New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

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Steve Ekstrand
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Steve Ekstrand » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:14 pm

OEM shocks.... Cheap on some cars. Not so cheap or even available on others.

OEM tires? Wow.... That can get really pricey and higher end cars might be run flats.

People ask me all the time why I don't run a GT3 or a Viper or something. Why do I drive my little shitbox. Because tires are so easy. They are cheap. They last across 3 or even 4 drivers. And they are light to handle and put in my overhead tire racks. The car is also fun to drive, appropriate for an autocross, easy to trailer, and cheap enough I can always prep at or near the limits of the ruleset.
Last edited by Steve Ekstrand on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Adam Tarnoff » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:37 pm

Racing isn't cheap, but this is probably the least expensive form of racing one can get into. The tire rules seem fine for now.
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Jeffear » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:42 pm

Sorry, I have to add another post just to respond to the last couple of posts.

Having a dedicated autocross car may be cost effective for some but for others adding a another car to the household fleet just doesn't work. There are many valid reasons for this. I tried it last year with a Miata NC and then a NA and it didn't work for me. When you add a trailer and a tow vehicle the cost and complexity skyrockets. For some people driving their grocery-getter is their best or only option. Brian and Cathy Strover are a great example. They enter most of our Sunday events in their 4 door, Chevrolet SS and post ridiculously fast times in FS. This is a 2 ton car and Brian and Cathy share driving chores with their 2 teenage daughters in the back seat. They are a joy and I would love to see more families like the Strovers join our ranks. Making autocrossing accessible is to make it as simple and inexpensive as possible.

And remember I am only making suggestions for the Stock/Street tires class. Other classes seem better suited for the die hard autocross competitor/engineer that wants to perfect his/her car without restricitions.

Yes, auto racing is expensive but is that a reason to give up on efforts to reduce costs. The latest issue of Road and Track has an interesting article on Spec Miata and it's success. Spec Miata succeeded because it offered the least expensive way to go racing. The author and the comments of several of the people interviewed suggest that Spec Miata saved both the SCCA and NASA from folding during the economic crisis. So reducing costs is fundamental to the success (and perhaps even the survival) of the SCCA and with it, our sport. Serious stuff.
Last edited by Jeffear on Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Adam Tarnoff » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:14 pm

It's not just a minute of track time. It's a whole weekend of shooting the sh#$ with some of the coolest people I've ever met.
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Steve Ekstrand » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:18 pm

I can't figure out what you're arguing for?

I had great fun taking my Dakota truck out in 2000 to run on M&S rated OEM Wranglers.

I had more fun winning a trophy in my shitbox at the Pro.

Both were fun.

I can't figure out what is so broke and what you're suggested fixes are or what they would help. Lot of typing. Hasn't gotten me anyplace.

There are an infinite combination of vehicles, preps, and drivers. Each combination cannot be equally successful by every criteria.

Plenty of Street class drivers travel to events in grocery getter cars and win nationally with very economical mods. But they pick their cars well. Right now Ford Fiesta ST in HS, Focus ST in GS, FRS/BRZ in CS and WRX in DS look like easy new car picks. Budget a reasonable amount for shock upgrades, a bar, exhaust, alignment, 2nd set of wheels and add a great driver for a National Championship. The recipes are becoming very well known. All can drive to events and still be a daily driver. What exactly is broken?
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Steve Ekstrand » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:18 pm

Cole Stock?
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Anthony Porta » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:48 am

I would like to add that some of the suggestions also include unintended consequences. Some cars respond better than others with camber plates for exapmle. That would require them to be re-evaluated and re-classed. As KJ posted the process that has been happening over the last few years has taken its toll. However you can make each of your issues heard here... http://www.crbscca.com/. Write a letter.

When looking at the cost of tires. Several cost conscious street competitors have a set of wheels with their "race" tires. It allows them to have competitive rubber all year plus some room for practices all on one set of tires without having a second car.

As far as what is possible when people with big money, open their wallets they can and do spend way more than it takes to win. You could have a custom titanium exhaust made for example. or a full data logging system.
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Craig Naylor » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:31 am

AX can be done rather successfully on a budget. Many of us use daily drivers.

My tire & event entry budget (until last year), was always the cash I received from Christmas & birthdays. Nothing more, had to make it stretch. Wife did not support the idea for using family funds for my hobby.

I started in '97 in a '91 Geo Prizm (Auto) I purchased new when I graduated from college. Ran my first year on OEM replacement tires, and shredded them. But moved into the lower end of trophies on them. Purchased a 2nd set of VERY heavy rims (21lbs each, 14x5.5) and bought someone else's season old, heat cycled, out Kuhmo Victoracers... and scavenged a 1/2 season out of them. This got me winning events. Then I bought two NEW tires, and put them on the front wheels, and drug the old tires around on the back of the car for the rest of the season. Pulled a class season win out of that. For the next 3 years, I bought 2 new tires per year, mounted them on the front, and moved the prior seasons tires to the rear of the car. With this setup, I continued to win my local class. When the 2 yrs old tires gave up the ghost early, black shoe polish could no longer hide the exposed belts at events, and no one had heat cycled out take-off's to bum, the street tires went back on the rear instead.

In '01 I moved into my wife's daily driver, a '91 Integra, a ten year old car also bought new when she was in college. I continued for a year on the old rims, before buying a set of lighter rims (17lbs) from someone else who was leaving my class. I also bought 5yr old Tokico take off shocks the second season, the first time I made ANY change to an otherwise Factory car. I continued for another 3 yrs with the 2 new tire per year plan. This brought several Tour & Pro wins.

In '04 I moved to LA, and for the first time ever in '05 I bought 4 new tires. Those DAMNED Mini's were winning, and I wanted a chance to compete again. It wasn't to be. In '06 became a car slut for a few years, bumming rides in class members rides off and on, while also using the class uncompetitive Integra until '10

In Nov of '09, after 13 yrs... purchased what was to be a dedicated Ax / & part time spare car. Had a $2500 budget. Found a non-running '95 Miata, and had it at the SD tour the following March in STS for $25 over budget. Managed a trophy finish. In '11 it was put into full time commuter status, as the Integra was totaled. Served dual purpose until last spring. While the car is not Nationally competitive, until the infusion of the Civics into the new class this year... I could trophy in it locally.

Winning on an extreme budget can be done in daily drivers. Whining about tires... IMHO background noise. I ran for years on others used up tires. Where there is a will there is a way.

For an even better story of racing on a budget, read my friend (and a local So Cal Solo competitor for many years) James Wilson story in the current issue of Sports car.

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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Steve Ekstrand » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:09 pm

I went tire shopping for Jeff and man, I didn't realize how bad 19's were. 275-35-19's for FStreet from what I gathered watching Chris Cox and his mustang.

Total cost with shipping, tax, mounting is an easy $1600 a set. I would doubt a beast like the Mustang is that tire friendly on wear.

Ouch.

Just ouch.

And no way I could lift those into overhead racks!
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Re: New Street tires detrimental to the sport?

Postby Max Hayter » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:11 pm

FS Mustangs actually get about -2.5 front camber, but still... not my choice for cheap racing :)


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