This year is Dunlop Tyres South Africa’s biggest track season to date, with yet another motor sport series added to its list of 2023 tyre sponsorships. Dunlop is now the official tyre partner of the Backdraft Production Series, an exhilarating race that forms part of the South African Endurance Series (SAES).
The Backdraft Production Series showcases hand-built niche automobiles, which are open vehicles with two seats and emphasise sporting appearance and character.
This year, contenders will be racing their Backdraft Cobras on Dunlop Direzza tyres, plus enjoying the full trackside tyre support of the ATS Motorsport Dunlop Service Crew. Operating from a fully equipped Dunlop Racing mobile workshop, the service is staffed by a skilled and knowledgeable team and is free to all drivers competing on Dunlop tyres.
Lubin Ozoux, CEO of Dunlop manufacturer and distributor Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, said the iconic tyre brand was proud to welcome the unique Backdraft series into its fold.
“If there’s any category that can showcase the durability, longevity and performance of a vehicle and its tyres, it would be endurance racing. This form of motor sport is the ultimate test of the durability of equipment, and endurance of participants, so the Backdraft Production Series is a worthy partner to showcase the performance attributes of our Dunlop tyres. We love providing drivers with the very best in tyre technology, and we believe that our partnership with the Backdraft Production Series will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase our products and expertise,” he said.
During endurance racing, teams of two or more drivers take turns driving the car throughout the race, competing to cover the greatest distance over a set period of time, typically 3, 4, or 9 hours. The goal is to test the durability of both the car and the driver, as they must maintain high speeds for an extended period of time, maintain focus and work together to ensure that the car remains in top condition. The races are gruelling, with teams facing challenges such as changing weather conditions, mechanical issues, and intense competition from other teams.
The Backdraft Production Series is a single-make or one-make racing series, where all drivers race using identical cars from the same manufacturer, placing a larger emphasis on driver skill and car setup instead of engineering skill and budget. The Backdraft vehicles are powered by a Lexus V8 motor, with no electronic aids such as traction control or ABS.
“This year we’re extremely proud to have collaborated with TR-Tec which boasts a 5,000sq/m production facility in Prospecton, south of Durban, where these amazing roadsters are produced. They feature a wide variety of engines and transmission combinations, plus custom designed interiors. Backdraft also offers a rent-to-race programme, which opens motor sport up to more racing enthusiasts, and this is something we’re delighted to get behind as the Dunlop brand,” said Ozoux.
This latest motor sport series joins the growing list of Dunlop sole supplied race series in 2023. Dunlop is the official tyre partner of four out of seven race categories at South Africa’s premier motor sport series, the National Extreme Festival, plus four at the Regional Extreme Festival.
Brian Martin of Backdraft Racing had this to say about their first experience racing on Dunlop tyres: “Since we raced on Dunlop Tyres at the last round of the SAES Championship at Killarney International Raceway we have been impressed by the durability and the performance of the Dunlop Direzza 03G. After 9 Hours of racing those tyres we could probably have done another 9 hours! The Backdraft Production Series is looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Dunlop Tyres and Sumitomo Rubber South Africa.”
Ozoux wished all Backdraft Production Series competitors the very best on the track this year. Dunlop Tyres South Africa’s sponsorship underscores the brand’s commitment to excellence in motor sport, and its dedication to providing drivers with the tools they need to succeed on the track. Dunlop looks forward to working with the Backdraft Production Series and the South African Endurance Series to create a memorable and exciting season of motor sport for all involved.