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RA1 / R888


Chuck T.

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No, this is not an April fools joke

 

Posted Apr 01, 2009

 

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) announced today that rules in all spec tire classes will be changed effective immediately to allow the use of the both the Toyo R888 or the Toyo Proxes RA-1 until the end of the 2009 season. This change is being made in partnership with Toyo to better allow racers to use up remaining RA-1's they had on hand and ease the transition to the new R888 without racers having to replace tires before the end of their useful life. Rule updates will be completed shortly and posted to the main http://www.nasaproracing.com site.

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944-SPEC STANDY BY FOR MORE INFORMATION ! Unlike other classes we changed tires LAST YEAR . Most Drivers have fully made the switch to R888's .

 

 

STAND BY FOR MORE INFO . DO NOT ORDER NEW RA1 TIRES.

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Karl Zimmermann

If the 944 guys have as many problems as the Spec Miata guys with the R888, you will be glad to have the choice. The R888 also seems to wear much faster.

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Sterling Doc

I called Frisby and Phil's. RA-1 production ceased August of last year. Phil has 3 RA-1's in stock, may be able to get a few more. Frisby's has none, Eric @ Frisby's says there are 40 left in LA. There are not many RA-1's left. This is not a long term solution, unfortunately. If one or two guys show up with RA-1's, and the rest are left out, that's not a great situation. Stay tuned...

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Karl Zimmermann

Eric and Chuck and Joe and....

 

Great chance to allow another tire? Look at the Nitto NT01. Supposed to be the same as the RA1 with a different tread pattern. Choices are 205/50 or 225/45. No 225/50 but you know how I feel about the 225 on the 7 inch rim.

 

It's also quite a bit cheaper.

 

There is more to it than...."to better allow racers to use up remaining RA-1's they had on hand." Too many racers are struggling with the tire.

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There is more to it than...."to better allow racers to use up remaining RA-1's they had on hand." Too many racers are struggling with the tire.

 

Karl,

 

This appears correct as well. Some of the reasoning is to help folks running around with their hair on fire trying to figure out how to work with the 888.

 

I am redesigning the suspension on our car to work with the 888, I am happy for a little more time to bounce back and forth to develop it to be just as fast or faster.

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I just bought a brand new set of RA1's last week. I was told that both 225/50 and 225/45 were in stock... I chose the 45 as it is also cheaper. The R888's are also stocked but were like $15/tire more.

 

Obviously I don't have the spec tire restriction here... and I'd rather have RA1 for the rain performance.

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chris_venturini

here's a shortened version of a letter I wrote regarding this, in a nutshell spec class does not mean 2 different tires. NASA committed us to the 888 and its just not right to change that right now.

 

last year we, 944 spec, got the word from NASA and Toyo that RA-1s are out and R888s will be the new spec tire.The 09 season is here and NASA has suddenly change their minds?! The problem is that nearly every spec class has found that the RA-1s are faster. This does not equalize the field and is contrary to the intention of spec. Spec is supposed to be equal, different tires have no place in a spec class. Some people may argue to just buy RA-1s, what about those many people, like me, that have already bought R888s? I am a budget racer and cant afford to buy tires just like that. This season the RM region will have 30-40 944 spec racers, I dont doubt for a second that the more money-abled racers will be buying RA-1s and replacing them throughout. I would prefer to continue to be competitive, on a budget. Us 944 racers were given warning and had all of the 08 season to burn our RA-1s off. Either reimburse us for our 888s, give us RA-1s or dont change the rules at the last second, the answer seems pretty obvious at this point.

Will the RA-1s be allowed at nationals as well?!

 

With all due respect, bad move NASA.

 

Chris Venturini #2 944 spec racer, NASA instructor

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I wish this were an April Fools joke. It wouldn't be funny at all, but at least then I wouldn't have to be pissed off about this.

 

They forced R888's on us in 2008... we didn't like it, and it cost us more money and aggravation, but we did it because we were told that this was the new spec tire and that everyone would be on R888's soon. Most everyone changed their car setup and driving for the R888's over the season, and we've all bought our tires for the 2009 season. Most still don't like R888's and want RA-1's back, myself included, but we have already committed to R888's for this season, so the timing of this RA-1 allowance is bullshit. We already spent all kinds of money on R888's for this season, and RA-1's aren't the easiest thing to come by these days... at this point, most people cannot find and/or cannot afford to be buying RA-1's for this season. This gives an obvious advantage to people who just want to race with their bank accounts or other non-driver resources, and that is clearly not what this class is supposed to be about.

 

The whole point of a spec tire is to keep tire costs under control and to keep the playing field level. The RA-1 was an excellent spec tire, but allowing it in classes where everyone has already bought inferior R888's because it's the "spec" tire is incredibly ridiculous and unfair, to say the least. This has blown up all over other forums as well, and now people are desperately trying to get their hands on RA-1's for Nationals. This makes me far less enthusiastic about going to Nationals this year, and far less enthusiastic about NASA in general.

 

So, I fully support our 944-Spec directors and anyone else who wants to ignore this nonsense and mandate that every 944-Spec runs on R888's in 2009. I'd much rather all of us be on R888's, even if they suck, than to destroy the class by giving an unfair advantage to whomever can get their hands on fresh RA-1's.

 

Why does NASA National keep trying to run us off? Do they not want our money?

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Guys...

 

Yes, the timing sucks. Yes, the RA-1 seems to be a better tire for our series. But let's not get too wrapped around the axle about this. We [the RM region] are all going to run the R888 this season. We've all bought the tires so that's what we'll use. If we run all the events this year than we'll need a new set of 888's for Nationals, just as we would if we had RA-1's. Will the possibility exist that a competitor will show up with perfect RA-1's for Nationals? Absolutely. Is it possible that your competitor(s) will buy new 888's mid-season? Sure, why not.

 

I'm not totally convinced that a driver with good R888's will get stomped by the RA-1. Also keep in mind we still have an entire season to learn how to get faster with these tires.

 

So get back in the garage & get ready for our season opener next month!!!!

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I'm not worried about this in our own region, since we already all have R888's and I don't expect any serious local competition to switch to RA-1's. The problem is two things: 1) Nationals is now a clusterfuck with two tires for a "spec" class, and 2) the whole principal of NASA pulling the rug out from under us and penalizing us for planning around their rules that clearly said that R888's are the one and only spec tire this season.

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We the series directors will figure out a plan for Nationals ! I do not recomend any "SPEC" drivers buying RA-1's in hopes of having an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE at Nationals . !

 

What was that other 944 series that ran on different tires ??? We can make it even with weight and chips and headers and 17" wheels and , and , and

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Guys...

 

Yes, the timing sucks. Yes, the RA-1 seems to be a better tire for our series. But let's not get too wrapped around the axle about this. We [the RM region] are all going to run the R888 this season. We've all bought the tires so that's what we'll use. If we run all the events this year than we'll need a new set of 888's for Nationals, just as we would if we had RA-1's. Will the possibility exist that a competitor will show up with perfect RA-1's for Nationals? Absolutely. Is it possible that your competitor(s) will buy new 888's mid-season? Sure, why not.

 

I'm not totally convinced that a driver with good R888's will get stomped by the RA-1. Also keep in mind we still have an entire season to learn how to get faster with these tires.

 

So get back in the garage & get ready for our season opener next month!!!!

 

Good call Dave!!! This is an either or and you can choose to stay on the 888. Everyone in 944Spec needs to just be honest and only use the 888s. Sure someone can show up at Nationals with a bunch of RA1s that you've stockpiled, but I thought this class was about having fun and EQUAL competition without spending a bunch of $$$. If everybody agrees to stay on 888s (like here in RM), then what kind of hollow win would you get if you showed at Nationals on RA1s and took the top spot ???

 

This is your class!!!! If you all agree to stay on the 888 as you have all planned, this change does not affect you.

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944-Spec#94
Guys...

 

Yes, the timing sucks. Yes, the RA-1 seems to be a better tire for our series. But let's not get too wrapped around the axle about this.

 

I agree

 

 

...I'm not totally convinced that a driver with good R888's will get stomped by the RA-1. Also keep in mind we still have an entire season to learn how to get faster with these tires.

 

Yep... In our (Az) experience the RA-1 is not clearly faster. The RA-1 is at its peak of development in our cars. The R888 is probalby not there yet. So which is faster in 1 race if you plan to optimize for it? Frankly I am not sure. I do know which tire has a longer usable life and is cheaper to run without giving up lap time.

 

Also consider this for a moment.

 

National = 4 Days Minimum

Day 1 Test day = 4 heat cycles

Day 2 Race 1 = 3 heat cycle (1 prac, 1 qual, 1 race)

Day 3 Race 2 = 3 heat cycle (1 prac, 1 qual, 1 race)

Day 4 Feature = 2 heat cycle (1 prac, 1 race)

 

So total = 12 Heat Cycles just for National without supersizing. So consider that and the R888 life when you think about planning tires for that event.

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Racers ,

We (myself, the local series directors and NASA) are working to figure out what to do with our SPEC class at Nationals. For the regional events contact your local series directors.

 

For now MidWest and Rocky Mountain Region are only allowed to use R888's in 944-spec .

 

For Nationals we need to see if the RA-1 is in supply or out . We can not allow some drivers to have a tire that others can not get. As soon as we can figure out how many RA-1's are out there and where we are going in 2010 then we can make a plan.

 

For now do not plan on racing on RA-1's at Nationals in 944-spec.

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Well, this is certainly an interesting development. I will weigh in on this as well.

 

I believe the RA1 is a better, longer lasting tire.

 

I believe we should all race on 888's this year.

 

I believe a spec series MUST race on the same tire - period.

 

I believe we should all encourage our series directors to stand up and force the issue for our class to stay on 888's for the entire year.

 

I believe that the drivers (and not NASA) should have a MAJOR say in what tire is used next year for 944 Spec.

 

By the way, who ownes the 944 Spec rules and rights? Joe, can you enlighten us? As I understand it, 944 Cup is owned by someone other than NASA and can chose to race with NASA and other groups (as the BMW club and others do with NASA). If NASA keeps doing dumb things, we may want to think about going the 944 Cup route.

 

Big Dog

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I believe the RA1 is a better, longer lasting tire.

 

I believe we should all race on 888's this year.

 

I believe a spec series MUST race on the same tire - period.

 

I believe we should all encourage our series directors to stand up and force the issue for our class to stay on 888's for the entire year.

 

I believe that the drivers (and not NASA) should have a MAJOR say in what tire is used next year for 944 Spec.

 

By the way, who ownes the 944 Spec rules and rights? Joe, can you enlighten us? As I understand it, 944 Cup is owned by someone other than NASA and can chose to race with NASA and other groups (as the BMW club and others do with NASA). If NASA keeps doing dumb things, we may want to think about going the 944 Cup route.

 

Big Dog

 

944-SPEC is owned by NASA . SP1 is PCA, and Spec-944 is SCCA National had all of there racers at heart when they made this rule change. The change is something all of us wanted because "The RA1 is a better longer lasting tire" but we as a group did not want to change mid season with no notice. SE30 and 944-spec made the full change last year that made us different from SM,CMC ,and AI . Mother NASA will take care of us .

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Sterling Doc

I would echo Chucks comments. Intent at the National level was good, but timing was poor and there were unintended consequences. This affected our class differently because we had aready made the rule change to R-888's last year.

 

In the Midwest, and Rocky Mountain Regions, at least, we're "pot commited" (to use poker terms) to using the R-888 this year by the large group buys of R-888's already, and the limited availability of the RA-1. I agree with "Big Dog" Jim that because of this and the need to stay with one tire in a Spec class, we will stay with the R-888 this year, even though the RA-1 suits us better. It has been posted by reliable sources that the molds for the RA-1 are gone, and that it has been out of production since August. We will take a good hard look at tires for next year, and right now, all options are on the table. We are in close contact now with NASA National, but it'll be a few months before we can decide on future plans. For now, this is where we're at.

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Thanks directors for taking care of us and preserving the essence of our class!

 

I'll second that! I also agree with Big Dog's thoughts on these tires.

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Just to add some thoughts to this issue the POC has been on both tires this year for the transition. Both tires have run up front and won. Fields have averaged about 10 cars for the first 4 races.

It does require a different setup for the R888. And that does make it worse if you want to use both tires.

 

As long as we know what the rules are before getting to Miller we can make it work. I prefer the one tire rule for this situation but having both in the POC has worked so far.

 

BTW we are 944 Spec+ in the POC. NASA did not want us to be the same name. Besides we allow chips and headers (I don't have them) just to be different.

 

Charlie

#999

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Sterling Doc
Just to add some thoughts to this issue the POC has been on both tires this year for the transition. Both tires have run up front and won. Fields have averaged about 10 cars for the first 4 races.

It does require a different setup for the R888. And that does make it worse if you want to use both tires. ....

 

Charlie

#999

 

Thanks for the perspective. So far we're looking at 2-4 more PSI, and maybe 1/4 degree less camber for the R-888 vs. the RA-1. Is that the experience in the POC?

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Just to add some thoughts to this issue the POC has been on both tires this year for the transition. Both tires have run up front and won. Fields have averaged about 10 cars for the first 4 races.

It does require a different setup for the R888. And that does make it worse if you want to use both tires. ....

 

Charlie

#999

 

Thanks for the perspective. So far we're looking at 2-4 more PSI, and maybe 1/4 degree less camber for the R-888 vs. the RA-1. Is that the experience in the POC?

 

Definitely the right direction from all accounts I've seen. Also, you can NOT drive the 888 with a 20 degree plus slip angle. The carcass is based on a racing tire design whereas the RA1 was based on a street car radial. You will kill your tires if you drive them like street based tires. If the car isn't turning, don't keep sliding the tire. These are "race" cars, not farm vehicles.

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