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Thread: RST Performance Racing and Dunlop Tires to take on the 2013 -12hr "Devil in the Dark"

  1. #1
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    Default RST Performance Racing and Dunlop Tires to take on the 2013 -12hr "Devil in the Dark"

    As most of you know all of us here at RST Performance Racing are very excited about the upcoming “Devil in the Dark.” We have what we think is an exciting driver line up with some very talented drivers including Kirk Knestis, Robby Foley, Tim Dugan, Stephen Blethen and Raymond Blethen. Those of you that follow our facebook page also know that we have a great crew that has been working very hard for well over a month now to prep the car. Yesterday they spent the day doing practice fuel/driver swaps and was able to get as quick as 1minute 35 seconds… and a front brake change was done in less than 5 minutes! We will see if they have the endurance to keep up with that pace on race day!

    The next bit of exciting news is further details on our tire choice. Most of you probably know that we are testing the use of “street” tires in long distance endurance racing (200+ tread wear). We are happy to officially announce that we will be running the Dunlop Direzza ZII for the SCCA 2013 “Devil in the Dark” 12hr Endurance Race.

    Anyone who has used extreme performance summer tires for track day events, autocrosses, and daily driving knows that the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec has been a tire of choice. Dunlop recently released a new replacement tire to the market called the Direzza ZII. The new tire has already proven to provide more grip and longer tread life. We think that this will be the tire of choice for many of these consumers in the future and we are looking forward to testing the tires abilities. Initial tests a couple days ago at NHMS proved that the tire is an excellent choice that is easy to drive on. The tire is not only quick but also very consistent and predictable even when pushed to the limits. First time drivers were able to get behind the wheel and immediately feel comfortable enough to push the car to a competitive lap time.

    Will the tire stand up to the test and provide a fully prepped race car enough grip to keep up with the competition? Will the tire wear prove that you could run an entire 12hr race on one set of tires? Can we prove that options do exist to manage the increasing cost of amateur road racing?

    Stay tuned for further updates, reviews and recommendations!

    Thanks for your support! Let us know your thoughts and please stop by our pit to take a look at the tires and see how well they are performing!


    More information about the new Dunlop Direzza ZII tire can be found at www.dunloptires.com

    More information about the Devil In The Dark 12 hour endurance race can be found at www.thedevilinthedark.com

    See you at the track;

    - RST Performance Racing
    www.rstperformance.com

    Last edited by RSTPerformance; 04-22-2013 at 03:48 PM.
    RST Performance Racing
    www.rstperformance.com

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to next weekend, guys. See you there.

    K

  3. #3
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    And...?
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  4. #4
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    ...we finished 4th in class and 9th (I think?) overall, using one set of Dunlops for the entire day - warm up and the race. Consensus seemed to be that the tires were about 2 seconds off of a good R compound option.

    I'll let the RST guys fill in all the details but will say that that they did a GREAT job on their first real enduro!

    K

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knestis View Post
    ...we finished 4th in class and 9th (I think?) overall, using one set of Dunlops for the entire day - warm up and the race. Consensus seemed to be that the tires were about 2 seconds off of a good R compound option.

    I'll let the RST guys fill in all the details but will say that that they did a GREAT job on their first real enduro!

    K
    Great Job Looking forward to Details!!
    Tom Weaver: Logistics & Technical Support Manager IE truck driver for 1986 RX-7 ITS #63. "Diesel Haulin' Rotary" 2005 Dodge 2500 Quad Cab The Hemi has retired "Long Live the Hemi" Bill Weaver Driver- 2004 NYSRRC John Chave Award. 2006 & 2013 ITS NYSRRC Champion!. Truck Driver Named Glen Region Worker of the Year 2008.Located 45 miles southeast of Watkins Glen in Sayre PA.

  6. #6
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    Actually, 7th overall!

    Big props to the RST Performance guys. Preparedcivic Jr. had a blast driving the RX-8.
    Rob Foley
    Race: ITB '87 CRX Si
    Autocross: GP '86 Civic Si

  7. #7
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    Default RST Performance Racing and Dunlop conquered the 12hr 'Devil in the Dark' Endurance Ra

    Our 2013 review of the “Devil in the Dark”



    The South Jersey and Northern New Jersey Regions of the SCCA have certainly proven that they know how to host one of the best races on the east coast! If you have never been to this race to drive, volunteer or watch you need to add it to your bucket list. We have been to a lot of events in our 30+ years of participating in automotive events across the east coast but nothing compares to this. We still can’t get over the excitement of seeing the cars racing one another and making pit stops at night!

    This race has been something that we at RST Performance Racing have wanted to do for years but just didn’t have the ability to make the commitment for several reasons. This year we had the Mazda RX8 sorted out and decided early on that we were going to take on the devil! But it wasn’t an easy task...

    The team met for several months at least once a week to work on the car and give special projects to different people. We replaced several parts with new ones, made several upgrades to the car from headlights to the rear diff cooler, and we made a “pit space” to help assist the team when it came to making our pit stops. These changes took months of planning and research to get right, and I think it paid off. We can’t stress enough how important the preparation is when it comes to taking on an endurance race of this caliber. Later we will post our preparation list to possibly help others who are doing this for the first time!

    The team also had to recruit additional team members to handle all the duties when it came to the race weekend itself. The first bit of good news was we recruited new team members and they became SCCA members! From our experience you really need at least 8 people at each pit stop to keep things moving and the more people dedicated to specific roles the entire event the better you will be. We had two dedicated gas crew members, one person dedicated to check the engine bay (especially oil on an RX8!), one dedicated person to check/monitor right side tires, one dedicated person to monitor left side tires, one dedicated person to keep data organized, and a group of people in charge of keeping everyone fed. We also used drivers to help with extinguisher duties and assisting other drivers in/out of the car. We had a list of every crew person and his/or her duties at every pit stop. This list also included the details of each persons duty. Just like with any team, everyone focused on his task each pit stop and didn’t watch or worry about anyone else. Most pit stops were just over 2 minutes and included a driver change, 90lbs of gas, the addition of engine oil, and tire pressure changes. Later we will also post some video and the written script to our pit stop procedures!

    Because of our preparation the weekend went nearly flawless with the exception of changing a rear end diff that let go during night practice on Friday and just simply not enough time to set everything up without some rushing. Like everything when it is your first time you sorta need to learn on the fly! The only bit of advice I can say is arrive early, unpack early, and get things set up in pit lane early! Also bring a couple extra hands if you can

    As for the race itself... many of you know we worked with Dunlop to test the new Direzza ZII high performance street tire. First I have to start off by thanking Dunlop for the support… Our efforts at the 2013 Devil in the Dark were a huge success. While our competition used as much as 4 sets of new “R” compound tires to make the 12 grueling hours we never changed a tire. We actually never even jacked the car up off of the ground once the green flag was thrown! In the end after 12 flawless hours we completed 415 laps (~933miles) and ended up 4th in class out of 23 and an even more impressive 7th overall out of 44.

    All but 1 of the 44 starters were in the E1, E2, and E3 classes. Our car was originally classed in the E2 class but because we were running street tires we dropped a class and ran in the E3 class. If we had stayed in the original class (E2 class) we would have won the class with our 7th overall performance. E3 was an extremely competitive field with some very experienced teams. We are extremely pleased finishing 4th in class considering we had to do several more pit stops for fuel, this was the first time a street tire was used in an all out effort, and this was our teams first 12hr endurance race. It should also be noted that we turned the fastest lap time in the E3 class.

    The Tire Review:

    It was clear after testing and practice that the Dunlop Direzza ZII tires were going to easily make the 12hr distance on the RST Performance Racing’s 3,000lb rear wheel drive Mazda RX8. What wasn’t clear was if the brakes would last, and how much the fuel consumption would affect our pit stop strategy. The more fuel consumed the more pit stops we would have to do. On the Dunlop’s we knew we would run slightly slower and hoped that this might actually be a benefit by not wearing out the car and using less fuel allowing us to stretch out our driver stints and spend less time in the pits. Due to the fuel consumption on “R” compound tires we planned on stopping once an hour. On the Dunlop’s we squeezed out another 5 – 10 minutes per stint allowing us to eliminate an entire pit stop. This is important because it minimizes the negative impact of running a “slower” tire. Add in that we did not have to change four sets of tires the negative impact is decreased even more. Another benefit to the tires that might be harder to calculate is the decreased wear or stress on the car. With less grip you are not working the brakes, wheel bearings, or driveline as hard as you drift the car through the turns. This in my mind is a definite factor in how well the car performed throughout the weekend. We truly believe that the average amateur racer will not see a negative impact to his/her results in an endurance race because of the benefits gained in the pits.

    The huge positive to the Dunlop's though is the cost savings making it a clear choice for any amateur racer even if they are not allowed to drop down one class. Because of the improvements in the new Dunlop Direzza ZII tread pattern one set of tires will last as long as or longer than the four sets of R’ compound tires our competition used. The cost of four sets of new “R” compound tires is around $4,500 while the cost of one set of Dunlop Direzza ZII tires is just over $700.

    As mentioned above, when it comes to tire wear Dunlop clearly hit the target when making the new Direzza ZII. I personally think that aside from any unforeseen issues 1 set of tires might last the entire event including practice, qualifying and a 12hr race.

    The tires performance was fairly consistent throughout the race however everyone seemed to agree the tires worked better in cooler conditions. The hotter the track temperature though the more “greasy” the tire got, however they were still very controllable and predictable. Additionally they seemed to only get better the more the tires wore. When deciding tire pressures, the tires seemed to perform the best at or below 40psi hot.

    Please ask away any questions, we obviously would be happy to answer them.

    Also, we would love to know where we can find pictures from the event. We saw several photographers but I haven't found any online yet. If you have not looked at face book several pictures we took were already posted as we progressed through the race.

    Thanks again to the crew, the drivers, our families and everyone else for all the support;

    RST Performance Racing


    This is a picture of the car after impound... notice the RF tire still has plenty of tread after 12.5hrs on it!

    More information on the Dunlop Direzza ZII can be found at www.dunloptire.com
    More information on how you can get involved with RST Performance Racing can be found at www.rstperformance.com or e-mailing Raymond at [email protected] or Stephen Blethen at [email protected]
    More information on the "Devil in the Dark" can be found at http://www.thedevilinthedark.com
    RST Performance Racing
    www.rstperformance.com

  8. #8
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    Dec 2003
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    We typically get around 30hrs out of the Dunlops ZI's... pretty good tires considering. Our events are typically 17-24hrs and a set easily lasts longer than that. We can get two events out of the rears, and sometimes two out of the fronts too. I've heard the II's want to chunk up more than the ZI's... Do you heat cycle the tires or run them as stickers? My car is also around 3000lb, and we have to pit every 90min or so (22gal) for fuel. Brakes are no problem though, and we can almost get two events out of a set of pads. I'll find out for myself in June how they work - just got new ZIIs yesterday.
    Last edited by Spinnetti; 05-02-2013 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    We didn't intentionally heat cycle any if the tires, just threw them on and drive as quick as we could! However with that said we did run the tires from the race in the 20min practice session before the race. It did heat them up and they cooled off. We only did this to help ensure we had the tire pressures set correctly for the race.

    We did not have any issues of chunking... What type of car are you running with, 30hrs is fantastic! Also, what do the tires look like when you are done?
    RST Performance Racing
    www.rstperformance.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinnetti View Post
    We typically get around 30hrs out of the Dunlops ZI's... pretty good tires considering. Our events are typically 17-24hrs and a set easily lasts longer than that. We can get two events out of the rears, and sometimes two out of the fronts too. I've heard the II's want to chunk up more than the ZI's... Do you heat cycle the tires or run them as stickers? My car is also around 3000lb, and we have to pit every 90min or so (22gal) for fuel. Brakes are no problem though, and we can almost get two events out of a set of pads. I'll find out for myself in June how they work - just got new ZIIs yesterday.
    What kind of brakes are you using?

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