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Thread: Your Thoughts on Mandating 200+TW "Street Tires" in Improved Touring?

  1. #21
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    There are two primary reasons I see 200TW tires being useful to Improved Touring:

    1) Category Distinction and Differentiation. What differentiates IT from other categories? Prep isn't massively different than LP Prod, and Touring is inching - leaping - its presence away from its Showroom Stock roots. IT tires are no different than Touring or Super Touring. IT doesn't have wings and splitters are limited. IT does not go to the org's biggest event of the year.

    If asked to explain why run Improved Touring instead of any other class, what's your answer?

    200TW tires would clearly differentiate the category in a significant way, something that is not done by any other category.

    2) Attraction from other groups. There is a large and growing population of racers out there in series and with orgs that do not allow tires with a TW lower than 200. Limiting the class to 200 makes it attractive to them. Those orgs do that specifically for costs purposes. No one can legitimately argue that a $250 10-cycle tire can ever cost less, long- or short-term, than a $120 more-than-10-cycle tire. And while outliers can never be eliminated (really, you're going to shave your tires so low that they'll only last 2 sessions?) they can safely be ignored. Because outliers are not for whom we make decisions.

    Improved Touring needs to make positive changes that will differentiate it from the existing crowd and make itself attractive to those not interested in chasing the Runoffs-of-the-Year. And this would be a really easy and cost-effective way to do it, one that would be quite easy to revert if it didn't work out.

    And, really, 3) because those that actually want to spend the big money on consistently replacing fast tires probably don't really give a crap about Improved Touring anyway...

    Food for thought.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  2. #22
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    Absolutely, all thumbs up on 200 tires!

    My HoHo sets have almost doubled in the last 18 months, just one of several SCCA dissatisfiers.

    IT certainly needs some revamping. 200TW tires, wheel sizes opened up to mate with 200TW tires, which won't typically tolerate narrow wheels as well as hoosiers do.

    Brakes and ABS is another area for discussion. Modern cars all have +17" wheels with full size, race competent ABS systems. It seems to me a reasonable approach for older non-abs cars is to allow brake upgrades. Something like any single piece rotor with any 4 piston caliper, so long as it fits inside a 17" wheel, for the front. Upgrade to disk for the rear, if drum.
    Last edited by JeffGio; 05-21-2018 at 05:11 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    What if Hoosier offered a 200TW tire...?
    Maybe, hear it's in the works, but worry it'll be too good when shaved to nothing, and of course they will be overly proud of their tire.

  4. #24
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    While I can appreciate the desire to both distinguish IT from the rest of the SCCA's classes as a "beginner" and a "regional only/low budget" class I don't think racing on non-race compound tires is actually the smart thing to do.

    I realize that non-race tires are cheaper, and I realize that non-race tires are almost as good as race tires are in some cases, I do think that running tires that are not specifically designed to be raced will not have any measurable effect on either participation or cost of racing.

    My rationale is this:

    A: CrapCan/Lechump racing is successful because of 3 basic aspects we can never achieve with IT:
    ------------------1. simple rules with an absurdly low entry cost.
    ------------------2. a crazy amount of track-time for the dollar.
    ------------------3. Teamwork and group-cost sharing that both enable an aspect of racing that binds groups of friends as well as distributing the cost-load across 3 to 6 members.

    B. Street/non-race tires tend to display other issues that DOT-R compound tires are engineered to avoid
    ------------------1. Chunking of the tread blocks
    ------------------2. Severe rolling of the tire and sidewall/edge degradation

    Note that just because we know that "Extreme Performance Summer Tires" are good for racing Lechump/Crapcan doesn't mean we'd see everyone come out on these Extreme performance tires.

    C. Size. A quick check of the Tire Rack list I see nothing smaller than 14" and of the 14's and 15's on offer, I see one size, a narrow selection that many of us would have to make changes to the cars - relatively expensive changes to accommodate.

    As an example. My car is an ITS car. I can fit 225/45 and 225/50 Hoosier R7's on that car because I bought a wheel that has an offset that makes them work with rolled fenders. I have a specific set of springs that I use with Hoosiers that overpower the grip for the R888's I run on track days and I have quite a bit more camber than I would otherwise need. I have invested a lot of money into getting this right, and time. You're asking me to do this again for the RE71R or BFG Rival S1.5. I'm not looking forward to that. But maybe that's something we can dismiss as realized cost. But it's still painful to think about doing this again.

    To me the answer of controlling the cost of tires and still distinguishing IT as the "beginner" and a "regional only/low budget" class, would be to seek out a supplier who'd be able to step up and supply long lasting, "race-engineered" tires with a regional level contingency. Toyo RA1's, RR's R88R's, Maxxis Victra RC-1, even someone hungry like https://www.natiresusa.com/ might be willing to jump into the DOT race tire market if we proposed that 5000 IT racers would all switch to their tires with the understanding that they'd step up and supply us. Maybe even Hoosier would create an "IT" tire that we would all use if we reached out with the idea and the threat of us all dropping them for a spec tire.

    Another point of Lechump/Crapcan racers. They desperately want somewhere to test and improve their cars that are not tied up in the endurance series. A lot of these guys want to race in the SCCA/NASA and MCSCC where I race. Giving them an IT class of their own would be far more attractive than asking them to step up and build ITC, B, A or S cars... ITJunk/ITLemon would be a much more successful idea IMO, and let them know they are supposed to follow their series' rules to be compliant and let them self-police. If it becomes a "thing" then we can break out their classes into sub categories.

    While I understand the need to re-brand IT, I don't think starting here is actually the right idea. This has the potential of undermining the interest of a lot of the current IT community. Let's start with a spec tire.
    Racer of old BMW's.
    MCSCC ITS Class E30 325is
    Racing where IT still exists: http://www.mcscc.org/

  5. #25
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    A spec tire will be problematic in a multi-mark category because the size availability issue is even greater than if you have a number of manufacturers from which to choose.

    Look - at the end of the day, you're opposed to the idea of 200TW tires because the status quo works for you. There's nothing wrong with that but sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. The good news for you is that SCCA rules-making has traditionally been pretty responsive to minority needs - if you've got the ear of the powers-that-be. When I go looking at current IT grids, I see pretty much NOBODY who argued that "National status will kill IT." Individual entrants come and go, and turnover in the club - in racing - is astronomical. The Club won't make a decision based on any kind of strategic plan, and a few connected people can pretty much kill any proposed change, so you're probably safe.

    K

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgobey View Post
    While I can appreciate the desire to both distinguish IT from the rest of the SCCA's classes as a "beginner" and a "regional only/low budget" class I don't think racing on non-race compound tires is actually the smart thing to do.
    Don't be misled by the moniker "street tires"; these are race compound tires. Nobody buys these things to go on their street cars, they'd only last 15,000 miles.

    They're just not as soft as The Purple Crack.

    These things are leagues above what we were racing on 15 years ago (Hoosier R3S03; I still have a pair of 2-cycle ones that have been kept inside in a bag away from electricity, you want 'em? )
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  7. #27
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    I think Kirk thinks I'm a dick. No, I'm not, I promise, I'm just expressing an opposing opinion. And Greg, I've run these modern tires too, and they are great. But I just don't think it's the right choice for IT, again, not being a dick, I just don't accept them as the right choice for IT. I still think a Spec tire is a better idea - take it from a guy who ran in NASA's SpecE30 series.

    It's not a bias or throw in the towel thing, or a moody "ef you" thing either. I want to stay current and I want to learn how to drive on modern racing gear/equipment. And maybe it's time that I get off the pot and step up to Nationals, I mean, I've been running SOLO2, HPDE, Wheel to wheel and instructing for 24 years, I've certainly earned the right to pursue that, I just wish the SCCA had a national place ti run my 325 that wouldn't cost me $20,000 more to be competitive.
    Racer of old BMW's.
    MCSCC ITS Class E30 325is
    Racing where IT still exists: http://www.mcscc.org/

  8. #28
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    race competent ABS systems. It seems to me a reasonable approach for older non-abs cars is to allow brake upgrades. Something like any single piece rotor with any 4 piston caliper, so long as it fits inside a 17" wheel, for the front. Upgrade to disk for the rear, if drum.
    Oh boy. I better get a credit card with a much higher limit.

    FWIW, on my previous ITB car there would have been some benefit to have fit it with rear drum brakes based on some pretty credible testing using a very similar platform (Prelude / Accord).
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys Real World Road Tests
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgobey View Post
    I think Kirk thinks I'm a dick.
    Kirk doesn't think you're a dick. Kirk just disagrees with your logical discussion.

    And toward that point...you "want to stay current and I want to learn how to drive on modern racing gear/equipment."

    In Improved Touring.

    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    And toward that point...you "want to stay current and I want to learn how to drive on modern racing gear/equipment."

    In Improved Touring.

    Hahaha I know! I know! and in a 1986 325is - a car I used to lust for when I was 17!!!
    Racer of old BMW's.
    MCSCC ITS Class E30 325is
    Racing where IT still exists: http://www.mcscc.org/

  11. #31
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    I'm on the ITAC still and in favor of this. 200TW and probably max 8" wheels, any diameter.


    I think it will initially be a huge boon to IT. The problem, as always, is competition and popularity. If this works like we think it might, damn right there will be a "who makes the fastests 200TW" war. If IT participation levels don't go up, then it will just mean cheaper tires for those who stay. Regardless, either rway, it helps IT, either with more numbers, or cheaper running costs.
    NC Region
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    I'm on the ITAC still and in favor of this. 200TW and probably max 8" wheels, any diameter.


    I think it will initially be a huge boon to IT. The problem, as always, is competition and popularity. If this works like we think it might, damn right there will be a "who makes the fastests 200TW" war. If IT participation levels don't go up, then it will just mean cheaper tires for those who stay. Regardless, either rway, it helps IT, either with more numbers, or cheaper running costs.
    Sign me up! :-)

  13. #33
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    As noted elsewhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiftlink
    Just make it part of the scrotum cup 2019 rules, must be on skreet tars.

    Seems like a lot of kids have the affinity for the Purple Crack and would oppose the change.


    So let them continue to run the Purple Crack, and let anyone on 200TW tires drop a class, see if anyone dies.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgobey View Post
    I think Kirk thinks I'm a dick. No, I'm not, I promise, I'm just expressing an opposing opinion. And Greg, I've run these modern tires too, and they are great. But I just don't think it's the right choice for IT, again, not being a dick, I just don't accept them as the right choice for IT. I still think a Spec tire is a better idea - take it from a guy who ran in NASA's SpecE30 series.
    Glad MCSCC is still kickin it, I've go a couple circa y2k loooong race silo plaques around here somewhere!

    A spec tire would be great, but probably can only work for spec classes, where all run the same size. Running Toyo's in SM back in the day was indeed a great thing!

    We run 255s on the chump stang on 17x9 wheels. The IT cars are on R7 245s, of course on 15x7 wheels. I suspect we'd not be happy with any options for 200TW on narrow wheels, but such is life.

    Another 200TW benefit would be using the same tire for the wet. We'd have to relearn some stuff, but I'm game for a scrote cup trial season.
    Jeff Giordano 81 ITS, ChampCar Stangs

  15. #35
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    I am also on the ITAC. GREAT to see this much interest and discussion on this topic. So, where are the CRB letters? The more input officially "in the system" the better!

    Go here: https://www.crbscca.com
    Steve Strickland
    2006 Mazda MX5- T4/ ITS
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    2000 Mazda Protege ITB
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  16. #36
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    Nope, done beating my head against that wall.
    Jeff Giordano 81 ITS, ChampCar Stangs

  17. #37
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    If this works like we think it might, damn right there will be a "who makes the fastests 200TW" war.
    Select a spec manufacturer(s).
    Dave Gran
    Real Roads, Real Car Guys Real World Road Tests
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffGio View Post
    Nope, done beating my head against that wall.
    Now now, you just can't quit.

    Off topic, I do think about just doing endurance racing only. More bang for the buck overall, less equipment around.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgobey View Post
    I think Kirk thinks I'm a dick. ...
    NOT AT ALL. I think you're advocating for your position, looking at the question through the lens of an individual competitor. That's your role as a member.

    Problem is, policy making - rules, in this case - has to look at broader interests of an organization that's made up of hundreds of potentially conflicting member interests.

    K

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYoung View Post
    I'm on the ITAC still and in favor of this. 200TW and probably max 8" wheels, any diameter.


    I think it will initially be a huge boon to IT. The problem, as always, is competition and popularity. If this works like we think it might, damn right there will be a "who makes the fastests 200TW" war. If IT participation levels don't go up, then it will just mean cheaper tires for those who stay. Regardless, either rway, it helps IT, either with more numbers, or cheaper running costs.
    I had an interesting experienced this past week, shopping for summer tires for my Fit. I saved one set of ex-Pablo Kosei K1s. Now that I'm moving to somewhere closer to civilization (less crappy roads), and partially in memory of our blue buddy, I thought I'd just get something that approximates the same diameter of the OE 16" alloys on (drum roll please) 14" wheels.

    Wow. When the tire shop guys got done laughing about the old guy's weird idea, we learned that a couple of the most popular sized tires from when was buying Yokohamas (et al.) for racing are getting close to being NLA. (EDIT - at all. Not looking for DOT race tires.)

    Realization? It might be time to completely set free wheel size restrictions in IT. I *think* it was you who proposed a "must fit in this size box" rule instead...? Regardless, that would be a sensible rule change parallel to a shift to ****** *****.

    K

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