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Can you win on street tires?


Grant
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While I'm mostly curious about TTC with a S2000 or 240SX, this is a general question. The difference between an A6 and a R-S3 is 11 points (at least in 2013 - not sure if this is changing).

 

There are two main reasons myself and my friends race with a crapcan series and not NASA. One is CC's ease of licensing ("you have a pulse? ok, here's your license!"), and the other is the perceived requirement to run race tires to compete. The ease of licensing obviously cuts both ways - you pay for it in the long run with more frequent contact. However running race tires about doubles our hourly costs to run the car, increases the maintenance work we have to do (brakes, wheel bearings, tire changes) and once resulted in a scary suspension mounting point failure. I've never driven on A6s but I'd imagine they'd be considerably more expensive than the average DOT R-comp.

 

I realize of course Hoosiers can be won (how much does this mitigate costs for most people?) and street tires must be shaved for optimal performance. Still NASA is s tough sell unless its feasible to win on something like a Hankook R-S3. So, is it?

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So, is it?

 

There will always be those events where no one shows up so it is possible but no, you will most-likely not win very often on street tires. NASA TT is a very competitive environment and in most all classes folks are getting all they can, which usually = A6. Plus, as you said contingency plays a big role. If there are 3-4 front runners that regularly win tires chances are they will be on said tires and there just isn't that much room to gain strictly with driving skill....based on said competition and the quality of a lot of drivers in our organization. You just have to pony up and buy a set of stickers and start winning...that's all.

 

They aren't going to work for any of the w2w classes, either...I don't believe.

 

Not a cheap hobby any way you slice it. More-so if you want to do more than just drive around all day (read: win).

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Well, damn.

 

Although, looking at RA records... In our TTC-ish ChumpCar I ran an ideal lap of a 1:40.2, with 205whp, a 2,750 race weight and 265 star specs. The NASA TTC record there is a 1:38.2. Our car could definitely have not run a 38 as it sat, though with 11 points worth of work? It'd seem within the realm of possibility, especially with full aero. On the other hand its hard to imagine 11 points of aero making up the difference between A6s and R-S3s, if A6s are as sticky as some full slicks like everyone says (I've run R80 and Michelin scrubs - no way are 11 points making up for Michelin grip).

 

Has anyone actually tried to campaign a car on street tires?

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Depends on the competitiveness of the class. I think in several regions it's certainly possible in some classes. I think every region has at least a couple of classes where it's possible. But it's not possible in all regions in all classes. You may be able to find one with good attendance, but low development (lots of bone stock or barely modded cars) or driver tt experience.

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It sounds to me like the rules just favor race tires (especially A6s?) over street tires with more points spent elsewhere. Would the same be true of the PT classes, where the tires obviously have to support more continuous hard driving?

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The fast street tires I've been around will do better in TT than PT/ST. YMMV.
We don't experience that with Star Specs or R-S3s unless its really hot, but do with Dunlop Z2s. I'm unsure on Rivals, but all signs point to them liking heat. I've definitely never destroyed a decent street tire with heat like I have C51 or C71 Hankooks.
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It sounds to me like the rules just favor race tires (especially A6s?) over street tires with more points spent elsewhere.

 

I disagree, both for TT and PT. Like everything else in TT/PT, it just depends how wisely you use your points. I don't plan to buy a set of hoosiers in 2014 for my TTE/PTE miata. The current crop of street tires is just awesome.

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It sounds to me like the rules just favor race tires (especially A6s?) over street tires with more points spent elsewhere.

 

GRIP vs. POWER. Your call on how you spend the points, no bias!

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.

 

Has anyone actually tried to campaign a car on street tires?

 

 

John Kozlow is running an E36 M3 in D in the southeast and doing pretty well. I think he is running a +2 tire.

 

I think street tires can be competitive when you are using your lack of points to stay close to your base class. Your question can be summed up by rephrasing the old saying you can have it good, fast or cheap; pick 2. In the case of TT rules you can say:

 

Pick 2 of these

- Very competitive chassis

- Close to the P/W limit

- Sticky tires

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^ I am one of two officials using this approach for an E36 M3 sedan battle in TTD next year. I am going to finish off these Star Specs then get Z2's (had bad luck with Rivals for track use on another car, will share details privately.) With any luck, either or both of us will be somewhat competitive. Because neither of us can afford a TTC prep of these cars, despite our extreme desire to smoke that excellent "purple crack"

 

The ease of licensing obviously cuts both ways - you pay for it in the long run with more frequent contact.

 

Just because someone will take your money and let you do something dangerous with basically no training or experience... doesn't mean you should.

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Ok, so it sounds like this point is up for debate! This is great news to me; maybe I'll give a street-tired car a shot.

 

^ I am one of two officials using this approach for an E36 M3 sedan battle in TTD next year. I am going to finish off these Star Specs then get Z2's (had bad luck with Rivals for track use on another car, will share details privately.) With any luck, either or both of us will be somewhat competitive. Because neither of us can afford a TTC prep of these cars, despite our extreme desire to smoke that excellent "purple crack"
I've yet to turn as fast of a lap on 255/40/17 Z2s as I had 265/40/17 Star Specs (same day, same car, same driver), though it might be possible in cooler weather or on a track with a lot of straights. The Z2s definitely don't deal with heat as well. It seems to me that either the Rival or the R-S3 is going to be the fastest street tire, though the R-S3s definitely get slower with age.

 

Just because someone will take your money and let you do something dangerous with basically no training or experience... doesn't mean you should.
There are upsides and downsides. The only time I've had issue with the series' safety was during a tropical storm at Daytona, though I wonder how their insurer is going to feel as the series keeps getting faster.
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My crapcan experiences have been among the least fun stints I've ever had on track due to all the slow traffic, offline drivers with little car control and less situational awareness, huge speed differentials especially in blind corners, getting hit while lapping people who had no idea I was passing 'em again, etc. In my opinion you'll learn more, have more fun, be safer, and have much better competition when you surround yourself instead with the trained/experienced participants and staff that NASA events provide. But that's another discussion entirely.

 

Back on topic... like I said, we had problems with Rivals on another car (same car/drivers/track had no problems with Star Specs or RS3's), and we aren't the only ones. I guess they just don't suit my sometimes overly abusive driving style, lol. But Star Specs definitely do, so I'm hoping the Z2 will also. More importantly I'm hoping to show that the E36 M3 can indeed be competitive in TTD on street tires. Guess we'll find out next year

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Given the cost of Rivals over R-S3s (especially when the greater tread depth of R-S3s is taken into account), I won't be buying any unless some scientific tests show them to be significantly better. I also won't be buying a set of Z2s - I'm pretty sure R-S3s are quicker, at least in the sort of weather we have in FL.

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Given the cost of Rivals over R-S3s (especially when the greater tread depth of R-S3s is taken into account), I won't be buying any unless some scientific tests show them to be significantly better. I also won't be buying a set of Z2s - I'm pretty sure R-S3s are quicker, at least in the sort of weather we have in FL.

No matter what tire you buy you should be shaving it to 4/32nds...so depth should not be a factor.

 

Why? I've seen back-to-back tests of an unshaved and shaved Z1 on an E36. 1.1+ seconds on a 1.6 mile roval.

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More importantly I'm hoping to show that the E36 M3 can indeed be competitive in TTD on street tires. Guess we'll find out next year

 

I hope you can. I think TTD is going to be a freakshow in the SE/FL/MA regions in '14 with Powell and Koz going at it as well as the few frs/brz's in dev. Would be great to see an e36 on streets be competitive...

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No matter what tire you buy you should be shaving it to 4/32nds...so depth should not be a factor.

 

Why? I've seen back-to-back tests of an unshaved and shaved Z1 on an E36. 1.1+ seconds on a 1.6 mile roval.

Were temps taking on each tire? I wonder what the difference is - if any - if the conditions are good enough to prevent the full-tread tire from overheating. I've never observed a tire get faster as it wears unless it was overheating at a fuller tread depth (e.g. a RA1 most anywhere, or XSs and R-S3s on a very tight track in the summer). I could see it making a difference in an autocross scenario where tread flex affects transitional response, though obviously my own data does not correct for the age and cycles on the rubber.
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... More importantly I'm hoping to show that the E36 M3 can indeed be competitive in TTD on street tires. Guess we'll find out next year

Makes me want to get the Miata dusted off and back on the track.

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... More importantly I'm hoping to show that the E36 M3 can indeed be competitive in TTD on street tires. Guess we'll find out next year

Makes me want to get the Miata dusted off and back on the track.

 

Sounds like TTD in FL might be getting a little bigger. I will prolly stay in TTE through nationals and then upgrade to TTD

 

 

Peter

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I realize of course Hoosiers can be won (how much does this mitigate costs for most people?) and street tires must be shaved for optimal performance. Still NASA is s tough sell unless its feasible to win on something like a Hankook R-S3. So, is it?

 

 

In one word, NO, points can give a second or two, A6's can give you 3-5 seconds

Hoosier contingency is awesome. I haven't bought a tire in 5 years

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In one word, NO, points can give a second or two, A6's can give you 3-5 seconds

Hoosier contingency is awesome. I haven't bought a tire in 5 years

Wow. Surely your average driver must purchase a good number of tires? Hoosier isn't a charity after all, and they've been doing this contingency thing long enough to know whether or not its a loser for them.
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