Rekindling a golden racing era: Dunlop relaunch Super Touring tyres

The 1990s ‘Super Touring’ era of saloon car racing is fondly regarded as one of the most spectacular periods in motorsport. Heavy investment from car manufacturers led to the development of highly advanced technology under the skin of familiar looking saloon cars. Two decades on, historic racing promoters are recreating these evocative grids, with many original cars emerging from museums and private collections. Dunlop, a championship winning tyre company in that period, has relaunched a tyre to grip this revival.  

Dunlop tyres were used by many teams in Super Touring car championships such as the British, French, Italian and World Cup events. The brand, celebrating its 130th year of racing this year, has reintroduced its 212/650R19 Super Touring tyre after demand from teams and drivers who wanted a tyre that could replicate the high performance from a period when companies like Audi, Honda, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Nissan and Volvo went into battle.

Michael Butler of Dunlop Motorsport said: “Historic racing moves with the times. Cars of 20 years ago are now seen as historically interesting and fans, drivers and teams are beginning to appreciate significant cars from that period again. Cars that are this advanced need a bespoke tyre and Dunlop were asked to recreate the tyre from that period. After extensive testing, we have now put the tyre back into production.”

The relaunched tyre has similar performance to those used in the period, but achieves its performance with a different compound and construction.  Butler, who provided Dunlop tyre engineering support to the championship winning Audi team in that period, explained: “In the nineties, there were no limits on tyre development. We had qualifying tyres, specifications for sprint and endurance races and different tyres to suit each manufacturer. Modern day historic racing teams do not need this complexity. We’ve used the latest materials to replicate the performance of that ‘tyre war’ era but with the durability and consistency that’s important for a season on a sustainable budget.”  

The Dunlop Super Touring tyre uses a more durable construction than its nineties forebear and actually uses the same compound as the current British Touring Car Championship ‘Dunlop Sport Maxx Prime’ tyre.

The tyres have been tested by drivers such as historic racing expert James Dodd and British Touring Car legend John Cleland, a winner in the 1990s with the Vauxhall Cavalier and Vectra. Testing has shown a significant improvement in performance, particularly due to strong stability and steering feedback.  

It is expected that the ‘new’ Dunlop will be used by teams in in a variety of revival events in 2019 including the Silverstone Classic and Historic Sports Car Club Super Touring Championship.  

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Inta introduces revolutionary transparent push-fit connector for UFH manifolds

Inta - Transparent Push-Fit Connector for UFH Manifolds.jpg

Leading heating and plumbing products manufacturer Inta has introduced a unique transparent push-fit connector for underfloor heating (UFH) manifolds, which promises to make a complex job much quicker and easier.

Part of the Inta’s brand new ‘PresBloc’ product range, the connector enables installers to be certain that it is properly in place and secure before it is switched on and pressure tested, thus avoiding leaks. Designed as a universal fitting, the connector can be used with any manifold - including polymer, stainless steel and brass.

Inta has also introduced a range of low voltage actuators for UFH manifolds, for which the power consumption is just 1 Watt compared to the industry-standard of 1.5-2 Watt, meaning end users will benefit from lower energy bills.

Stuart Gizzi, director at Inta, said he was confident these newest products will quickly become the go-to items for underfloor heating installation.

“We are always looking for products that meet our stringent quality standards and that we are confident will make professional installers’ lives easier,” he said.

“We were very impressed by the transparent push-fit connector because it really makes a significant difference to the installation time, while our new actuators are a winner for consumers thanks to the money-saving aspect.”

Inta’s comprehensive range of UFH manifolds comprise lightweight, robust polymer manifolds, stainless steel manifolds, conventional brass manifolds and modular brass manifolds. All have a 210mm centre, making them compatible with industry-standard UK pump sets.

Inta also has a complete range of manifold accessories including ball valves, end groups, eurocones and thermo-electric actuators as well as a ErP compliant pump mixer set, Ecomix, for installations with a heat load up to 15 kW.

For more information about Inta’s product range visit:

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Investment and skills see balustrade and glass manufacturer expand into commercial sector

SHS - New Machinery .jpg

Aldridge-based SHS Products has invested over £100,000 into new equipment, up-skilled its workforce and recruited a Commercial Contracts Manager as it continues its expansion to deliver glass and balustrade products to the commercial sectors.

Focusing on contractors, specifiers, architects and shop fitters, SHS has doubled its output capacity to bring its 15 years of experience designing, manufacturing and installing stainless steel balustrades and glass systems to B2B customers.

Over the last six months, the firm has been gearing up its 30,000 sq. ft facility and 45 employees with new equipment including CNC cutting machinery, a glass lamination oven, glass cutting tools and general improvements to the shop floor and warehouse facilities.

Rob Gilbert, Commercial Contracts Manager at SHS Products, said: “SHS has become the go-to manufacturer of stainless steel and glass balustrades, balconies and canopies for the consumer market.

“Our success to date has been based on our bespoke designs, exceptional customer service and innovative approach to online sales. Our products are already market-leading in their design, quality and value-for-money and with our recent investment into equipment and our people, we are now ready for commercial production.”

Ross Worrall, Sales Director for Atlantic Machinery which supplied the new equipment, said: "By installing our machinery, SHS has invested in its future and is already reaping the benefits of improved productivity levels; saving the business valuable time and money - and more importantly, delivering increased quality levels and capacity."

SHS has a wealth of experience delivering for the commercial markets, having supplied products for customers including Marks & Spencer, Barclays, Selfridges and BMW. With its recent investment, it has boosted production capacity to provide guarantee of supply to large-scale contracting projects.

SHS is already working with a number of contractors on projects including new build residential, retail and office fit out. Recently becoming a member of Constructionline, SHS continues to demonstrate its commitment to project delivery, workplace and health and safety practices.

Rob Gilbert added: “With experience of working alongside main contractors, we understand how to fulfil the most challenging of requirements. Our in-house team works closely with clients to ensure a smooth handover from specification to installation.”

For more information about SHS, visit

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Devon magician conjures up specialist exercise classes for older people

An award-winning illusionist from Torbay is promising a magical time for all when she launches new exercise classes for older people and those with limited mobility.

Anne George, who performed on stage for more than 40 years as Anna Merlina and who is also a trained choreographer and actor, is one of the newest instructors to complete training in Devon for endorsed training provider Move It or Lose It, which offers exercise pioneering programmes for the over 60s.However, the 62-year-old, who teaches dance to children as young as six and runs exercise classes for people in their nineties across south Devon, has promised no magic tricks for ensuring her Move It Or Lose It participants keep fit. Instead, it’ll all be down to fun and proven exercises that help with flexibility, strength, agility, balance and aerobic health.

“There’s no magic formula to keeping fit, but I’m looking forward to launching my classes in October, when I’ll be using what I know from my choreography and entertainment background to create fun classes and exercises that really work for older people,” she said.

Anne, the daughter of renowned magicians Billie and Trevor George who performed across the country before launching the Trevor George Entertainments agency, said she had no hesitation in joining Move it or Lose it, which was awarded £25,000 from Transform Ageing to train 20 new instructors in Torbay and Exeter.

“I’ve been doing more classes with older people over the past couple of years and when I saw that Move It Or Lose It was looking for instructors, I knew it was just what I was looking for,” she said.

“Because I am already an instructor, I went through the fast-track training and learned so much interesting information about how older people can really benefit from the programme. I’ve already held a taster session and was delighted with the feedback, so I’m raring to go and looking forward to starting my weekly classes in Torbay, Paignton and Babbacombe.”

Move it Or Lose It founder Julie Robinson said she was excited to see that the first classes in Devon are up and running.

“Securing the funding from Transform Ageing has meant we’ve been able to sign up 20 new instructors in the Torbay and Exeter areas, bringing new flexible business opportunities to the region and truly inclusive exercise classes,” she said.

“Our classes have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives because it helps them to join a group, enjoy company and keep their body and mind fit. And having people like Anne on board is brilliant because she has the right personality to ensure that the classes are both fun and effective.”

For more information about Move It Or Lose It and to find your nearest class, visit

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Dyslexic biomedical scientist praises Maple Hayes School for giving him confidence

A former student of Maple Hayes Dyslexia School who has gone on to attain a PhD in biomedical sciences has credited the school for giving him the confidence to succeed.

Dr Eric Pitkeathly, who is originally from Burntwood, near Lichfield, was held back a year in his primary school because his reading and writing were poor, even though his mathematics was above average.

He said being held back a year at his previous school meant he had had a lot to catch up on in maths, but passing exams at Maple Hayes, a Lichfield-based independent specialist school that caters for pupils aged seven to 17 with dyslexia and specific learning difficulties, boosted his confidence.

“Using Dr Brown’s methods helped me to learn to read and write,” said Dr Pitkeathly, whose doctorate is in the physical science of imaging and biomedical sciences and now works as a research associate at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

“Once I was able to pass exams I was able to believe in myself. They started the ball rolling and I had confidence, which was key to my success.”

For more information about Maple Hayes Dyslexia School visit:

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Tang Interiors appointed to deliver NHS fit out

Tang Interiors has delivered a high-quality office refurbishment for the NHS in Wiltshire.

The project was part of a scheme to relocate NHS England’s office base in Chippenham to Jenner House, and was led by NHS Property Services (NHSPS).

Savills Building and Project Consultancy team was appointed to project manage the refurbishment of the 1,200m2 space, while Tang Interiors was successful in an NHSPS tender process to deliver the fit-out itself.

The refurbishment took 10 weeks to complete, ready for NHS England to relocate to the bright, modern environment in the summer.

The 1,200m2 space at Langley Park was stripped out by Tang Interiors and fitted with new glazed offices, an open-plan workspace with breakout area, new air conditioning and contemporary finishing touches, including new flooring throughout.

“We are absolutely delighted to have worked alongside one of the world’s leading property firms and are really proud to have secured our first NHS contract too,” said Graham Ashberry, Senior Contracts Manager for Tang Interiors.

“We have become renowned in the industry for our ability to meet our customers’ requirements without compromise.”

Kate Richardson, Head of the NHSPS National Office Programme, said: “Tang Interiors were professional in their approach and delivered the project against a short timeframe.”

Carl Hubbard, Operations Director for Tang Interiors, added: “It’s become our USP - we promise to always deliver the highest standard of work, even when there are programme limitations or tight timeframes.”

Cundall was appointed as mechanical and electrical consultant.

NHS Property Services brings property and facilities management expertise to thousands of sites across the NHS estate.

For more information about Tang Interiors, visit

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Suzuki Italy select Dunlop for its ultimate track bike, GSX-R1000R Ryuyo

Suzuki has launched the most extreme version of its GSX-R1000R superbike. Building on many years of racing experience with this series, Suzuki Italy selected highly developed components from the leading technical experts in racing for the Ryuyo. For tyres, Suzuki turned to Dunlop.

After extensive testing, Suzuki chose to equip its limited edition track model with Dunlop KR109 front and KR108 rear tyres.  

The Dunlop KR range was developed in real competition, and has been used by winners in the Isle of Man TT and in the FIM Endurance World Championship.  The KR108 was used by the overall winners of last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.  This was a remarkable result for a commercially available tyre in a championship that allows unlimited tyre development.  Its enduring performance, wide temperature operating window and consistency made it the winner’s choice.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000R Ryuyo takes its name from Suzuki’s legendary test track, reputed to be the fastest in the world. The track was designed by Mitsou Ito, the only Japanese winner of the Isle of Man TT, who included many features of the infamous island circuit in his 6.5km test circuit. The track-only superbike has 212cv (210bhp) is based on Suzuki’s project goals of ‘Run, Turn, Stop’. This mantra drove the engineers to focus on acceleration, handling and braking, making tyre traction, stability and grip a crucial factor in achieving the performance goals.

Luca Davide Andreoni, Marketing Manager, Dunlop Motorcycle Europe, said: “We are proud to have been chosen by Suzuki to collaborate on such an ambitious and extreme project. The Ryuyo takes every key element of the GSX-R1000R and turns up the heat. To be chosen as one of the partners is testimony to the performance of the Dunlop KR range. It’s a tyre that can be bought for track days, yet is used by professional teams to win the world’s greatest races. That’s a compelling endorsement”

In addition to the well proven, world championship winning, KR108 rear tyre in 205/60R17 size, the project also marks the OE debut of the new KR109 front tyre (Size: 125/80R17). “This tyre was introduced in the 2018 racing season and has already gained positive feedback from top race riders before being chosen by Suzuki” added Luca.

The KR108, like many Dunlop hypersport tyres, features the innovative NTEC system. This allows riders to lower pressures for track use and optimise the contact patch. It also features Dunlop’s MT Multi-Tread and Heat Control Technology, allowing the rider to push harder and faster for longer track stints. 

The Ryuyo, riding on Dunlop, goes on sale on November 10th and is limited to 20 bikes.



Conference Aston reaffirms its Venues of Excellence credentials

Christine Page (Venues of Excellence), Samantha Brown (Conference Aston) and Paul Bunce (Conference Aston)

Christine Page (Venues of Excellence), Samantha Brown (Conference Aston) and Paul Bunce (Conference Aston)

Conference Aston in Birmingham has renewed its membership of the prestigious Venues of Excellence consortium after meeting the stringent quality criteria.

The accolade means that would-be clients can be assured that the venue - the city centre’s largest residential conferencing venue - offers premium service in conferences, training and events, as well as provides superlative facilities, accommodation and customer care.

Samantha Brown, Head of Conference Aston, said: “We pride ourselves on our reputation for delivering the very best service at every level and we work hard to go the extra mile for clients to ensure they always leave with a wish to return.

“Renewing our membership with Venues of Excellence, an exclusive organisation that is quality-focussed, is particularly important for us as we continue to grow, attracting new clients from across the UK and further afield, as well as retaining our existing clients.

“Birmingham is a thriving city for business events, with an ever growing number of diverse conference and meeting venues, so to be recognised as one of only two other venues in the city that hold the Venues of Excellence status is fantastic.”

Mandy Jennings, executive director at Venues of Excellence, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Conference Aston, central Birmingham's largest residential conferencing venue, back into membership of Venues of Excellence.

“We were very impressed to hear about the team’s focus on the customer and how they have invested in their venues and people, and we believe Conference Aston will be an exceptional venue to join our collection.”

To become a member of Venues of Excellence, venues have to meet and maintain high quality standards across areas such as facilities, staff, service offer, catering, environmental impact, customer support and health, hygiene and safety.

Conference Aston is committed to ensuring the best possible experience for its customers. Earlier this year, it announced it would remove single-use plastic food and drink packaging, while last year it achieved the GreenLeader award after satisfying TripAdvisor, the travel review company, that it works consistently to reduce its carbon footprint, to introduce greener facilities and to cut waste.

As part of the exacting process, Conference Aston had to complete a comprehensive survey that focused on energy- and water-saving practices; waste processes; purchasing processes; the site; and innovation and education.

For more information about Conference Aston, visit

For details about Venues of Excellence, visit

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Dunlop SportSmart TT wins Fast Bikes ‘blind’ test

First of six leading hypersport tyres in a ‘blind’ tyre test

  • “Dunlop were the clear winners”

  • Second test accolade for SportSmart TT this summer.

UK motorcycle magazine, Fast Bikes, has named the Dunlop SportSmart TT as the clear winner in a blind track test of six of the latest hypersport tyres. 

Riding a 2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M, Fast Bikes’ Mike Booth evaluated the feel, stability and outright grip of each of the tyres.  The magazine conducted the test on the gruelling Cadwell Park circuit, famed as the UK’s ‘mini-Nurburgring’ due to its combination of elevation changes and blind, adverse-camber corners. This makes the 3.5km circuit one of the most demanding on the British Superbike calendar and the perfect place to test tyres. 

The test was a ‘blind’ format. Booth did not know which tyres had been fitted to the Yamaha for each stint and didn’t get the opportunity to see the sidewall or tread pattern when getting on to the bike. This made for a fair and neutral test as the rider did not have any preconceptions of each tyre.

Booth noted the high performance of the Dunlop SportSmart TT, commenting: “The front always felt mega-planted, so much so that it gave me the confidence to brake harder and trail the brakes right into the turns”.

Performing well against more track-biased tyres, the SportSmart TT demonstrated its exceptional performance through cornering, providing the confidence for riders to push to the maximum. Fast Bikes added:  “They may be a road tyre, but they were the road tyre that felt the closest to a race tyre”.

Booth was glowing in his feedback: “The Dunlops were the clear winners of this test. I didn’t know what tyres they were when lapping on them, but I knew straight away that they were going to be up there. They were the fourth set I tested but nothing that came before or after could match them”. 

Luca Davide Andreoni, Dunlop Motorcycle Europe Marketing Manager, said: “This feedback perfectly summarises the positioning and purpose of the Dunlop SportSmart TT.  It is the latest tyre in our hypersport range, offering a road tyre that’s ready for the track. It sits between the SportSmart2 MAX sports road tyre and the racing-orientated Dunlop GP Racer D212  tyres, with our D213 GP Pro being the ultimate racing tyre for competitive events that require a treaded tyre. Significantly, all of these tyres were launched in the last two years, proving that Dunlop has the most up-to-date  hypersport portfolio on the market”.

The Fast Bikes test win is the second major accolade for SportSmart TT this summer. It was rated as ‘Best handling tyre’ in the German magazine ‘PS’ on their dry track test. With 28 out of 30 points, PS testers declared the SportSmart TT as being the best in handling: “Thanks to the sharp contour of the front tyre, the Dunlops stand out in the corners without tipping or any  hint of nervousness”.

The Dunlop SportSmart TT performance is achieved through a combination of race-derived technologies. Dunlop’s NTEC RT technology allows the rear pressure to be lowered for track use, enlarging the contact patch and maximizing grip. A unique feature of the SportSmart TT is the Speed Vent Tread. The intricately calculated tread groove pattern opens and closes when the tyre turns to create a vent-like effect to improve heat dissipation.


Test Details:

Fast Bikes Magazine, September 2018 edition. Rider: Mike Booth. Bike: Yamaha YZF-R1M. Tyres tested: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II, Metzeler Sportec M7RR, Bridgestone S21, Dunlop SportSmart TT, Michelin Power RS. Manufacturer recommended tyre pressures. Location: Cadwell Park, UK. Conditions: Dry.

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BMW Motorsport and Dunlop extend Cup partnership

• The BMW M235i Racing Cup becomes the BMW M240i Racing Cup
• Dunlop racing tires designed for wide range of conditions and driver experience

BMW Motorsport and Dunlop have extended their long-established partnership in the VLN Endurance Championship for at least another two years. Dunlop will continue to equip all BMW Cup-class cars in the VLN races. These races are run at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Dunlop will also supply its 265/660 R18 racing tires for the circuit’s 24-hour race.

Since 2014,  BMW M235i Racing Cup has been one of the best subscribed and most competitive classes in the VLN.  For 2019, the category gets a facelift with an ‘Evo’ package upgrading the cars to BMW M240i Racing Cup specification.

"We are pleased that the successful and enduring partnership with BMW Motorsport continues on the world’s longest and toughest racetrack" says Alexander Kühn, Product Manager Dunlop Motorsport EMEA. "For years, the BMW Cup class has invariably offered high-class motorsport and thrilling battles. This Dunlop tire was tuned for the BMW on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, so that it provides confidence to motorsport beginners as well as experienced drivers.”

BMW Motorsport has been offering a cost-effective entry-level model for the past five years with the BMW M235i Racing Cup and an attractive competitive environment with its own Cup class. "We are pleased to continue the good and extremely successful cooperation with our tire partner Dunlop and the VLN for another two years," says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. "With this contract extension, we make another clear commitment to customer sports. The BMW M235i Racing was a great success right from the start as a standard-fit, affordable model for motorsport. With the introduction of the BMW M240i Racing Evo package from the 2019 season, we are responding to strong customer demand. I am pleased that we can now offer our customer teams and also our partners the confidence to plan for two more years and reward them for their loyalty. "

Dunlop has an unparalleled record in endurance racing. Chosen by champions in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and VLN, Dunlop also have supplied more Le Mans 24 hours winners than any other tire brand.

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