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Dave Whitelaw

Nasa's Tire Ruling

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Dave Whitelaw

I have just experienced a troubling situation concerning the tire issue with Nasa and Toyo and feel that everyone involved should know what is going on. I heard from Tony that they are going to allow the RA1 and the R888 for Nationals and for the rest of the year. I think the majority of us know that the R888 is a quicker wearing, more expensive and slower tire than the RA1. I have heard from several CMC and A/I racers that after testing both tires, the R888 is indeed slower after 4-5 laps. I had email and phone conversations with Jerry Kunzman at Nasa today and was very disappointed with the results. I asked Jerry to understand the current situation and try to come to a fair conclusion to this issue. His response was very disturbing, as he simply stated that the 'rules are the rules,' and if I didn't like it, he would "pay my entry fee to another racing series." Not only did this show me that he did not care about his members but also that he is not willing to come to a fair decision on this issue, as he did indeed agree that the R888 is not as good as the RA1.

 

As it stands now, the issue is that Nasa is going to allow both tires to run at Nationals. For our team, personally, this was the most important race of the year and the reason we were racing this season. As does everyone, we have a budget, and most of us are not willing to spend another 1k to buy a set of RA1's to be competitive. The second issue is locating enough RA1's to supply everyone who needs them. According to Ryan Flaherty, he found out that Toyo's last released 145 RA1's in May, the last release of this kind. There are probably a select number still available, but surely not enough for a full event requiring this tire size. Simple math tells us that this is only 36 sets, and in my opinion, you need two sets per car for the week at Nationals, which means only 17 cars would be outfitted with the RA1's at Nationals and I know that the majority have already been purchased. I have no idea how many are available for CMC. Additionally, Ryan said that he has tested the two tires and that they are almost the exact same speed but I have heard nothing but the opposite from every CMC member; and apparently, Nasa tested the tires on a Honda Civic, a vehicle of almost 1000 less weight -- something that would have no bearing on our class. It my personal experience after trying Toyo's recommended tire pressures that the tire is 1-2 seconds a lap slower than the RA1.

 

I asked Jerry what we should do in this situation, and I suggested two fair options: 1) that Toyo buy the tires back or exchange them for RA1's; or 2) that we run the most available spec tire at Nationals which is the R888. Jerry was unresponsive to either suggestion. There is obviously a serious lack of communication between Nasa and its members, or all of us would not have been put us in this position.

Neither Jerry or Ryan would respond to my last suggestion concerning this topic. I suggested that we only allow the R888 at Nationals for a few reasons. If the R888 is the tire of the future, then there should be no difficulty with people owning RA1's to buy a set or two of R888, if needed for Nationals, due to the fact that they will be used up by the end of the week and they are easily available. This will put everyone on the same tire and provide an even playing-field. This seems like the best option, but I am very disappointed that Nasa has discontinued discussions on the matter. I know that there are many CMC members that will not be able to attend Nationals or possible future events due to this decision.

 

With Nasa deciding to not communicate with the members, splitting the CMC series (Nor Cal/So Cal) and this large tire issue -- all in a bad economy -- I have no confidence that this is going to be a successful partnership between Nasa and its members in the future.

 

I welcome anyone on the forum to call me to discuss this issue in more detail anything, and please let me know if you have any better ideas. PM me for my number.

Thanks David Whitelaw

Edited by Guest

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tacovini

Dave,

Good recap of the painfully obvious.

 

I think the reason you weren't happy with the responses you received is that the NASA folks have heard us all work this issue forward, backward, upward & downward...and then back again. You were likely the 101th caller.

 

Look...NASA is not holding all the cards and shouldn't be blamed for the whole enchilada. There's a black market for RA1's out there right now and they can be had. If they are your tire of choice, go for it. Can't afford them cause you got a stock of 888's....try to sell your 888's and jump to get the tire of choice. Nobody likes this corner we're in...oh...and it extends beyond NASA too. (see SCCA)

 

Bottom line. None of us like having 2 tires at Nationals...1 tire, even if it were a bad one, is better than 2 tires. But Toyo, NASA & the Racers are in this together....and together we'll all work it out eventually. Hopefully next year someone will be able to break the chains that bind them and we'll get back to our principles....low cost, high durability...spec tire.

 

Stay tuned....

 

-=- Todd

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HMark

Warning - the following post is only an opinion.

 

Why are we looking to NASA? CMC has always been a no BS, driver vs driver series. I have both a set of RA1's and 888's and I'm going to Nationals. I am perfectly willing to not bring the RA1s. I don't want another National Championship event to have a stupid asterisk next to it, or to have it debated for the next year on this forum.

If all of the entrants in CMC and CMC2 agree to only use the 888 NASA should honor that. If there are not enough RA1s left for the whole field to purchase a new set our directors should mandate it. Hell, if someone that is going to nationals wants to buy a set of RA1s and can't find any, as a sportsman I will only run 888s.

 

-Don

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brady

but why doesn't everyone who is going agree to run 888s for the final race..

 

Even if you do not use all of them in the race, you still could use them for the next race..

 

Why doesn't everone in CMC agree to do that...is there a downside?

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dtisinger

I have serveral new sets of RA1s... I need to use them up before next year, and I do not own any 888's. I can not afford to spend $2000 for a couple more sets of tires to go to the nationals...just my 2 cents worth.

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Gr8-96GT

Driver vs driver,

 

R888's should be the only tire allowed for cmc for the nats, we should do all we can to remain a driver series, not who can afford the fast tires!!

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brady

derek, if you have all a bunch of RA1s, why dont you sell them to the fellow competitors in your class for the final race at Nats so everyone can be on the same tire at final race..

 

I think as a series, and as a group (and giving the registration is not that large), everyone can work together to assure everyone is on the same tire for the championship race..

 

I am not even running this year, but I would hate to see contoversy around something that we could control before it actually happens..

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dtisinger

I have three new sets of RA1s I bought at the end of last season with my Toyo bucks. I would be glad to sell them if I had enough for everyone. I understand about the level playing field and using the same tires. I just can't afford to spend $2000 for news tires (888s) to go to the nationals this year......I do not have the $$$$ in my racing budget this year. Unfortunatly, this would be a deal breaker for me. Again, I am just one racer, and this is what I am up against.

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CMC#11

I think everyone agrees this Toyo situation has been painful to all in some form or fashion.

My main question is Dave, why are you just now discussing this? We found out on April 1st that the RA1 would be allowed for the remainder of the year and at Nationals. Like Todd said, this has been discussed every way possible.

 

I will not be racing at Nationals but we are way too late on trying to make a gentlemans agreement to run one specific tire at Nationals.

When the announcement came out about the RA1 everyone had a decision to make. Run the 888 even though it is slower and wears faster to be better prepared for 2010 or if it is the only tires said person currently ownes. Or, run the RA1 if you don't want to give a little time away by running the 888.

I would love to see everyone on the same tire at Nationals (888's) but that would put the drivers who have run RA1's all year at an incredible disadvantage.

 

I have run both tires and feel the 888 is about .5 - 1 second a lap slower.

 

All in all, there is nobody that is happy with this situation happening but if we try and change things again this late in the year we are just opening things up for another sh!t storm.

I just hope things are settled for 2010.

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KiMifan
I have three new sets of RA1s I bought at the end of last season with my Toyo bucks.

Why did you do that when all indications as of the end of last season, and even up to April 2009, were that the R888 was going to the required tire for this season? At first there was a two-race moratorium, which was later rescinded, but still, why would you buy three sets of tires that were going to be made obsolete when the new R888 was already available?

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AllZWay
I just hope things are settled for 2010.

 

With a few Toyo bucks in hand... I hope this gets decided very soon.

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mitchntx1548534714
I have three new sets of RA1s I bought at the end of last season with my Toyo bucks.

Why did you do that when all indications as of the end of last season, and even up to April 2009, were that the R888 was going to the required tire for this season? At first there was a two-race moratorium, which was later rescinded, but still, why would you buy three sets of tires that were going to be made obsolete when the new R888 was already available?

 

You have the facts right, just off a little on the timing ...

 

The first announcement about the change to R888s was that ALL of 2009 would be a transition year ... the WHOLE YEAR would see both RA1s and R888s as a legal tire!

 

And based upon this information, I bought up enough RA1s to last ALL OF 2009. My justification was strictly monetary. I didn't have the time or resources to sort out a new tire platform. So, I would let others do that and ride the coat tails.

 

Subsequent to that, the cut-off date was January 1st and then 2 races into the season and then and then and then and then ...

 

So, don't be so quick to pass judgement.

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GT4Point6

Off the conversation trail a bit here but my first weekend running them at BW a couple of weeks ago after 8 months off the track and 135 deg track temps, I had my fastest laps on laps 9 and 10 on the two long races of 10 and 11 laps. They seemed to have a lot less grip when cold but when hot seemed as good and never went away like RA1's that I have had in those temps. Never felt "greasy" like the RA1's when hot.

I ran some high pressures to see how they would respond like a lot of other sites recommend. My car is 250 lbs overweight and I was only .5 sec off the guy who won both main races with RA1's and I got a second place finish in the last race. I'm sure if I wasn't 250 lbs over weight, things could have been a bit different.

 

YMWV

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nasa-rm

I will buy everyones new RA1s for $0.50 on the dollar.

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KiMifan

The first announcement about the change to R888s was that ALL of 2009 would be a transition year ... the WHOLE YEAR would see both RA1s and R888s as a legal tire!

I'd like to see a source for that, because I don't remember it that way, but then again, it's changed so many times it is hard to keep it straight. They way I remember it, WAY back in 2007 at the Nationals it was announced that the spec tire would be changing for all classes running Toyos effective Jan. 1, 2009.

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dtisinger

Thanks Mitchntx !! The rumor was that we were going to be able to run the RA1s for part of the season. I was offered a good deal on the new RA1s, and had Toyo bucks that were going to expire. I figured I would run the RA1s until the 888's were manditory, again for monetary reasons, and then use what RA1s I had left over for fun runs or test weekends. My wife has since lost her job, so the racing budget got cut. So thats why I have the RA1s, and $2000 is still to much to spend on tires for one race weekend right now.

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mitchntx1548534714

The first announcement about the change to R888s was that ALL of 2009 would be a transition year ... the WHOLE YEAR would see both RA1s and R888s as a legal tire!

I'd like to see a source for that, because I don't remember it that way, but then again, it's changed so many times it is hard to keep it straight. They way I remember it, WAY back in 2007 at the Nationals it was announced that the spec tire would be changing for all classes running Toyos effective Jan. 1, 2009.

 

For some odd reason, I seem to be the only one that remembers the facts and the timeline ...

 

http://www.camaromustangchallenge.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2775&highlight=r888

 

First post ...

 

Fellow CMC-ers

 

Changes coming for 2009 that you want to know about now:

For 2009 the Toyo R888 and the Toyo RA1 will both be allowed in the respective maximum sizes for CMC and CMC2 cars. Toyo intends to continue making the 255/50R16, and we therefore intend on continuing to use it for CMC.

 

Dated April 15, 2008

 

Several posts later, in June of 2008, things change to ONLY an R888 shod car would be 100% legal.

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Lady in Nomex

All this is the result of changing the rules mid-stream. Pullease NASA, don't do that again!

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KiMifan

Dated April 15, 2008

 

Several posts later, in June of 2008, things change to ONLY an R888 shod car would be 100% legal.

OK, so to beat this further into the ground, I'm still wondering why at the end of 2008, you guys were stocking up on RA1s? From June 08 until April 09, the RA1s were only going to be legal at the latest until the second race of the 09 season. The reason I ask is because it seems that NASA caved in to people who were complaining that they were going to be stuck with some tires that still had some life in them, when there really had been ample warning that they should have been phasing out their RA1s, not buying new ones. If NASA had stuck to any of the decisions it made about tires in 2008, there would be no tire drama at this year's Nationals.

 

Reading back through that thread linked above, I found this gem:

 

Dont worry Dave, I can assure you that ONLY the R888 will be allowed in 2009 and that is also true for the 2009 Nationals.

The RA1 is a 2008 tire, R888 is a 2009 tire.

Tony Guaglione

 

Ironic.

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mitchntx1548534714
I'm still wondering why at the end of 2008, you guys were stocking up on RA1s? From June 08 until April 09, the RA1s were only going to be legal at the latest until the second race of the 09 season. The reason I ask is because it seems that NASA caved in to people who were complaining that they were going to be stuck with some tires that still had some life in them, when there really had been ample warning that they should have been phasing out their RA1s, not buying new ones. If NASA had stuck to any of the decisions it made about tires in 2008, there would be no tire drama at this year's Nationals.

 

Several assumptions there, big boy.

 

This guy (me) bought tires (RA1s) in April and May 2008 based upon data given in mid-April.

 

Think what you want ... some one was gonna get shafted on tires. I realize you would prefer it be me and not you.

 

FWIW ... I had my inventory of RA1s sold earlier this year and ordered a set of R888s. They are mounted and in my trailer. Then the reversal of he reversal of the extension of the change occurred. But I nixed the sale and have enough tire to last the rest of the year ... my original plan based upon the original transition plan.

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tacovini

genesimmons.jpg

 

I knew this was where this was heading but I figured it wouldn't happen for at least 4 or 5 pages of posts.

 

Suffice to say guys, that in this deal, there is no easy answer. There is no answer that will make everyone happy...racers with RA1....racers with 888...NASA & Toyo.

 

...which is why I stated, "nice recap of the painfully obvious". No matter where we squeeze this balloon, it's gonna come out bulging & ugly somewhere else.

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ShadowBolt

I thought Tony said three or four weeks ago that in two weeks we would have an answer on what the deal would be for 2010. Todd, do you know and can you fill us in?

 

 

JJ

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mitchntx1548534714
I knew this was where this was heading but I figured it wouldn't happen for at least 4 or 5 pages of posts.

 

I'm not sure why some of you "guys" have such a phobia about a healthy debate. This "place" we're at has been absolutely productive.

 

Dave got to vent, even if was delayed 6 months.

 

kimifan now has a better understanding of timeline.

 

And then Kevin posts how wonderful the tires CAN be ... which I agree with, whole heartedly. I mean, we didn't get what we got out of the RA1 over night. It is a tire that has 10 years experience across numerous sanctioning bodies and racing series. That's a shit-load of tweaking ....

 

Some folks either just don't want to or don't know how to setup a car. I'm not passing judgement. Each of you can decide which category you fall in.

 

It has been proven over and over that just bolting on a set of R888s will make you, TYPICALLY, a second per lap slower. That doesn't necessarily mean the tire is junk. It means that what worked with an RA1 obviously doesn't work for a 888. And reduced wear is probably a by-product of a suspension set-up or driving style that isn't quite right for the R888.

 

MHO

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Tri-Agan

 

And then Kevin posts how wonderful the tires CAN be ... which I agree with, whole heartedly. I mean, we didn't get what we got out of the RA1 over night. It is a tire that has 10 years experience across numerous sanctioning bodies and racing series. That's a shit-load of tweaking ....

 

Some folks either just don't want to or don't know how to setup a car. I'm not passing judgement. Each of you can decide which category you fall in.

 

It has been proven over and over that just bolting on a set of R888s will make you, TYPICALLY, a second per lap slower. That doesn't necessarily mean the tire is junk. It means that what worked with an RA1 obviously doesn't work for a 888. And reduced wear is probably a by-product of a suspension set-up or driving style that isn't quite right for the R888.

 

MHO

 

It's about time someone posted the obvious. We have just about one year on the 888's....I've used them all year, and I even did back-to back sessions against the RA1's, and the 888's were better with the car setup I dialed in. My fastest lap times are coming at the end of the races, which is contrary to what others are saying. It's important to note that I get loads of track time each weekend in order to work out the right shock setup to keep them glued, while others do not. To Mitch's point, I think the expectations are too high out there considering the fact that we don't have enough time on the tire to get the setup right.

 

I am still using 2 of the the 4 tires I started the year with and they have just as good of grip now as they had in February. I could really care less which tire we run, or that others have RA-1's and I don't. At the end of the day I can honsetly say that both tires have their attributes, but are essentially about the same once you get the car setup right.

 

As far as Nationals go, if I were going, I really wouldn't get distracted and worry about the 2 tire deal. I would worry about getting my setup right on the tires I am taking to the show.

 

On the negative side of things, I am not happy at all about the price for the 888. I would expect a cheaper price on a spec tire.

 

Kent

 

CMC Director

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ShadowBolt

 

Some folks either just don't want to or don't know how to setup a car. I'm not passing judgement. Each of you can decide which category you fall in.

 

You got me Mitch. I don't have a clue how to set-up a race car. Even if I did the track time it would take to test is something I do not have. I've tried reading all I can get my hands on and reading the books is like watching grass grow. The info I get from other racers is well ................."it is what it is".

 

JJ

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