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2021 - the year of the missing tires!!!

Bill Pemberton

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Many tire sizes and even performance tire models are virtually disappearing as we speak. This has happened over and over in the past 4= decades and the situation for those of us who road race or autocross our cars is one has to be constantly vigilant. Some have bemoaned the fact that the RS-4 was going away, but then so is the BFG gforce R1S, numerous sizes of the RE71R, and often tire brands that made wider tires in 18 and 19 sizes have just dropped them. Say for instance, you want to run a 315/30/18 , 200 TWR tire, well now you have the two Falkens, ( RT615K, RT 660 ) , BFG Rival S 1.5, and Yokohama A052. Drop down to 100 TWR or full DOT Comp Tires and you are looking at Toyo R888R, Nankang AR-1, Nitto NT01, and Hoosiers R7/A7. Toyo had a few NASA drivers looking to run their RR series tires in 315/30/18s, as there were huge bonus points for their use that meant one could increase HP and lose weight. Well, bingo they are gone already after making a serious competitive marketing move that should have helped them. There are numerous examples for 19 inch tires too, where all of a sudden a 285 or 295 is the largest size , when a 305 was available in the recent past. This is just a heads up, since the last thing any of us wants is to buy a set for our car only to find out if we ruin a couple there are no replacements. Since TireRack has a link on our site, and it benefits the Forum, do your research there.You can also call Luke Pavlik ( ext. 4362 ) since he is a fellow TrackRat and has been at the Rack for over 20+ years. He warned me about the demise of the gforce BFGs and the Bridgestones well ahead of time , but things are changing quickly.

With things evolving it is likely many of us will be on different tires in the near future ,so reports from members on what is working well will become more important. The thing that would help all of us is if someone posts about a tire they like , make sure you state what you are using them for - i.e. serious competition Time Trials, autocross, W2W or just fun HPDEs. Pretty likely there will be some new brands that end up shining in areas we don't expect because they have changed compounds , increased tread width, or brought out a new design. The sizes are in a state of rapid flux and whether it is a marketing change due to the Pandemic or just economics, some Rubber Donut makers are deciding to vacate the performance arena. Let's all try to keep our fellow TMO members as up to date as possible by contributing.

I just listed a few examples , there are many more sizing changes that will affect all of us, so hopefully those trying new brands because they can no longer find their size, please post your impressions.

I will go back to the " Gold Standard " this year , Hoosier R7/A7s!
 

Mad Hatter

Gotta go Faster
3,532
2,051
Santiago, Chile
Yes, thats happening down here as well.... Quite a few people are trying out the Chinese slicks since no one has anything else in stock... They are terribly cheap, but dont know how bad they are yet, I guess we will see soon enough. They are roughly half the price of a set of R7's. Lucky I still have two sets of usable Hoosiers left
 
I had a hard time finding 200 TW tires a few weeks back, Goodyear dealer told me the F1’s were on National back order but tire rack came through for me with a set. I could have got some bridgestones but discount tire had to source them form 3 different states.... last weekend was first time out at HPDE for the GY tires, and I liked them, I’ll give a better review when I’m going fast enough that I’m using them.... lol
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
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Connecticut
December 2020 Grassroots Motorsports had a good comparison article between the Bridgestone RE-71R, Goodyear F1, and 240TW Michelin Sport Cup. Andy Hollis in his McLaren 720s at a track in Texas - I think 265 front and 305 rear on 1" wider wheels all around (maybe 19x10 & 20x12?). The 'stones were about 1.5 sec slower than the other two. All lost grip after 3-5 laps; the F1 stabilized about 1/2 second off fast pace for the rest of the session. The SC grip "fell off a cliff" after a couple laps of pushing hard, but if you could drive just under the max they'd be good the whole session. The article mentioned one had better grip under acceleration, but I can't remember which.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Blair, Nebraska
The problem is the RE71R has virtually no sizes 90% of folks want on their Mustangs now ----only 285s in 18 inch sizes and 275s in 19s. They seem to be getting out of the sticky tire business and this is the crux of the problem, many well known tires are jumping ship in some of the larger sizes.

Madhatter, if you are talking about the Nankang AR-1s they are cheaper than the Hoosiers , but no where near as inexpensive as in Chile. I think many are surprised that the previous administration put tariffs on a lot of Asian tires, not just Mainland China, so I imagine that is why ours are not as low in the US.

Hoosiers are still major seconds ahead of them , though, and with free shipping from TireRack they are only about 300 higher than the Taiwan Track Tires.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Blair, Nebraska
Interesting note, but back in 2019 when the World was semi normal , the Tire Sales Managers from many of the Major Brands who attended the SCCA Solo Nationals were very candid that drivers were all pestering them for larger and wider sizes. Hoosier just smiled, BFG said they were hearing this everywhere they went , and Falken just mentioned , " We have surprises coming!" Yokohama was quiet, true to their long standing approach to surprise their competitors, and Bridgestone was seemingly quiet. So we fast forward to today and............

Yokohama A052s are dynamite on the Autocross courses and they have a 315/30/18. Falken has two wider muthas with the RT615K and RT660, BFG has the wide Rival S 1.5s and Bridgestone seems to have abandoned the ship --- nothing wide in 18 or 19 inch rubber. I think some were surprised Yokes got large quickly, Falken aggressively jumped into the fray after not having alot of fat tubes, and the old " King of the Hill " fell down with Jill, and now there is nothing that fits the bill.

Some track guys had switched to BFG gforce R1Ss , finding them $300+ cheaper than a Hoosier R7/A7 and having good consistency for the 30-40 , minute races. Sayonara for them , also , and Toyo who thought to jump into the big boy balloons, cancelled the 315/30/18 right when their rules advantage with NASA had quite a few folks ready to bolt their way.

Back to the old reliable, American made and still the Premier DOT Comp Tire, Hoosiers will continue to rule for those who want to be at the front .

Stay vigilant , and it will be interesting to see if we end 2021 with some brands regretting their moves , or if we will just have to do our due diligence on what tyre we want to run on?
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
208
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Connecticut
I just noticed a new 200TW tire from Kumho - Ecsta V730. Nothing in Mustang sizes yet, but it appears they'll have enough sizes/diameters shipping by April 30 to be SCCA Solo legal. Might be another one to keep an eye on if they expand on the sizes offered later in the year.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Blair, Nebraska
Similar tread pattern to the V720 ACR for the Viper , but hopefully being a 200TWR tire it will have more life as the 720 ACR wears as fast as a Hoosier A7 on a road course. Solid find Dave_W and that is exactly what we all need to be checking to help each other. It would be smart from Kumho to make bigger sizes , as there are plenty of Viper owners who would likely purchase a set for their regular street tire. That trend would possibly mean some other wide sizes and who knows?

Kudos Dave!
 
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Is this a new 200 tw tire?
 
14
33
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20+ Years
Auckland, New Zealand
Is this a new 200 tw tire?
Pretty sure they have been around for quite a few years, around 2013?
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
292
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20+ Years
SE WI
Some track guys had switched to BFG gforce R1Ss , finding them $300+ cheaper than a Hoosier R7/A7 and having good consistency for the 30-40 , minute races. Sayonara for them , also , and Toyo who thought to jump into the big boy balloons, cancelled the 315/30/18 right when their rules advantage with NASA had quite a few folks ready to bolt their way.

Back to the old reliable, American made and still the Premier DOT Comp Tire, Hoosiers will continue to rule for those who want to be at the front.

I had a set of R1's a few years ago. They were not as fast as A7s so I soaked the crap out them. But that didn't help much.

Hoosier is the real deal thanks to Bob Newton and now his disciples. I worked at Goodyear as a tire test engr for many years including during the Nascar tire wars of the late 80's. Hoosier made Goodyear look bad. Goodyear management was pissed, like really pissed. Newton loved it. Goodyear had 100,000 employees at that time. Hoosier had about 400.

In the end, Goodyear spent a fortune to convert their Nascar tires from bias to radial and just out spent Hoosier until they gave up. Kind of a sucky way to win but such is life in big companies.

Goodyear paid me well and I'm a fan but also still greatly respect Hoosier. So far Continental (Hoosiers parent company since 2016) has not ruined Newtons legacy. Hopefully that continues.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Blair, Nebraska
Agree that Bob is stellar and he has a lot of clout with Continental as he has proved his mettle over and over. The Toyos are going to stay available in 315/30/18s and they may change my mind, even though they also are not as quick as a Hoosier. The fact that the NASA rules will allow me to lose weight and gain HP is enticing, though I can't lose too much more than I have already. Typical racer struggle but nice to have a couple of choices. Thanks for your note as those who have run on Hoosiers know to thank Bob for alot of their success.
 
469
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Looks like a new entry into the 200TW game - in all the right sizes!

714B8FE7-5045-40DD-AC78-75F5C0465E06.jpeg

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/news/new-continental-and-hoosier-200tw-endurance-tire/
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,250
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Exp. Type
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Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Good find and with the possibility of new sizes with the new Kumho 730 , we may have an even bigger selection of sticky 200 TWR tires than we started the year with.

The rumors ( pretty solid ) are that the RE71Rs have a new generation tire, it is being sold extensively in Asia , but .................it is slower !!! Hence Bridgerocks are not going to come to the North American Continent and have drivers shun the slowmo rubber racer.
 

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