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Some current Tire Observations from the SCCA Tire Rack Solo Nationals 2021 !

Bill Pemberton

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I have told new Autocrossers that this is the best place in the World to go and soak up cone careening knowledge even as they are aware they will be running against drivers with years , even decades, of experience. The advantage is one sees what really works and this cuts down on guessing what is the best for each driver's requirements. The fun part was in walking through the paddock when I was not the mature tire warmer for my son , Ryan, was many of the Mustang autocrossers had been on the TMO site, some contributing and other lurking while soaking up tons of technical info. I hope we see some more Conekillers pop up here over the rest of this year, because I was able to introduce quite a few folks to the fastest Ford Forum in existence. The event is finishing up today and when you have over 1100 plus drivers and support personnel , sponsors ( thanks to Grassroot Motorsports, Hagerty, Koni, Falken, Tire Rack, Solo Performance , R&S Racing, Hoosier, to name a few ) it is easy to get data overload. Analyzing all the information is a fun way to spend the coming months for those in the Midwest as we are only about a month and a half to parking our Steeds in the garage. Special thanks to SPS ( Soloperformance.com ) and fellow member Dave Whitworth who not only ran in CAMC but he helped good friends Ron and Sonja Ver Mulm with the Hoosier Tire Concession. He was changing tires for many, working the SPS on site Store, and also running his Black Stallion in CAM.........he told me he plans on sleeping on Saturday, ha. Now on to personal observations on various tires , with the caveat that I not only viewed what was happening , but I talked to plenty of folks that I noted also were running HPDEs or Time Trials.

First off, in B Street , the Fallen RT660 was the tire of choice for the Mustangs and Camaros partly because there are no 19 inch sizes that from Yokohama. Jumping over to what many feel is becoming the most fun Class to run in , the A052s were on the fastest cars in CAMC and CAMT. It was fun to see a sea of C-Horses , as Mustangs were the dominate vehicle in the Class. The GM contingent was much smaller and it did illustrate the strength of the Blue Oval chassis. Now saying that the Falkens were the ticket in B Stock , yet the Yokes were in the CAM classes is noted partly due to tire sizes available but when one begins to ask more questions a few things become apparent, among both experienced and newer drivers. They are as follows;

1. The A052 does appear to be the " King of the Hill " for auto crossing at present but there are some downfalls. Those are a somewhat vague feeling from the tire, fast wear, and the quick rise to competitive temp comes with mandatory maintenance if running a co-driven machine. You had better have pump sprayers to cool down the tires between runs or they will become a greaseball super rapidly. Under really hot outside temps it is often mandatory to spray down even with a single driver. That said, the Yoke has taken over the title from the RE71R and it appears from comments and experiences from pylon pilots on the Falkens , they too would have been able to take the crown. Chatting with the guys who have done HPDEs or Time Trials only a few who do competitive time trials and are serious enough just to run 1-4 laps are using the A052s.

2. The Falkens are a big choice for many of the Mustang and Camaro drivers because they heat up quickly, but they do not heat soak anywhere near as bad as the Yokohama tires do with 2 drivers. Sure , they may need to be sprayed down in some situations , but it is no where near as dramatic or as necessary with the A052s. The seem to have a much more positive feeling and this was noted by drivers with varying degrees of experience. They also seem to have a much longer run cycle life and that obviously impacts overall costs. They do seem to have an advantage for those running HPDEs , Time Trials, etc. since they do seem to stay stable for a longer period than the Yokes. Now , after saying that, the discussions I had with some drivers who do HPDEs said they don't have the life of an RS4 if tracking for longer periods but 2 said they were getting similar runs out of their Falkens on track compared to the RE71Rs they had previously run on.

3. Hoosiers ---- hmmm, hard to say much hear , but the tire is so dominant on the Classes that run them it is difficult to even comment on any other rubber. For super serious Time Trialers the A7 is the way to go when money is no object. The R7 does still seem to be the majority choice for road racers , but an A7 works better for the autocrosser who occasionally does road course fun.

In conclusion the Falken appears to be a better compromise for those doing both autocross and road course usage, the Yoke is the 200 TWR tire for the serious autocross driver where cone avoidance is his/her main focus, and Hoosier is the King of both racing venues , if your car is running in a class that allows for compliance.

A few caveats for future thought since we will soon have a new Continental/Hoosier track tire that is designed primarily for Endurance events , that could become the new trick set up for the HPDE folks, the Endurance Racing teams, and some Time Trialers ---rumors are still circulating an stickier autocross Contihoo-hoo may appear in 2022. Lastly it could be interesting to see what happens in 2022 as rumors also exist that Goodyear will be more aggressive in the 200 TWR wars, though there were very few vehicles running that brand at the Nationals.
picks should follow later, though I may send to Ludachris since my wife and I seem to have numerous Senior moments every time we try to transfer over to her MAC.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
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Great update, Bill. Though from the results I think the other Dave W @DaveW was running in C Prepared, but it looks like maybe his car was also in CAM-C being co-driven by Samantha Whitworth and Chris Hammond. Congrats to fellow TMO-er @rgosda350 for trophying in CAM-C.

I really wish somebody would offer a tire that's competitive with the A7 for autocross; prices are getting out of control on those. It's tempting to look at building for CAM instead of ESP, except that, to quote someone on the SCCA Solo Events Board, "The CAM rules make Street Modified look frugal."
 

Bill Pemberton

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Sorry, Dave-W, you are correct, Dave ran in C Prepared and then Samantha and Chris ran in CAM. Dave switching back and forth so often I am not sure , but it is often dictated at the last minute with him working the Event so much with his Solo Performance Store and helping the Ver Mulms with the Hoosier Support Vehicle. And, yes, Blacksheep, DaveW was rocking on Hoosiers in C Prepared , ha.

Sorry you couldn't make it Dave_W, since I was looking for you and ran into a guy with a SBY Boss in CAMC. Noticed the plate was from Illinois so quickly figured it was not you --- but I did give him a card suggesting he check out TMO. He took it , but responded that he was on here occasionally and I found quite a few folks at the Nationals are already members as they autocross and do HPDEs or Time Trials.
 
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The Yok is seeming to be the tire to have in CAM in Lincoln and on any of the less grippy surfaces. The RT660 seemed OK at Peru but that is pretty grippy compared to even Lincoln.

I might be forced to try it again, but I really dislike the Yokohama tire. It has zero feel, wears like crap and overheats. And is crazy expensive.

For my particular case (Hoosier dealer), the A7 is about the same out the door price as the Yok, they wear better and the car is actually fun on them with the nice turn in and good feel.

That is why I ran in CP and my wife in CPL (who finished 2nd to Tracy in 2019) Hammond and I ran the Pro in CAM. Samantha had to get back to college for in person classes on Thursday and Friday so the days worked better for her to run CAM. Hammond was a late addition, his SSC car got wrecked by a co-driver at a July event and the body shop hasn't even started on it yet. We also ended up putting Allison Hill in the car in CPL when the car she was driving broke on day 1.

We were EXTREMELY busy with tire work this week and it definitely effected my driving and concentration, especially for the Pro. Probably the biggest issue was that I was too busy working to get over to the practice course on Wednesday and get a few runs on the Hoosiers and it took me 2 runs Thursday in CP to get my timing and the slip angle feel back.

We will run CP/CPL at the December Dixie event on Hoosiers as it will likely be cool and that kills Falken competitiveness. Undecided on Dixie in the spring, but my general plan for 2022 is to split again between CAM and CP. Without Yokohamas and a better driver, the car is about the same competitve level in both classes and the switchover is not hard.

DaveW
 

Bill Pemberton

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Thanks for the update note DaveW, and folks have no idea how extremely busy he was this year............my son and I were running Hoosiers on an ASP EVO and Dave and crew were there assisting in purchase ,mount and dismount. Hard to figure how he had time to sleep , let alone race.
 

Bill Pemberton

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They were 315s and that is the size many of us run on track ----- I love the 25.5 diameter and my competition is running the same thing. Unless you are running a super fast track like Road America , I am convinced that is the size to go with, whether auto crossing or ripping around a road course.
 
That was me with the SBY Boss in CAMC that Bill talked to. I was on Yoks, and they are very vague when hot no matter how much water you dump on them between runs. Great first run tire though. I finished 10th in CAMC, and bet I could have matched that with BFGs since it was a hot 4th heat, 2nd and 3rd runs would have been fine.
The winner in CAMC was an S197 with a lot of mods similar to my car. Biggest difference was the talent Chad had over myself. His fastest runs were his 3rd both days, he managed the Yoks just fine.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Great meeting you and nice to put a face to the SBY Beast. I have to admit a fondness for that machine since I had a 2013 SBY LS and for an older guy like me the Parnelli Jones 1970 Trans Am Championship made it a great tribute Mustang.
 
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They were 315s and that is the size many of us run on track ----- I love the 25.5 diameter and my competition is running the same thing. Unless you are running a super fast track like Road America , I am convinced that is the size to go with, whether auto crossing or ripping around a road course.
Thanks Bill! I’m keeping that in mind for next season.
 

racer47

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Does anyone have a direct comparison between A052s and A7s?
 
Does anyone have a direct comparison between A052s and A7s?
I have run both on my car, but not back to back. IN general, A7 are 1-3 seconds faster on a 45 second course on my car. A7 get better and better on concrete, not as much on asphalt. On any surface, the a7 has better turn in, better lateral grip, better breakway feel and better heat tolerance. The only place they are close is forward bite, but the A7 is still better

There kind of is no reason to compare them directly for autocross. Any class that allows A7, it is hands down the best option unless you are in a true race tire class like CP, in which case the new GT-1 tires are even better. Trying the Yok in one of these classes would be pointless, IMO

DaveW
 

racer47

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...A7 are 1-3 seconds faster......true race tire class like CP, in which case the new GT-1 tires are even better.
Thanks for the info. I'm not running scca. I run mostly at an oval track that sets up a fast autox and there are no rules. I've been running A7s with no complaints but if any tw200 tire were as fast I'd consider buying them and maybe running CAM once in a while.

What are the new GT-1 tires? Hoosier SCCA GT-1 race tires with the 16" bead dia? Or did you mean Nankang CR-1? Or is there something else?

oval night.jpg
 
The yok is closer to the a7 than any previous 200tw but the a7 is still faster by quite a bit if you are allowed to run it.

I am not a fan of the yok at all but may be forced to try it again for cam. Otherwise the only place the yok would be better would be rain. Even on my car that eats the outside of the rears the a7 lasts 70-90 runs and the yok would probably not make that (I only used them 3 events)

the Hoosier gt1 stuff is all 16inch.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
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Connecticut
If there are no tire rules, skip the 200 treadwear tires, skip the DOT-legal "R-Comps" and go straight to full-on race slicks in the softest compound you can find. I think the Hoosier Circuit Radial in R25 compound used to be the go-to, but looking at Hoosier's site there are almost no sizes in that compound.

Problem with using most racing slicks for autocross is that the target market is road race teams that are looking for a tire that will last a full fuel stint at 9-10/10ths with little drop-off, so compared to something like a Hoosier A7 they often won't "switch on" before an autocross run is over. Talk to a multi-brand distributor like Sasco Sports - they may have something in a size that you can use in a "qualifying compound" slick.
 
Just to clarify/expand, Dave_W is correct, any of the Hoosier slicks in 17 and 18 inch will not have a compound appropriate for autocross. The 16 inch ones listed for GT2 and GT1 that are available in S (soft) and MS (Medium Soft) compound are autocross appropriate in the S compound, a little less so in MS but either of these compounds will work. This tire and the compounds have been in development for several years, all the way back to when I had my EM car. Madarash tested these back to back with A7 at spring nats and they are faster, unfortunately 16 inch is pretty useless for most of us in later model Mustangs.

DaveW
 

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