesting the category.
Given the miles in Dunlop Series cars are so valuable – despite being old generation V8 Supercars – a number of others have contested one-off rounds or, with Dean Fiore (Michael Caruso), Steven Johnson (David Wall), Steve Owen (Mark Winterbottom), Taz Douglas (James Moffat) and Tim Blanchard (Russell Ingall) standing in sometime this season.
Co-drivers are optional in the Dunlop Series Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 race, meaning a regular driver can opt to contest the full 41-lap race alone, or utilise another driver to share the 250km with.
During the Saturday race, teams will be required to make one compulsory pit stop, for a minimum fuel drop of 80 litres and four tyres.
Even if a co-driver is nominated, it will not be compulsory for that driver to be utilised in the race – if the team starts with its main driver, and is happy with the progress made, they can decide mid-race to leave him in the car for the duration.
It will be a requirement for the regular driver to complete a minimum of 12 laps.
To complete the pit stops, Dunlop Series teams will need to link up with V8 Supercars Championship teams to ensure all positions are accounted for.
Dunlop Series teams will supply two tyre changers – one for each side of the car.
V8 Supercars Championship teams will then be required to provide the fuel filler, car controller, dead man, spike man and fire extinguisher.
The stop will effectively be carried out in two phases.
Once the car enters pit lane and stops in its pit bay, the two will be permitted to leave the garage and begin the tyre change.
Once completed, they will return to the garage, to ‘swap’ with the fuel filler. This is also when the drivers will change, if the team has a nominated co-driver.
Nothing will change in regards to the points allocation, with 300 on offer for the winner. With just the Sydney finale to contest after the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, a strong points haul will be crucial for those in the race for the title.
Dumbrell leads Walsh by just four points after the last event at Queensland Raceway.