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

  1. #61
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    Hi Cameron,Thank you for submitting a request/input to the Club Racing Board. The details of your request can be found below.
    Letter ID Number: #24752
    Title: Tires with a minimum treadwear rating of 200 for all IT cars.
    Class: IT General
    Request: 2018 is my first season in Improved Touring with my own car. Yes, I just built a new build for IT. My car is a 2008 VW Rabbit 5cyl 2.5L in ITS. My first exposure to SCCA was through my involvement with an ITB car, 1996 VW Golf 2.0L, from about 2003 to 2010. I have always had a fond appreciation of Improved Touring since then and always wanted to race in IT. I chose ITS because in my division ITS is pretty strong, fairly large fields.

    I have no experience driving on 200TW tires, so I find myself anxious about this proposal, however, I do see the potential benefit. I have been told that these new extreme performance 200TW tires are very good, that they are more consistent over more heat cycles than what I currently run, Hoosier R7 225/45R17. And I see that a set of these tires is at minimum about $400 less expensive than the Hoosiers that I am currently buying. And that these tires are slightly slower, maybe 2 seconds over a 3 mile course, due to a lower grip level.

    If these assertions are true, and keeping in mind the savings, I would be able to potentially spend more money on entry fees and less on tires, which would be a very welcome change. Track time is expensive and precious, I am certain that my savings would go toward more event weekends or more races in the same weekend.

    I also think that IT could benefit from carving out a place for itself, a distinction from the myriad of classifications, as an affordable place to race against multiple makes where one can build and enter the type of car they prefer. As opposed to the plethora of affordable entry level spec classes. Some of us do not wish to race a spec car. I got my license in an SM and my first two seasons were in SM, I appreciate the class, but I really prefer to have some fun building a car that I like.

    Finally, I think if we are to choose this path, wheel rules should be opened up so that everyone can find a tire that will suit them. I would suggest to eliminate wheel diameter and width restrictions and only specify a maximum tire section width per class. 205 for C and B, 225 for A, and 245 for S. Something like this would be appropriate and regulates what actually matters, which is the contact patch. These tires are not all made in the same sizes available in the DOT-R's, so opening up wheel diameters would allow people to find a size that works for them.

    Thank you for requesting member input regarding Improved Touring, whatever happens, I hope it is for the best for the category as a whole.
    Cameron Conover

  2. #62
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    I'm opposed.

    Those running small tires are toast, e.g., 13". I can understand the appeal for those running +16" but to state open up the wheels/tires rules is meaningless if there are no real tires in your size.

    I don't think this will bring in new drivers. The LeChump model is not easily transferred.
    1985 CRX Si competed in Solo II: AS, CS, DS, GS
    1986 CRX Si competed in: SCCA Solo II CSP, SCCA ITA, SCCA ITB, NASA H5
    1988 CRX Si competed in ITA & STL

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom91ita View Post
    I'm opposed.

    Those running small tires are toast, e.g., 13". I can understand the appeal for those running +16" but to state open up the wheels/tires rules is meaningless if there are no real tires in your size.

    I don't think this will bring in new drivers. The LeChump model is not easily transferred.
    If I can attend more races with a reduced tire budget then I affectively become a new driver at all those events I wasn't previously going to. So far my car has been to VIR, my home track, and Barber on a whim. If my costs are less and I can travel more all those other tracks get to welcome me as a new driver.

  4. #64

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    I'm in favor of mandating spec tyre or a longer-lasting tyre. We have an ITA CRX that is sitting at a friend's garage because none of us want to buy Hoosiers for it. If we could run it somewhat competitively with tyres that last a little longer or have a lower retail price, it would be out there running in IT with a driver who wouldn't be racing otherwise.
    Roger Maeda - #7 ITS Honda Prelude Si
    South Jersey Region

  5. #65
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    Interesting thoughts.

    Good points for making the switch and overall I think they carry the day, except...

    The biggest negative is what to do about the smaller diameter guys? Allowing bigger wheels MIGHT help, but it kills their gearing. SO, they need to buy a different final drive. Kills the cost saving benefit. Well, in the short term at least. But, the bigger issue is that some of them can't find the gear they would need. I don't know how many guys are in that boat, I suspect it's a pretty small percentage. I don't know of a workaround.

    To those who -cough- Chris, -cough- like going faster around corners, ask youself...is racing in slippery conditions (rain, damp, etc) less fun?? TO me it was a bigger challenge and one that I found to be a HUGE opportunity. The guys who are one dimensional thinkers, they'd be toast. Adapting to changing conditions, figuring out how to go fast with less stick, that's fun. Now I hear you "But it won't be changing, it will always be the same, just slower", true, but....I don't see the delta between the Hoosiers and the better 100tw tires to be that huge. We're talking a second or so on a minute long course like Lime Rock.

    To my eye, it's a good concept that needs to have some technicalities worked out.

    **** Oh...Spec tire?? In a category with 300+ spec lines (car models)....yea....aint gonna happen. Nor is getting a manufacturer to 'sponsor a program". LOL

    Also, ANY change will have winners, and losers, and sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
    Jake Gulick


    CarriageHouse Motorsports
    for sale: 2003 Audi A4 Quattro, clean, serviced, dark green, auto, sunroof, tan leather with 75K miles.
    IT-7 #57 RX-7 race car
    Porsche 1973 911E street/fun car
    BMW 2003 M3 cab, sun car.
    GMC Sierra Tow Vehicle
    New England Region
    lateapex911(at)gmail(dot)com


  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxedfox View Post
    I'm in favor of mandating spec tyre or a longer-lasting tyre. We have an ITA CRX that is sitting at a friend's garage because none of us want to buy Hoosiers for it. If we could run it somewhat competitively with tyres that last a little longer or have a lower retail price, it would be out there running in IT with a driver who wouldn't be racing otherwise.
    Really? I suggest that if you get a set of good Nittos or similar, you'd have a car that could "Run somewhat competitively". OR, scrap together a second set of wheels and get a set of Hoosiers, then as they get old, get another set. Now, you have a fast set and a not so fast set...prize the fast set and use them as needed, and use the old set for practice, etc. Used wisely tires can go a long way.

    But, big picture, I don't see saving $400 -800 as THE factor thats keeping the car off the track....but, I could be wrong .
    Jake Gulick


    CarriageHouse Motorsports
    for sale: 2003 Audi A4 Quattro, clean, serviced, dark green, auto, sunroof, tan leather with 75K miles.
    IT-7 #57 RX-7 race car
    Porsche 1973 911E street/fun car
    BMW 2003 M3 cab, sun car.
    GMC Sierra Tow Vehicle
    New England Region
    lateapex911(at)gmail(dot)com


  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateapex911 View Post
    The biggest negative is what to do about the smaller diameter guys? Allowing bigger wheels MIGHT help, but it kills their gearing.
    Let's just put this to bed right now: they're irrelevant to the discussion. Sorry, ITC guys, but your class is dead. More dead than even B-Spec.

    That one region somewhere in Minnesota that has half a dozen ITC still running can write in the event supps that ITC cars can run whatever tire they want. It's really that easy.

    So STOP IT, Jake. Never, ever, EVER make regulations based on how it will affect one person or one sub set. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The question should not be "but what about these guys?" The question should be "what is best for everyone in aggregrate, as a whole, all around the country?"

    Never make regulations centered around one exception. Ever.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by lateapex911 View Post
    But, big picture, I don't see saving $400 -800 as THE factor thats keeping the car off the track....but, I could be wrong .
    Sometimes it's more about the perception more than numbers that matter. It'd cost a lot more than that to run the car for a season but the idea of being able to get the car running competitively on long-lasting fresh rubber would be enough to convince one of my friends to run it.
    Roger Maeda - #7 ITS Honda Prelude Si
    South Jersey Region

  9. #69
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    Tracking Number: #24744 (I think... I seem to never be able to copy/paste from word so added an attachment....)

    *************** Following is my letter**"***

    Background / Disclosure: I have an ITB CRX Si and an ITA CRX Si. The ITA car typically uses 205/50-15 SM7’s on 15x7 rims. The ITB car uses 225/45-13 R7’s on 13x6 rims. The ITA car will likely not be significantly impacted all things being equal. That is, the tire size is close enough to available ****** *****. The ITB car will be majorly impacted since the final drive will be really goofed up. An ITB CRX needs both small tires for gearing. The car currently has a 4.93 Houseman FD (typically considered to have been the best for this car). I have another STL CRX Si that I campaigned the last couple of years specifically to compete at the Mid-Ohio and Indy Runoffs. My 2018 plans were 3-4 ITA races. I have done a fair number of autocrosses on ****** ***** as well as LeMons races on ****** *****. I understand their performance and relative cost. I have the following questions and concerns.

    What is the goal of limiting IT to ****** *****?

    How will SCCA measure success?

    What will SCCA do if the goal is not achieved?

    I am not in favor of this proposal because I do not believe it will achieve its apparent goal (attract the street tire racers from LeMons or Chump nor increase participation by reducing costs). My level of participation is driven just as much by family obligations and work requirements. It is not just the tire budget.

    I do not think it will attract those currently racing on ****** *****. The Bracket Enduro concept should have achieved that.

    I do not think the comparison to ****** ***** and autocross participation is a valid comparison. Many autocrossers extol the virtues of ****** ***** because it lets them drive to the event with the tires on the car. I know that when I was autocrossing on ****** *****, I did the same thing. However, even if I put ****** ***** on my IT cars, the days of those cars being driven to an event are long past (circa 1992)….

    My biggest fear is that the goal will not be achieved and the current actual SCCA members that race IT will be even more disenfranchised.

    ******** Conclusion of letter******

    Heck, we can’t even control costs by using SFI belts for five years anymore.
    Last edited by tom91ita; 06-13-2018 at 08:03 PM.
    1985 CRX Si competed in Solo II: AS, CS, DS, GS
    1986 CRX Si competed in: SCCA Solo II CSP, SCCA ITA, SCCA ITB, NASA H5
    1988 CRX Si competed in ITA & STL

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    Let's just put this to bed right now: they're irrelevant to the discussion. Sorry, ITC guys, but your class is dead. More dead than even B-Spec.

    That one region somewhere in Minnesota that has half a dozen ITC still running can write in the event supps that ITC cars can run whatever tire they want. It's really that easy.

    So STOP IT, Jake. Never, ever, EVER make regulations based on how it will affect one person or one sub set. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The question should not be "but what about these guys?" The question should be "what is best for everyone in aggregrate, as a whole, all around the country?"

    Never make regulations centered around one exception. Ever.
    And thats why I ended my post with "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".....
    Jake Gulick


    CarriageHouse Motorsports
    for sale: 2003 Audi A4 Quattro, clean, serviced, dark green, auto, sunroof, tan leather with 75K miles.
    IT-7 #57 RX-7 race car
    Porsche 1973 911E street/fun car
    BMW 2003 M3 cab, sun car.
    GMC Sierra Tow Vehicle
    New England Region
    lateapex911(at)gmail(dot)com


  11. #71

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    I'm curious how many of your regions place IT cars in with SM? In the Northeast, we're always grouped with SM and SM2.

    I'm concerned that running a slower tire will put me right in the middle of the kill-zone of SM, rather than being able to stay ahead of most of the SM-related carnage.

    I have an ITA Miata because I don't want to race in SM. I'm not happy that we have to share race groups with SM, but at least now I can stay ahead of them.

    My tire savings may be eaten up by body panel purchases.

    Thoughts?
    #08 ITA/STL Miata

  12. #72
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    High Point, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwasilko View Post
    I'm curious how many of your regions place IT cars in with SM? In the Northeast, we're always grouped with SM and SM2.

    I'm concerned that running a slower tire will put me right in the middle of the kill-zone of SM, rather than being able to stay ahead of most of the SM-related carnage.

    I have an ITA Miata because I don't want to race in SM. I'm not happy that we have to share race groups with SM, but at least now I can stay ahead of them.

    My tire savings may be eaten up by body panel purchases.

    Thoughts?
    In the Southeast we have enough cars to be in our own group usually. That being said....Spec Miata has been behaving pretty good around here.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxedfox View Post
    I'm in favor of mandating spec tyre or a longer-lasting tyre. We have an ITA CRX that is sitting at a friend's garage because none of us want to buy Hoosiers for it. If we could run it somewhat competitively with tyres that last a little longer or have a lower retail price, it would be out there running in IT with a driver who wouldn't be racing otherwise.
    Too many variables to know if your CRX can be somewhat competitive: Engine build, tune, LSD, FD, Suspension, rims/tires, competition in your region (at that race), and the biggest piece - driver ability. Tires are one piece of the equation. Used Hoosier SM7 take offs with ~4 heat cycles on them sell for $265-325 shipped per set. I just purchased two sets for my ITA car. I was getting 12-16 heat cycles out of the Hankooks I ran in 2012 (my last year in ITA). Of course they would fall off towards the end, but they still worked great for qualifying where you could put down a flyer and then cool the tires off...

    If winning is the goal, a 10/10ths build with a good driver will beat most of the cars competing in IT regardless of what tires everyone runs. Once you're competing against a stack of 10/10ths builds, new Hoosiers can be the difference.
    Matt Downing
    1995 Honda Civic EX Coupe - ITA
    Ohio Valley Region, SCCA

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