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Old 10-13-2010, 06:03 AM   #1
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Default Spec tires for Club Racing

I see a few clubs going to Spec tires for their series. What are the advantages or disadvantages that you see from doing this? What are the complaints that you hear the most and has it helped or hurt your racing program? Thanks in advance for the input. Carpet or asphalt. Just want opinions.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:14 AM   #2
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some clubs use spec tires to even the playing feild if everyone is running the same tire no one has an advantage. like for instence there is no tire rule and everyone is running jacos and some pulls out rp30s that person will be a .5 sec to a sec of a lap faster then everone else people complan about everything but most are about the brand the club picks. i dont think it hurts the race program.
hope this helps
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:20 AM   #3
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(+) Level playing field
(+) Less to fiddle about with on race day

(-) People do love to whinge about having to buy a set of new tyres when they have a box full of old ones
(-) If you get the spec tyre wrong and the cars don't handle you'll get complaints

Having been involved with a few clubs here in the UK that have considered spec tyres (or not), it's surprised me how many club racers prefer open tyre rules, despite the performance differences. For non-championship club racing, where racers just want to get some track time and have fun, there isn't a convincing argument for them. If it is a championship series designed to appeal to more than just the local racers, it's almost a necessity.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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Over the past year and a half our track has tried two different brands of spec tire to 'level the playing field'. We tried Jaco and Solaris. The Jacos were inconsistent with rubber compound and the Solaris tires split and both had a minimum of grip which all led to alot of frustration. The plus side was that they were cheaper. Today the track owner is going to change the rules (I think, and hope) to open tire. It's tough on him because he doesn't know what tire to stock to make us happy customers. Having tried spec tire I'm ready to go back to open tire.

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Old 10-13-2010, 01:22 PM   #5
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People will bitch either way. You will loose racers either way. You will gain racers either way. This may not help but I can assure you that it is accurate.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrcguy View Post
You will lose racers either way. You will gain racers either way.
Strangely, we've maintained the same number of racers. Thus, the statement should be:

You will either gain racers, lose racers, or maintain the same number of racers.*


I haven't heard any complaints about WGT having a spec tire. People seem to like it since they don't have to carry several compounds to each race.

* The above statement is 100% accurate.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:31 PM   #7
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This is the stuff I'm looking for. I'm not convinced that spec tires are the way to go, but I want to hear more opinions. We are looking at a type of spec class with no boost and spec tires for beginners. Takes one of the variables out of the race day so they can just concentrate on driving and learning to setup a car. Keep it coming. Good stuff.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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They use Solaris premounted hard compound at WCRC. Personally, I love not having to buy a bunch of different kinds of tires (nor glue them) and know that everyone else is going to be getting the same traction I am...and the traction is usually really good, anyway. It really makes it easier on the pocketbook.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #9
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They use Solaris premounted hard compound at WCRC. Personally, I love not having to buy a bunch of different kinds of tires (nor glue them) and know that everyone else is going to be getting the same traction I am...and the traction is usually really good, anyway. It really makes it easier on the pocketbook.
Slight correction, at WC some use them, so don't and some won't.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
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Tony, you know my thoughts on this subject. For a beginner/spec class, I think a spec tire will take away a tuning variable that will help those guys learn how to adjust on a car. For everyone else, I think tire choice should be an available tuning option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosidge View Post
(+) Level playing field
(+) Less to fiddle about with on race day

(-) People do love to whinge about having to buy a set of new tyres when they have a box full of old ones
(-) If you get the spec tyre wrong and the cars don't handle you'll get complaints

Having been involved with a few clubs here in the UK that have considered spec tyres (or not), it's surprised me how many club racers prefer open tyre rules, despite the performance differences. For non-championship club racing, where racers just want to get some track time and have fun, there isn't a convincing argument for them. If it is a championship series designed to appeal to more than just the local racers, it's almost a necessity.
+1 Well said.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fred Hubbard View Post
Slight correction, at WC some use them, so don't and some won't.
Well...the Super GT 21.5 and non-timing 17.5 Sedan are supposed to be Solaris spec tire and the open 17.5 is currently without an enforced spec tire. But for as much money as I end up putting into this darn hobby, it's really nice to only have to buy one kind of tire and not have to buy them very frequently. I already have too many sets of off-road tires! It makes sense to me that for the more advanced guys, they should be able to make their choice of available tires at the top end of the racing spectrum (which is where you live, Fred). For entry-level and sportsman classes, I think a spec tire is awesome.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HarryLeach View Post
Tony, you know my thoughts on this subject. For a beginner/spec class, I think a spec tire will take away a tuning variable that will help those guys learn how to adjust on a car. For everyone else, I think tire choice should be an available tuning option.

+1 Well said.
I agree Harry. I'm not trying to start anything, I'm just collecting information to see what results people are getting from spec'ing tires at the club level. Don't read too much into it. Just curious. Personally, I've had great results with Sorex 24 or CS22 on the rug, but they seem to be increasingly harder to find these days. I see benefits to spec'ing tires and I also assume the complaints that we would get. "I can get blah, blah, blah for $xx so I don't want to run spec tires". My car handled like doodoo with Jaco blues while some liked the tires. I see the issues.

I would like to see if people are adjusting to an enforced tire or just quitting because they don't like the way their car fealt with them. From a LHS standpoint, it would make it easier to stock 1 type of tire rather than guess the flavor of the week. Since most of my time is spent trying to increase attendance or make racing fun again, I'd really like to know that the hobby shop we race at is still going to be around for awhile. I don't see a whole lot of tire sales inside and I don't expect them to stock several brands just to appease the masses. Just want opinions on whether spec'ing tires at club level has worked for clubs or caused them to deteriorate.
At any race that I've travelled to, the spec tires worked very well and everyone adapted. I didn't hear any complaints about tire choice and I didn't see shoe boxes full of options to try out. That sounds appealing to me.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #13
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I hear ya Tony. No reading in or stirring the pot intended.

There's compelling reasons both ways, and I've made my car work with various different "spec" tires, but there is a different feel to the car with each tire type, even with the best setup you can manage for each.

I try to buy local as much as I can, we're really spoiled with our local racing options, and I don't want any of those options to go away. On the other hand, I don't want to race a car that feels edgy when there's no tire rule, and I'll find my preferred tires, and try other tires any way I can get ahold of them.

That's probably my biggest complaint with the "spec" tires I've tried, the setup window for what feels good and is still fast is so narrow, that it doesn't take being off by much to have a car that's in danger of taking out a lot of parts on multiple cars. A lot of times, a fast car on spec tires is nerve racking in traffic, and a comfortable car on spec tires is slow.

That's my experience anyway, YMMV.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:31 AM   #14
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It seems that spec tires serve one major purpose.

To provide a single product line for the hobby shop/track owners to stock in their store making it easier for them to not focus on what works only what is mandated, rather than stocking multiple tires/insert types for the discriminating racer. This also reduces inventory and cost of tires that may be slow sellers for them in the hobby shop.

Does your track intend to tech tires? If not, does it really matter if you spec a tire or not? If there is no tech how do you plan to ensure that everyone is running the correct tire? Spec tires work at large races because they are inspected and tagged at the race. You could be setting your club up for failure if everyone does not follow the SPEC tire rules.

I agree in part that a spec tire takes away a tuning aid, however I believe that more importantly what it does is to shift what needs to/can be tuned to other factors than tires, which opens a whole new can of worms for most of us racers.

If your track has a narrow range of tires that work, then I think a single spec tire can be a real danger. If you choose one that ends up being inconsistent across the board coupled with setup skills for racers that consist of downloading pro driver setup sheets, or are raw and disorganized. You could have a recipe for an added layer of pressure/frustration that is unintended, which could drive racers away.

I would suggest that you don't have a single spec tire but a choice of two or three tires that are know good all around tires that fall into the tracks SPEC for tires that can be used (hobby shop bearing the cost of stock has to be considered in this equation). This would provide an opportunity for racers to choose from the SPEC the tire that best suits their driving style, while still allowing some form of "control". Some tires may be/feel faster but if the racer cant use it other than to get to the corner dot faster then it gives them one less reason to complain about why they lost because the tires don't work with their cars setup.
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