TECHNOLOGY FROM THE TRACK : NO TIRE WARMERS REQUIRED
The new Dunlop SportMax Q4: purpose-built track day tire achieves lean angles up to 62 degrees, more than any other street-legal tire Dunlop has ever made…..
Racing technology drove the Q4 design. The rear tire compound itself has no silica—it’s all carbon black like Dunlop’s racing slicks for maximum grip.
Construction also follows Dunlop’s race tire protocol: The rear tire tread features Dunlop’s Jointless Tread (JLT) technology. Using the same process as Dunlop’s racing slicks, sophisticated production machinery in the Buffalo plant winds the tire tread compound over the carcass in a narrow, continuous strip. This continuously wound strip allows Dunlop to optimize placement of the compound in specific areas of the tire to achieve the ideal stability, flex, and grip where it’s needed most across the tire’s tread profile.
JLT helps increase tire stability and reduce flex, and helps create a larger more consistent footprint during braking, cornering and acceleration. Another benefit of JLT construction: The rear tire is up to one pound lighter than the same size Q3+, so there’s less mass for increased acceleration.
Both front and rear tires also utilize Dunlop’s proprietary Carbon Fiber Technology (CFT) in the sidewalls for even greater stability. CFT places a carbon fiber reinforcement element in the tire sidewalls. This innovation delivers exceptional cornering stability especially at high lean angles, responsive and precise steering characteristics, and predictable and smooth transitional-steering performance for more confidence-inspiring handling. Carbon fiber’s high stiffness, high-tensile strength, low weight, high-chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance and low-thermal expansion make it a great match for application in the Q4.
The Q4 also features Dunlop’s proprietary Intuitive Response Profile (IRP) for ultra-linear and responsive steering. This innovative profile design allows for a taller tire profile along with sides that taper in more aggressively for remarkable turn-in response and feel. Cross-sectional analysis demonstrates this design creates a larger contact patch when cornering.
Q4 development took place over a year, and testing was done at Dunlop’s Huntsville Proving Grounds (HPG), Virginia International Raceway, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, and Roebling Road Raceway, by Dunlop staff as well as professional racers. Several new compounds were developed and tried, with the final mix contributing to lap times that were more than a second quicker than the Q3+.
According to the newest HPG test rider, Taylor Knapp, the most apparent advantage of the new Q4 on the race track is grip and predictability.
“It’s like a slick,” said Knapp. “Handling is really predictable, you can brake later and get on the gas harder and earlier, and that chips away at the lap times all the way around the track.”