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Old 11-30-2014, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default TC Spec Tires: Hard or Soft?

As one of a few people who had the privilege of running both the Mile High Indoor Champs and the International Indoor Championship in the last year, I ran on two different sets of Gravity spec tires in touring car. Between April and October there were quite a few changes to the Gravity tire in that it was much softer and made much more grip at the IIC than it did at the Mile High. I have both sets sitting on my desk as I type and by my reckoning they have had roughly the same number of racing laps turned and, naturally, the IIC set was much more grippy, softer, and has much more wear than the Mile High set.

The point of this thread IS NOT TO CALL OUT OR OBJECT TO DECISIONS MADE BY GRAVITY RC. They made their tire formula changes for good reason, whatever it may be. The point is to ask:

Do you think that a "spec" touring tire be intentionally harder and lower-grip than optimal? Especially on high-grip carpet surfaces?

I loved racing at the Mile High even though I never found a good setup. The harder tire with a hard sidewall meant that you were tuning your touring cars the way I think you should: tune for more grip, not to fight traction roll. At the IIC I had to glue sidewalls to prevent rolling in high-grip corners like the rest of the racers, and this dictated most of my tuning changes. I didn't have to glue sidewalls at the MHIC, nor did other racers.

I am a proponent of the harder tire, personal preference.

Also, I should say that I am a BIG proponent of spec tire TC racing, because for me it makes tuning much, much easier if I just KNOW what tires I will be running instead of having to play Musical Sorex to find that extra tenth.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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I had the opportunity to make both races you mentioned, as well as the ROAR Nats in Omaha.. all I'd say is you only want to make a spec tire so hard. I can't say I had a big preference between either iteration of Paul's tire. The Sweeps we ran in Omaha.. those were on the wrong end of the spectrum.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #3
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I definitely think a slightly harder spec tire is ideal. But at the same time it shouldn't be too hard that there is little to no grip. I think it is more the decision of the track to have a well suited tire for the conditions, as some tracks are much higher grip than others. One thing I know Gravity RC did recently was create a few different compounds of tires for different conditions. It seems to me that IIC chose too soft of a compound. But that may be due to sponsor obligations, prices etc.

To me the ideal spec tire should be slightly harder than "optimal" to last longer and provide consistent traction throughout multiple runs. Let the mod guys deal with finding the perfect compound to be spent after one run. To me thats not what stock racing is about. It should be tuning to gain the best consistency for you, not tuning to get the maximum of the car every run.

Personally I like to be able to use my tires for some time, providing good performance. For club races my track has an open tire rule, but everyone runs Sorex 36R because they provide good grip but last the entire season of racing (very large high grip asphalt). If we ran something like the Solaris spec tires they are on pace for a run or two, but then fall off and ultimately last 1-2 days of racing. And at $40 a set it is too expensive to keep buying new every couple weeks. Thats one of the reasons I prefer onroad to offroad racing is the life of the tires.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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Something in the middle of the MHIC and IIC tires is the answer I think. Jaco had it right for many years. It must be hard to do consistently though, because spec tires the last year plus have been kinda sketchy.

It's a shame RIDE isn't a reliable choice in the US. Cars feel really great on those tires.

I've been practicing on Sorex 32's lately and they're great. I can get 750-1000 mod laps on them if I rotate and keep an eye on the bead, and the car doesn't do anything stupid.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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Hard/harder

Having to glue sidewalls is an art most people are not good at... And are not an enabler for tight girds.

Too hard of a tire could make it not ideal for club racing. We had to run Solaris hards for the first one or two weekends. I really liked the hard tired on carpet.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Jaco's have been excellent all year long. If you have not tried them since BSR took them over I recommend you do again.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:11 PM   #7
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The only problem I have with hard tires is that they take many runs to break in, so if something happens like you cut a tire or break a rim, you are hosed at a big race since there are so few opportunities to make practice runs. To me as long as the tires can be fast out of the package, hard or soft, it will be the same for everyone and the fast guys will be fast.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeunit1014 View Post
The only problem I have with hard tires is that they take many runs to break in, so if something happens like you cut a tire or break a rim, you are hosed at a big race since there are so few opportunities to make practice runs. To me as long as the tires can be fast out of the package, hard or soft, it will be the same for everyone and the fast guys will be fast.
i agree with Gee about the break in process. the tires cannot be too hard that they need 2+ runs to not suck.

we all know Gee is good w/ the CA bottle though
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:59 AM   #9
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On high grip surfaces I would opt for a harder tyre, but yes the break in process should be minimal.

Use a softer compound if using no additive, but not to the point where tyre wear is excessive.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #10
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I am a fan of the harder tires.
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