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The presence of Dunlop at Supercars races is such a visible and enduring feature that it’s hard to imagine any other tyre maker getting into the supply chain. A number have bid to unseat Dunlop at the three renewals of the control tyre supplier, but it remains firmly yellow and black.
Fitzsimons is the ringmaster of rubber, the man who has looked after Supercars for Dunlop’s entire time as the category tyre supplier and before that at Bridgestone. He understands the tyres but more so the marketing impacts for Dunlop that go well beyond anything learned in this class.
Supercars ended the tyre war in 1999 with Bridgestone the supplier until the end of 2001, when Dunlop took over. Fitzsimons didn’t take long to move with the deal and is approaching his 500th round in succession.
The rubber is an integral part of the competition and whether it is a control-supply component or not, it has to be good and to help the quality of the racing. You can’t just say anything will do, as you probably wouldn’t get your contract renewed for a start.
Dunlop has built upwards of 220,000 tyres for the Supercars category. They’ve battled earthquakes in Japan and floods in Australia, rarely losing any of the spring in its step and on the whole, it’s hard to think of the sport without the yellow truck in the paddock.
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