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Author Topic: SARRC & ECR SM tire for 2010?
d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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A little 'Divisional perspective' - the Great Lakes Div has been open tire for regional races for years, and the regional entries almost always exceed the national entries since the class went national 3 years ago. Even though tire choice is open, generally the field is on Toyos and Hoosiers, with driving ability mostly responsible for finishing order.

I run 2-3 SEDiv events a year and if my vote counts, I vote open or 'approved list'. (list should include some lower cost alternatives)

Personally I don't care what NASA does. It's time the SCCA quit following NASA lead and do what's best for their own car counts.

-Denny

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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We are all amateur racers and it is important to keep cost down while making the field as close as possible so that everyone can enjoy our sport. I believe the only way to do this is by using a spec tire that lasts more than a weekend. As soon as you allow an open tire those that can will buy the fastest tires; which are usually the same cost but do not last as long. I have shown up to regional races with new Hoosiers when others are on old RA1s and it is not a pretty sight. We know the RA1s are good, relatively inexpensive, and last a longtime. There is no sense giving the haves more of an advantage over the have nots unless somebody can show that they can find a tire equal to the RA1 for less money. I know National drivers (me included) have stretched just about every rule (legally) in order to get an advantage but I will say this, if the RA1 is the National tire for next year that is the only tire I will run in the regionals regardless of what is allowed. No race fuel and a spec tire!!!

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George Munson Verified Driver
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I agree with Jamie, this is a Spec Class, the RA1s were a great all around choice with good life and low cost. If we have to open it up I like Butch's idea of only those 3 being the RA1, R888 and the SM6.

For the record I haven't been happy with the overall life and feel of the R888's but with everybody on one tire its fair for all.

Just my 2 cents,

George Munson

Wes Saunders
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I believe the 1st criteria should be costs. I think higher volume = lower costs for tire manufacturers. SCCA & NASA should get that lower costs to mean lower price for the racer. That means National & Regionals should be on the same tire. It also helps simplify things. 2nd is longevity, the TOYO RA1 seemed to work well (best) of the available tires, it is a well known tire. A tire we should all be able to live with. We should set up a poll but I bet the RA1 would win. If we get contingencies then they should go to randomly selected finishers not the top 3.

One thought about open tire, open rules mean softer compounds equals more costs as I see it. The R888's were softer, faster, wore quicker and for some of us predictable, yet not many liked them......

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quote:
Originally posted by TaxMan:


PERSONAL OPINION THAT IS BEING USED FOR THE CONCLUSION I REACHED ABOVE. IF YOU DON'T AGREE I WILL ACT LIKE I UNDERSTAND BUT WILL KNOW DEEP IN MY HEART YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND WRONG.

[/QB]

and ...
everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own personal opinion ...
[Wink]
since business is sloow, i got time for rebuttal;

some comments from the peanut gallery ...

First ; if you have an opinion on how your biggest race expense will be spent, say it to the people who will decide it for you.
With all due respect to everyone here, and I do acknowledge and recognise the time, effort and above board fairness by ALL the committe members posting here, please directly contact the folks who will actually decide what tire(s) will be allowed in SCCA SEDIV Regional racing :
The RE's ; John Zuccarelli, Rick Balderson, Tere Pulliam, Kaye Fairer, etc with a cc to Robin Langlotz, Phil Creighton and KP Jones. This group must hear your choice, directly from you.

Also realize there are politics involved in the 18 (?) or so SEDIV Regions ... with about half of them NOT hosting SARRC or ECR road racing but having a full and equal vote in this matter. Rest assured there are alliances and agendas with many regions that may not be in your/my best interests. Contact your RE directly and let him/her know your opinion. In the end, it is your dollars on the line ...

Second ; "Spec Tire" is a no win situation for regional racers. IMO here's why:
there is a 50/50 chance the 'new' RA1 will be the same as the old, original RA1. I'm betting on the 50% chance that it wont. Pure business logic dictates that Toyo crafts a 'new' RA1 tire for 2010 that will be 'different' from the old tire. They are in business to SELL tires not recreate a loong lasting non profitable tire to help regional racers. Scratch the RA1 tire for the low budget regional racer in 2010.
SM6 : You give Hoosier the defacto exclusive tire in all SEDIV races and we will consume the existing inventory of 205-50-15's in less than three months. Now they have to produce a new batch ... my money says that compound will also change for the worse. Maybe not on the first production run but for sure by the second/third run. If YOU had the market cornered with everyone required to buy from you, what would you do. Profit margins says you go slightly softer and that solid 2-3 weekend tire is now a 1 weekend tire. Not good for regional racers.
R888 : continuing National Spec is the only way they will ever sell out their existing inventory. This is not the tire for Regional SM racers.
My point is that Specing ANY tire(s) is a recipe for getting hosed financially.

Finally ; For political reasons there will/must be a compromise as there are too many conflicting RE votes. So, go with a list of 5-6 known tires, the three listed above by Butch and add 2-3 more ; Nitto 01 and ?? (Kumho-Kook-BFG)... and PLEASE keep the final tire(s) decision valid for ONE year (2010) only. No long term deals.
YOU decide by voicing your opinion directly to those that will excercise it.

[soapbox] off
Good luck to all,
Carlos G.

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

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If we are not on the same tire than we are not on equal footing. If we are not on equal footing than there is no way to know if we got beat by someone with better tires or better driving. At Road Atlanta a few weeks ago I got beat by 6 other drivers who did so because they were better on that day. I left the track knowing that I had the same chance as everyone else and it was my driving ability that kept me in 7th; not my tires. There is absolutely no reason to believe that we will not have the same RA1s as before; which I think most were happy with. As far as keeping the costs low it only makes sense that if we are all on the same tire the tire could be mass produced resulting in a lower cost. RA1s are cheap compared to other tires and mass producing them has kept them that way. Cheap, long lasting, and equal is what we are after. Lets face it most of us would race on the Miata factory spares as long as we all had to run them. Open tire = none spec class! Its already bad enough that all of the front runners have pro-motors! Do you really want to get beat down the straights and the corners? Is there any other spec classes out there with a open tire rule? Are there any other tires that last as long as the RA1's for less money? If not than all of these theories about how to save money are just a waist of time.

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Krys Dean
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Just so everyone is on the same page, the SCCA Court Of Appeals has ruled that the spec tire rule CAN NOT be enforced if the supps do not specifically say that the race is being held under the SEDIV Regional Class Rules, the supps for the double ECR at Homestead this weekend DO NOT say that the race is being held under the SEDIV Regional Class Rules, therefore as ECR Chief Steward I will NOT be enforcing the spec tire rule. Anyone who would like to protest this decision, see me at Homestead and I will be happy to provide you with the paperwork to do so.

Krys Dean ECR Steward South

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Krys Dean

cintibob
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Here we go again more appeals to change things at the last minute just proved my point we need open tire rules. The SM guys will sort out which tires are fast and which ones give best bang for the buck and pick accordingly. If one tire proves to be alot better believe me it will be found out quickly and 1/2 the field will be running it shortly. I will bet 97% of SM racers already have R888's so they can run in SAARC. We let the class go national and it goes to pot.

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Not trying to be a wise guy, but are there really people out there using multiple compounds/tire brands/shaves at a regional weekend to win a $4.00 trophy? - because I'm just not seeing it in my Division. Most of the racers in my area seem to want to buy 1-2 sets of tires and try to get them to last the whole season.

SamBarnett Verified Driver
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Yes

quote:
Originally posted by d mathias:
Not trying to be a wise guy, but are there really people out there using multiple compounds/tire brands/shaves at a regional weekend to win a $4.00 trophy?


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Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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The problem with the argument that a spec tire equals parity is that even with the same brand and model tire there are differences. How do you account for the guy who uses 1/32 stickers for qual and race every weekend? I am on 20+ heat cycle RA-1's and he is on 1/32 stickers. The Hoosier won the tire test last year and yet we want to spec a Toyo again? I have 4 sets of well used RA-1's, but I would like to see a choice of tire. If the Hoosier becomes the tire to run, I would probably buy a set next time, but only if they would last like the RA-1 did. As Carlos said..time and pocketbooks will dictate the tire choice. As far as the appeal at Daytona that was done to clarify the rules and because the CFR believes in an open tire rule for SM.

--------------------
Paul McLester

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Sam is correct, people will pull out all the stops for a win. I'm not sure I understand the need for more tire choices. My only issue with the R888's was the wear and feel over the old RA1's. It seems we went backwards with that move.

I know people aren't sure about the compound that will be used for the new batch of RA1's. I can't believe it could change that much. The R888's are made completely different which is why maybe the lighter cars don't like them as well. I can't see Toyo wanting anymore complaints, some of the classes love the triple 8's. They just don't seem to work as well for SM.

One thing people aren't thinking about is supply. Most of us racing the SARRC's use the same tire supplier. The last thing they need is to have lots of different brands hanging around in our size hoping to sell them. One tire makes easier for them. On a side note if there is only one tire the price should be able to stay lower. I know we can buy from our local tire stores but I like the track side service. If there is isn't enough tires being sold at the track that service will dry up as well.

I hate to say it but theres always ITA for those who want choices. I'm with Jamie if I get beat by someone with a different tire setup it makes me wonder, is it me or the tires.

Just my thoughts,

George Munson

Jim Creighton
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Read all this, there's some good stuff at the end.

For those of you outside the SEDiv who are reading this and don't understand why we are involved in this discussion, here's a little background.

SEDiv has the largest division wide regional race program in all of SCCA. The SARRC series has 25 races per year split almost equally between the south tracks (Florida) and the north tracks. The final championship race is an invitational only race. The SARRC series has averaged over 4000 entries for the past 5 years. SM has exceeded 700 entries. Already this year we have over 450 SM entries in SARRC races and nearly 700 for all regional races. Compare this to 45 for GL where a driver has posted he doesn't understand our compassion.

Our other Division wide series is ECR where we run 1.5 hour enduros. Again, this series draws large car counts. Our ECR with the CFR National the first weekend of May had 47 SM entries which is 2 more than the total 45 SM entries Great Lakes Division has had in their 5 regional races in 2009.

There is also a multi region endurance championship, Region Championships and just plain old bragging rights.

So, if you are in another Division and reading this, please try to understand that our drivers are racing for a lot more than a $4 trophy. If you visit our division, you will see cars with 2009 SARRC winner decals, 2009 ECR winner decals, past year champion decals and drivers and crews with SARRC Championship t shirts, hats and jackets.

Our SEDiv series are just if not more important than National racing. Thus, a Committee was formed years ago to review classes and SM is one of those classes. National specs a tire for National races and we did the same. I hope this clears up the picture for those reading the discussion from outside SEDiv.

OK, you still haven't swayed me that I should not listen to what you told me in mass earlier this year that we needed to go to an open tire rather than the R888. Did I hear you wrong or did I just misunderstand? Were you really saying I hate this R888 or I have a bunch of RA-1's I want to run cause I don't want to buy new tires? I keep reading that you want to have a choice but then the word "Spec" keeps being dropped in vain. Can we be "Spec" enough to satisfy the purest by having a list of approved tires? Butch proposed three tires. To me, it still leaves out the "cheapo racer". By that I mean the guy who wants to run for nothing but fun. If you can find something to help this guy, I could be swayed off my open tire mind set and go with an approved list of tires. I think it had to be a specific tire because cost can be controlled by manufacturers to flood the market.

And Carlos G is correct. Swaying me is not the key. The vote of the RE's is the most important thing. However, once a position that the vast majority feels is workable is reached, I will support it and try to offer the RE's guidance. And I think Butch, Phil Creighton-Area 12 Director & Robin Langlotz-Area 3 Director will do the same.

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Jim Creighton
SARRC Administrator

cintibob
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Gatoratty I am with you and Daytona was to clarify the rules but notice was done poorly at the track and then their decision was overturned. I am still upset how the whole thing was handled ahead of time. And now one member just stoked the fires by mentioning he will help with protests at Homestead. Is someone going to keep protesting ad nauseam till we get a different outcome?

Capt. John
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quote:
Originally posted by cintibob:
Gatoratty I am with you and Daytona was to clarify the rules but notice was done poorly at the track and then their decision was overturned. I am still upset how the whole thing was handled ahead of time. And now one member just stoked the fires by mentioning he will help with protests at Homestead. Is someone going to keep protesting ad nauseam till we get a different outcome?

What part of the post re. tires for the Double ECR at Homestead, this coming weekend, did you not understand? Krys Dean,the ECR Steward, stated that the tires for this event would be "open" for the SM class....no Toyo 888's only.. no "Spec " tire. That to me is a pretty definitive statement, stated in advance of the weekend. The reason for this is because the COA overturned the decision of the SOM's at Daytona after an appeal was filed.I can't imagine anyone filing a protest against the decision to allow "open" tires since there is precedent already to allow this in the case of the ECR. ....The tribe has spoken.... Toyo,Hoosier,Kumho,Hankook,Goodyear,BFG,Nitto,
Dunlop,and Pepboys You're all welcome. I know that some might not like and agree with this idea; but in light of the COA's decision that's the way it is. Soooo, now all you have to do is show up, go racing and have a good time.

Capt.John

Mark McCallister Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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How about this:

Seems the main argument against spec tires is: "lack of competition leads to higher prices."

So spec a tire for one year only (somebody said that already).

AND, each year, you can use this year's spec tire OR last year's.

So there's always a choice of two tires. But, we get to look for the best deal each an every year AND there's plenty of time to burn off last year's spec tire in an orderly fashion.

Manufacturer competition? Check.
Everyone on a max of two different tires? Check.

Presumably whenever there's a change, one tire will be a little faster/slower or wear better/worse. If you like the new year's tire better than the old, sell your tires to somebody who doesn't care. Win-win. If you like last year's tire better than this year's, keep buying them, and lobby to get that tire chosen again for year 3. Win-win.

If the next year's tire is found to completely suck, then no harm, no foul, everybody is allowed to keep using the tire from the year before.

If the tire manufacturer suddenly pulls the plug on the spec'd model, then just accelerate the schedule to find a replacement.

Do a real mail-out survey around say August or September, so we get good data from all the SEDIV drivers and not just the 30 or so that post on here. [Big Grin]

??

Dennis Bize Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark McCallister:
How about this:

Seems the main argument against spec tires is: "lack of competition leads to higher prices."

So spec a tire for one year only (somebody said that already).

AND, each year, you can use this year's spec tire OR last year's.

So there's always a choice of two tires. But, we get to look for the best deal each an every year AND there's plenty of time to burn off last year's spec tire in an orderly fashion.

Manufacturer competition? Check.
Everyone on a max of two different tires? Check.

Presumably whenever there's a change, one tire will be a little faster/slower or wear better/worse. If you like the new year's tire better than the old, sell your tires to somebody who doesn't care. Win-win. If you like last year's tire better than this year's, keep buying them, and lobby to get that tire chosen again for year 3. Win-win.

If the next year's tire is found to completely suck, then no harm, no foul, everybody is allowed to keep using the tire from the year before.

If the tire manufacturer suddenly pulls the plug on the spec'd model, then just accelerate the schedule to find a replacement.

Do a real mail-out survey around say August or September, so we get good data from all the SEDIV drivers and not just the 30 or so that post on here. [Big Grin]

??

This.

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panic motorsports Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'll second this. Well thought out Mark.

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis Bize:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark McCallister:
How about this:

Seems the main argument against spec tires is: "lack of competition leads to higher prices."

So spec a tire for one year only (somebody said that already).

AND, each year, you can use this year's spec tire OR last year's.

So there's always a choice of two tires. But, we get to look for the best deal each an every year AND there's plenty of time to burn off last year's spec tire in an orderly fashion.

Manufacturer competition? Check.
Everyone on a max of two different tires? Check.

Presumably whenever there's a change, one tire will be a little faster/slower or wear better/worse. If you like the new year's tire better than the old, sell your tires to somebody who doesn't care. Win-win. If you like last year's tire better than this year's, keep buying them, and lobby to get that tire chosen again for year 3. Win-win.

If the next year's tire is found to completely suck, then no harm, no foul, everybody is allowed to keep using the tire from the year before.

If the tire manufacturer suddenly pulls the plug on the spec'd model, then just accelerate the schedule to find a replacement.

Do a real mail-out survey around say August or September, so we get good data from all the SEDIV drivers and not just the 30 or so that post on here. [Big Grin]

??

This.

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The idea of three different tires for SAARC was raised at the Daytona ECR by Jim, Robin, and some others to address the idea of not getting stuck with a tire like the R-888. We are really talking about four options:
-Open DOT tire
-RA-1
-Choice of 3-5 tires
-Current year Spec tire and last years spec tire (tire brand/model would have to be chosen each year)

The RE's will decide the issue next month at the SEDIV meeting. Call or email your RE to express your opinion on which option you would like to see for 2010.

[ 06-16-2009, 11:00 PM: Message edited by: Gatoratty ]

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Paul McLester

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Jim,

"SM Advisory Committee members Jason & Gary or Butch Kummer, the Chairman of the rules committee.
His email is gt1vette@bellsouth.net."

" The vote of the RE's is the most important thing. However, once a position that the vast majority feels is workable is reached, I will support it and try to offer the RE's guidance. And I think Butch, Phil Creighton-Area 12 Director & Robin Langlotz-Area 3 Director will do the same."


A number of people have been identified as the decision makers for the tire issue. Is it possible to consolidate and post a list of the names and the email address links for each? I think you would see a better directed and more robust response by providing such and aid. As many have said, there are a lot more driver opinions than what is being posted and communicated on this site. I would still prefer a survey to each SARRC SM driver to assure full input, but understand the time and money constraints of such a process.

--------------------
Terry Whitlock

PEATMOSS
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According to SCCA Topeka, they have already decided that National SM will return to RA-1 for 2010!!! So---- pick another Mfg and run either or, but make it cut and dry, with no wiggle room! [Smash]

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PETER BOGART
REGION 34
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Mark McCallister Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Gatoratty:
We are really talking about three options:
-Open DOT tire
-RA-1
-Choice of 3-5 tires
-Current year Spec tire and last years spec tire (tire brand/model would have to be chosen each year)

That's four options. [Wink]

I am going to vote for choice 4, as I outlined previously.

This is the 21st century, there's got to be a better way to get the opinions of the group to the REs than sending them a quantity of emails that is simultaneously enough to be a pain to deal with and not enough to be representative of all groups of drivers. I'm sure they don't want their emails posted here for collection by spam-bots either. A surveymonkey.com survey hung off the SEDIV and all the region webpages maybe? It might actually be worth paying a firm that does such things for a living to send out postcards as was done for the BOD elections. I suggest we hire HollandIT to figure something out. [Smile] I realize we only have a couple weeks to do it.

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Mark....Maybe that's why my CPA license is inactive! [flamed]

I think a survey of all of the licensed SEDIV drivers who have run a SARRC or ECR race in the past 2 years would be good info for the RE's who will make the decision. They can vote for one of the FOUR choices.

--------------------
Paul McLester

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Well, if you remember we did this before (a survey sent out by the division)... when everyone said pretty much overwhelmingly they wanted the RA-1 for a spec tire...

I like the idea of a survey ( I think surveymonkey is very good) but we've got 4 weeks and I don't the division is going to be willing to do anything on a large scale.

I could be wrong but I doubt it. I, for one, just don't have the time to manage it but if one of you want to get more data, go ahead. The problem may be getting contact info out of the division. That has been difficult in the past because of privacy issues.

BTW, I like Mark's idea as well but it will take more than 4 weeks to implement.

I think in the end, the haggling will promote open tires and we should just come up with something quick and workable (like an approved list) as a compromise then start thinking about better ideas for next time.

Jason

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Jason Holland
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Approved list Idea:
R-888
RA-1
SM6
NT-01

List will be reviewed in Jan and July of each year for consideration of any new tires or deletion of an existing tire. All deleted tires shall be eligible for the year deleted and the following year.

If Goodyear or some other manufacturer comes out with "the tire" we can incorporate the tire.

--------------------
Paul McLester

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Shorten the list. [Wink]

Jarhead Made Donation to Website
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Regional/ECR= Open tire

National= Spec tire

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SamBarnett Verified Driver
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Open = multiple compounds. This is a slippery slope where costs can skyrocket.

At the very minimum for cost control there needs to be a list of tires to pick from or a spec tire.

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Todd Greene Made Donation to Website
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This works...

quote:
Originally posted by Gatoratty:
Approved list Idea:
R-888
RA-1
SM6
NT-01

List will be reviewed in Jan and July of each year for consideration of any new tires or deletion of an existing tire. All deleted tires shall be eligible for the year deleted and the following year.

If Goodyear or some other manufacturer comes out with "the tire" we can incorporate the tire.


d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm only asking because I want to know. . .

1. Open tires would still have to be DOT, correct? How many different compounds are available with DOT race tires from the various manufacturers.

2. Will those manufacturers expend the time and money to support the front runners at a regional event with 'special' tires?

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Still reccommend ONE tire - as you open up options, costs will rise. Been there done that in a variety of sports. The closer you are to a one-design, the closer the racing, and the lower the costs. This is the theory behind SSM and if I beleived that the engine could be effectively policed I would support that too.

But Open Tires .....Sheesh!!!!! as someone posted above, the HAVES will widen their gap on the HAVE NOTS, because they can fund having different tires for different tracks.

Lets limit the options and keep the racing close and the costs down

Just my opinion..... but as I say I have seen and experienced the issues with opening up the specs and what it did to fields and costs in the sports I have competed in - costs ramped up, the HAVES outpaced the HAVE NOTS by even greater margins, and the HAVE NOTS got discouraged, fun disappeared, resentment set in and fields were decimated.

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George Munson Verified Driver
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1. Open tires would still have to be DOT, correct? How many different compounds are available with DOT race tires from the various manufacturers.

Yes, They would be DOT. The list would be rather large and changing all the time.

2. Will those manufacturers expend the time and money to support the front runners at a regional event with 'special' tires?

There might be some pricing help in the beginning. However as the field gets diluted with their brand I can't see track side support staying the same. From a business stand point it would be to hard to keep up with the flavor of the month. On a side note you will see sponsored drivers with special compounds to test. I have seen this in karting.

Keep the box closed. [shame]

George Munson

Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Remember when it was regional class? We ran every conceivable tire and the world didn't stop spinning. Indeed the class prospered.

Then we (generally) agreed on the need for a spec tire. Now we gripe about the tire. Sooo, my take is spec a National tire (by whatever means) and open for Regional competition.

Yea right!
Rick

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andrew_anderson
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I predict open tire for one to 2 years...then we will have a spec tire again. and repeat

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