Dunlop's Hidden Heroes Keep Racing Wheels Turning

Going racing is a daunting prospect. It's never a simple operation to mobilise, be that as a pro team or just a privateer. But there are facets of any race weekend that make it so much easier for a competitor. If you happen to race in one of the Dunlop shod South African series, Dunlop's Racing Service makes a huge difference to any race weekend. And it’s no mean feat, either.

Dunlop's crack Racing Service team is a boon to any local paddock. Ever smiling and friendly, in spite of a monster workload throughout the meeting, the guys quite literally bend over backwards to make your race weekend all that much easier. It starts long before the Dunlop Racing Service Team even sets off for the next race weekend, wherever that may be. Yet come Thursday afternoon and the truck is there, there’s a hive of activity and everyone gets their every tyre need sorted. Pronto!

The Dunlop Racing Service is free to competitors racing on Dunlop tyres. Whether it be in Global Touring Cars, GTC SupaCup, or Compcare Polo Cup at the National Extreme Festival, or if you race Pabar VW Challenge, Superhatch, 111s, or others in the Northern Regions Festivals, competitors know they can depend on Dunlop’s ATS Motorsport-run Racing Support. And rest assured, it runs like clockwork.

The Dunlop Racing mobile workshop is fully equipped for any racing tyre need. It is manned by probably the most adept fitment crew in the business. Expert balancer Tom is the man on the machine ably assisted by bead breaker Peet, with Freedom on tyre inflation.

The service team's race weekend usually starts long before each race, when competitors order their tyres. Sales are handled by ATS race tyre boffin Sean, at which point you're already at ease. Thorough and particular, Shane is one of those people you look forward to dealing with, leading up to every race. He will either dispatch your tyre order overnight, or ensure your rubber is packed into the Dunlop Racing Service van or its trailer to hand over at the track.

Talking about the Dunlop Racing Service van, it is meticulously prepared for every race weekend. Stacked with all the necessary fitment kit and a compressor, a generator powerful enough to run the whole show is also packed in. Just in case! Along with all the tools of the trade, banners, flags, tables, platforms, tents and merchandise. The kitchen sink too. The team then sets off for the track midweek. And you know that the race weekend is about to get serious when the news breaks that the Dunlop Racing Service van has arrived!

Now, there are 50 or 70 Dunlop shod race cars awaiting fresh rubber in the paddock, so the buzz escalates immediately. The Dunlop Racing Service lads rush to set up, connecting the pneumatics, setting up the fitment and balancing machines. All at the same time as greeting race team members rushing in with trolley loads of wheels to jump in front of rapidly growing fitment queues. Soon the bang of race tyres setting into rims, the whirr of balancing machines, the banter and the purring compressor add to the paddock din.

It will not stop throughout Thursday evening, into practice Friday and on to race Saturday. By when ATS racing boss Heinz and Dunlop’s leading lady Jo and her troupe of lovely ladies in yellow march into action. Not only do they add even more Dunlop spectacle to an already thrilling day at the races, but they also reward Dunlop’s fastest qualifiers with cash awards, They add colour to the pit lane, support the fastest drivers on the grid, and more throughout the day. And then they hand each race winner his or her Dunlop trophy too.

Then, finally it’s all over! But still it does not stop for the Dunlop Racing Service crew. It’s just time to start breaking down the pop-up tyre shop, pack the Dunlop Racing Service van and trailer and hit the road. And trek the likely thousand kilometres or more back to base. And finally, a well earned rest, come Sunday evening back home.

The next race is likely a week or two away. So there’s still no time to blink, before the whole process resumes all over again. But as a Dunlop Racing competitor or team member, you know full well that your every tyre need is never too much trouble, whenever enthusiastic Dunlop Racing Service crew is there to support in the paddock. Which is why Dunlop’s Racing Tyre Service is one of those weekend advantages that will always make any racer’s heart happy.