Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Spec Tire FC

  1. #1
    Senior Member BrianT1's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.04.00
    Location
    St. Charles, Illinois
    Posts
    913
    Liked: 179

    Default Spec Tire FC

    There has been some discussion of a spec tire in FC and while I am neutral on the subject at the moment, I did post the question to the FF guys as they have been on a spec tire for a year now. I wanted there feedback on the cost, durability and racing that exsists with the Spec tire.

    While I have mentioned this on the 2017 Runoffs post, I thought I should move it to its own discussion. This is just one aspect we need to discuss to get the class healthy.

    These are some of the comments from the FF guys that I thought would bring up some good discussion points on the FC side.

    I will say that I think the Hoosier spec tire for FF has been a good thing. But for some cars, it has been a easy change over yet for others I has required a lot of work to get the tires to perform. For FF the big issues are the much larger diameter of the front tire and how that effects the design geometry of the front end. Next is changing from bias ply to radial tires. That has required new or modified control arms to get the new camber settings necessary for the radial tire. And finally because the spring qualities of the tires are so different, bias vs. radial, the shock settings/valving have required a lot of work to get just right.
    The FC adaption to the spec Hoosier that is used in the FRP F2000 series was not without significant pain and it took some time to get the setups that we are using now.
    Now when all these changes are accommodated, the performance on the spec radials is very good and tire life is vastly better.
    I can not tell you how much of the effort was necessitated by the change to radial tires alone and how much was necessary because the radials came with a much harder compound. Bottom line may be how much the average club race will be able to do the development work to get his car satisfactory vs. just park the car and not race it. It darn sure is not as simple as just bolting on new tires and running.
    I will say that for me and the Citations, FF the spec tire is still a work in progress. I am no where close to the setups we have for FC. Remember that before the radial tires almost any FF was competitive now you see complete dominance by one or two makes of cars.
    I have run two different series with two different spec tires. I will give you the good and bad of each below but I think that the general conclusion is, get a tire that can work on a number of different cars. As Steve mentioned above, the radial works well for some FF and not for others. Bias Ply seems to work on all cars but.... it is not where SCCA went.





    So here is my experience:
    Spec Tire #1 - American Racer
    Bias Ply tire that is relatively hard. Was designed for FF and so the sidewall is both a bias ply and designed around the weight of the car. Cost for these tires is truely remarkeable. I think the cost per set was something around $525 (without shipping, taxes, mounting, balancing). They are reasonably durable. 12 heat cycles was about what you could expect and then they fell off (depending on the track, more abrassive = less cycles). I would run two to three race weekends (that was two qualifying sessions and two races for 4 cylces per race weekend) on a set and then turn them into test tires for the friday test day with a new set for qualifying and racing. This cycle worked very well.
    Spec Tire #2 - Hoosier
    Radial tire that seems softer than the AR but the lap time does not show it (they are slightly faster but not much). I personally think the Hoosier tire for FF is the same design, construction, and compound as the SRF tire (I have no data to prove this but they are remarkably similar). If I am correct in this, then not only is the sidewall stiffer from being a radial, it is also designed for a car about 500lbs heavier. In my opinion, this is a bad spring that is harder to control than the AR. Cost is $760 per set (without shipping, taxes, mounting, balancing). You get about the same 12 heat cycles out of them. They are heavier prompting SCCA to raise the minimum weight to 1110 (I would really like to go back to 1100... something about F=MA blah blah blah).
    So for an additional $200 I get a marginally faster tire, with a sidewall that does not mesh well with my car (Swift DB-1 due to the limited camber I can run), is stiffer than needed for the car, I get to run Hoosier's name on my car 22 times (4 per tire and 6 more stickers), and because of the "great price" they gave us, there is no contingency program (AR did not have a contingency program either but their price actually was a "great price").
    This is why I say, pick a tire that actually works on the majority of cars out there. When SRF makes a tire change, it is relatively easy because they only need to make sure that it works on one chassis. Also keep in mind that Economics will play out. What I mean is that with open tires, manufacturers are more willing to offer contingencies for you to run their stuff thus reducing the cost. Without the competition, you might get a cheaper tire but there is no reason to offer contingencies. It may prove out that the all-in cost is no different between the two when this is considered. The move to a spec tire is a complex endeavor with winners and losers (i.e. those with cars that either will not work with the new tire or require expensive modifications to make work with it). You will not find a perfect solution. You will find some that are better and some that are worse.


    Brian. You have probably figured out already that those that would benefit most from a spec tire are the ones that will oppose it most fiercely, and the ones most likely to quit the class. They would have to throw away their magic set-up, that sees them running 5-10 seconds per lap off the potential pace of their cars, and develop a new setup. Even if that were true, it would be a good thing, but either way, it's a hard sell.
    Clearly, the ideal spec tire, in the year 2017, is a big dumb radial tire, as produced by many tires companies (Hoosier, Cooper, Pirelli, etc) and used as spec tires in many classes. While the very serious will make some significant changes to help their car perform better, most will add some camber, and go. As we saw with FF, some people with old cars, like John Benson and Derek Ketchie, just embraced the radial tire and went better than ever. Others, with the same cars, had nothing but trouble as they tried to reinvent their programs for those "nasty" new tires. IMO, attitude was more important than the technical aspects.
    The really really really fast guys in FF can wear out a set of the FF spec tires in a weekend at some of the more abrasive tracks. That is rare. Most of us regular guys can run as many as 20-30 sessions without any wear issues. You do notice a difference putting on new tires after 20 session tires but it is 10ths, not seconds. Pictured is the tire I used on my Reynard FF that has the tire stampings from numerous FRP events. It was still as competitive as one would expect of an old man in an old car. I probably picked up half a second of pace when I put on new tires. I believe that my personal program was benefiting more from increased laps, rather than better tires.




  2. #2
    Contributing Member Steve Demeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    07.01.01
    Location
    Beavercreek, Ohio 45434
    Posts
    6,340
    Liked: 892

    Default

    I am against it . It will only lower costs for those at the pointy end of the grid. Those like me who exist on used tires at $250 to $300 a set will have to pony up more. Maybe have the spec tire for FC and keep open tires for CFC?

  3. #3
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    10.11.06
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    568
    Liked: 218

    Default

    I'm personally(if it was just my car) slightly opposed. It would require some additional effort that may pay off, or may not.

    I'm very worried that a spec tire will park older cars just as our group efforts to get higher counts is starting to bear fruit. I think it would send cars to svra permanently. Perhaps that's a good thing for the pintos, but bad for the class.

    Cade
    www.wrenchaholics.com

    Rental, Coaching, and Data Analysis for Great Lakes Region

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    05.11.07
    Location
    Southeast MI
    Posts
    735
    Liked: 254

    Default

    I'm not opposed. If the tire can retain the same dimensions as the most popular offerings now (Hoosier and Avon diameter) then it minimizes the chassis changes required to maintain suspension geometry. Camber is relatively easy. Personally, I think a lot of people are afraid of going slower, but if everyone is on the same tire then they'll be all going the same amount slower.

  5. #5
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    10.11.06
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    568
    Liked: 218

    Default

    What about going the other way? Spec a bias ply tire? The newer cars can handle the camber decrease more readily than the older cars can add it.

    Then the fear about going slower can be alleviated, too... I hear Avon is the tire to beat this year.
    www.wrenchaholics.com

    Rental, Coaching, and Data Analysis for Great Lakes Region

  6. #6
    Contributing Member EricP's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.22.09
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    976
    Liked: 468

    Default Spec radial might suppress parked car participation

    I purchased a car that has been sitting since 2008. I am learning a lot about the car as-is let alone having to totally figure out suspension for a radial tire (I can currently use the specs that came with the car for bias tires). If the spec tire requires revamping of my setup, I’ll probably spend a couple years running vintage to learn the car on bias tires instead of SCCA events.

    This might be the case for guys with parked cars you are trying to entice. The requirement to figure it all out might turn them off.

    I kinda like the idea of a spec tire but I’d agree with Cade: how about a commonly used bias tire?

  7. The following members LIKED this post:


  8. #7
    Contributing Member problemchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    10.22.02
    Location
    Ransomville, NY
    Posts
    5,715
    Liked: 4288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EricP View Post
    I purchased a car that has been sitting since 2008. I am learning a lot about the car as-is let alone having to totally figure out suspension for a radial tire (I can currently use the specs that came with the car for bias tires). If the spec tire requires revamping of my setup, I’ll probably spend a couple years running vintage to learn the car on bias tires instead of SCCA events.

    This might be the case for guys with parked cars you are trying to entice. The requirement to figure it all out might turn them off.

    I kinda like the idea of a spec tire but I’d agree with Cade: how about a commonly used bias tire?
    Radial tires have been in use in the various Series for many many years. They have evolved over that time as have the available bias tires. Why would you think that your 2nd-hand early 2000s setup would be any more useful for 2018 bias tires than the current information shared by active 2017 racers about the current radial tires. This is actually an opportunity for you to get closer to current. It would be like starting with Windows 10 instead of investing all kinds of time learning Windows 95, so you can spend much more time trying to get closer to current.
    Greg Rice, RICERACEPREP.com
    F1600 Arrive-N-Drive for FRP and SCCA, FC SCCA also. Including Runoffs
    2020 & 2022 F1600 Champion, 2020 SCCA FF Champion, 2021 SCCA FC Champion,
    2016 F2000 Champion, Follow RiceRacePrep on Instagram.

  9. The following members LIKED this post:

    BLS

  10. #8
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    10.11.06
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    568
    Liked: 218

    Default

    Greg, to make sure I understand your point correctly - bias tires have moved on since his setup sheets, so he should go to a radial, as it'll be just as complex as going to a newer bias ply? It's a fair point for a car that hasn't run in a while. BUT...

    Most of the current pinto guys are using current bias ply tires, and we're willing to trade setup data freely. And we'd be doing that recognizing we're helping a new competitor get into a class that he's never run, in a car that is being sorted. There's plenty of learning curve already just in those aspects.

    Another question: Why do you feel that radials are a better fit for a spec tire? My perception is that there is less chance of losing zetecs to a tire change to bias ply than there is a chance of losing pintos to a change to radial.
    www.wrenchaholics.com

    Rental, Coaching, and Data Analysis for Great Lakes Region

  11. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    05.11.07
    Location
    Southeast MI
    Posts
    735
    Liked: 254

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
    I'm very worried that a spec tire will park older cars just as our group efforts to get higher counts is starting to bear fruit. I think it would send cars to svra permanently. Perhaps that's a good thing for the pintos, but bad for the class.
    Cade, how do you see a spec tire sending guys to SVRA? Especially, when we're considering costs in all of this. SVRA only runs a couple of events in each area of the country meaning huge travel expenses to run more than 2 events a year. For us Midwest guys there is an event at Indy and an event at Mid-Ohio and they are 3 day events. A stretch from what the regional group here has historically been committed to.

    What about going the other way? Spec a bias ply tire? The newer cars can handle the camber decrease more readily than the older cars can add it.

    Then the fear about going slower can be alleviated, too... I hear Avon is the tire to beat this year.
    We do have to consider that half the reason for going to a spec tire is the ability to run harder, and therefore slower, compounds in the effort to extend life. Anyway we cut it going to a spec tire would benefit all the competitors if it goes in the direction of increasing longevity.

    I think that any directional move toward a spec tire is going to drive all competitors to do some sort of development. Look at FE and FB and their move to a spec bias ply tire. They have had teething pains working thru various constructions and compounds. FE even had to move to POSITIVE camber to get their tires to work. For some cars that still may drive significant changes to get to the target camber. How many cars were designed to include positive camber in its adjustment range?

    And if we're honest with ourselves bias ply tire design is an antiquated design. They work for us because the loads aren't astronomical, but overall radial tires are the more common technology. Other than the SCCA I can't think (although I didn't try very long) of an open wheel series or community that runs bias ply tires.

  12. #10
    Contributing Member problemchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    10.22.02
    Location
    Ransomville, NY
    Posts
    5,715
    Liked: 4288

    Default

    This whole magic setup obsession is a complete fallacy. For example, there are 5 very competitive FC/F2000 Citations in use right now. Dixon, LaRue, Dave W, Minor, and Bamford (which I manage the engineering of). At this point, all 5 probably have very similar suspension components and camber settings. After that, there is virtually no similarity. Different wings, shocks, spring rates, ride heights, etc. Some have the same brand of shocks, but different pistons, shafts, and of course settings. It would be the same with the Zetec or Mazda Van Deimens, Allaer, Paul, Jenks, McCuskers ...... all have their own setups.

    People racing FC are constantly tuning and evolving their setups. If they're not, then they won't be competitive. If they're not evolving, and they're not competitive, then the specifics of the tire construction really will be insignificant. What they need are consistent long-wearing tires so that they can participate more while spending less, which means that they can learn how to tune and evolve their cars, while improving their driving. It just enhances the whole racing experience.

    The world is building radial racing tires for a reason. Hoosier, Cooper, and Pirelli are providing radial racing tires for a reason.

    My comments are not meant to discourage anyone. Exactly the opposite. Participation is what I am all about. I'm the guy who ran my 34 year old FF in the F1600 Series on used tires from the scrap pile. Every session I adjusted something and the car got better every time out. I got better every time out, I got to a point, that I thought it was worth buying tires and I found I could hang on with 30 year newer cars. Participate, Use spec tires as an opportunity rather than a crutch. Go race. Have fun!
    Greg Rice, RICERACEPREP.com
    F1600 Arrive-N-Drive for FRP and SCCA, FC SCCA also. Including Runoffs
    2020 & 2022 F1600 Champion, 2020 SCCA FF Champion, 2021 SCCA FC Champion,
    2016 F2000 Champion, Follow RiceRacePrep on Instagram.

  13. The following 5 users liked this post:


  14. #11
    Contributing Member EricP's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.22.09
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    976
    Liked: 468

    Default

    I might be derailing this topic but this is good info for me...

    Serious question (not meant to be an argument): so my car, having been set up for/on Hoosier bias in 2008 will likely have the same amount of changes needed to update to 2018 bias tires as I would need for 2018 radial tires? That was not my impression from reading the FF posts. I’m learning though...

    One other minor consideration for ME: if I setup and run a spec tire tire for SCCA that is overall a slower tire, l will be at a big disadvantage in vintage. And note, SVRA isn’t the only group warming to FCs. I don’t know if this significant consideration... I know I bought the car thinking I could have fun running both types of sanctioning bodies but that might not apply to other folks you are trying to tease out.

    All that said, it does seem radial is more modern technology but as I’ve said... I’m learning...

  15. #12
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    10.11.06
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    568
    Liked: 218

    Default

    I hope I didn't come across as aggressive - I meant the question in earnest.

    Bill - while I'm sure some were exaggerating, the comments I got from asking the questions "What do you think of going to a spec tire?" and "What if it was radial?" were eliciting some frustration in the paddock at Mid-Ohio. Two people said "I'd park the car." One of those went on about SCCA shortcomings for a while, until I clarified I wasn't pushing it, just curious about the views out there. Some suggested they'd look for another place to play. "Vintage" was the words used, whether that's SVRA, VARA, or they're just blustering, I'm not sure. Summation: the guys in the paddock were not a fan of spec or radial suggestions. I did nothing to encourage or discourage either view.

    Greg - Thanks, I am with you in looking for participation. I'm willing on my cars to try radials if it comes to that. I'd honestly prefer to try my cars on Avons, but I agree with Bill's points about at least we're all on equal footing. I would suggest that if SCCA wanted to go to a spec tire, that they phase it in over a couple seasons, with an option initially. Then at least we could see if the numbers could be brought up before we start asking people to change the way they do things. Make it as attractive as possible to come play.

    If the club wants to go that way, there will need to be a real commitment to communicate why the up front effort is worth it. The perception is (I'm quoting someone who I won't name here) "THOSE GUYS just want to do it their way, and THEY just want us to fill the grid. Why don't THEY change?!" (This was followed by me explaining, no... no... just asking... nothing's changed!)

    Cheers
    www.wrenchaholics.com

    Rental, Coaching, and Data Analysis for Great Lakes Region

  16. #13
    Contributing Member problemchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    10.22.02
    Location
    Ransomville, NY
    Posts
    5,715
    Liked: 4288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MotorCade View Post
    I hope I didn't come across as aggressive - I meant the question in earnest.



    Greg - Thanks, I am with you in looking for participation. I'm willing on my cars to try radials if it comes to that. I'd honestly prefer to try my cars on Avons, but I agree with Bill's points about at least we're all on equal footing. I would suggest that if SCCA wanted to go to a spec tire, that they phase it in over a couple seasons, with an option initially. Then at least we could see if the numbers could be brought up before we start asking people to change the way they do things. Make it as attractive as possible to come play.

    If the club wants to go that way, there will need to be a real commitment to communicate why the up front effort is worth it. The perception is (I'm quoting someone who I won't name here) "THOSE GUYS just want to do it their way, and THEY just want us to fill the grid. Why don't THEY change?!" (This was followed by me explaining, no... no... just asking... nothing's changed!)

    Cheers
    Why would you wait for SCCA to make a spec tire mandatory? Being on a consistent long-wearing tire is to your benefit. If you put your cars and a few other friend's cars on the Hoosier radials then you can all start reaping the benefits of the spec tire concept and integration with many more racers in your area. Unless you are putting 25As on every 2 sessions, your pace won't be much different. Correct me if I am wrong, but there seems to be a portion of your group who are bitter about the course that FC was taken and will never embrace any collaboration and cooperation with the larger community. Do you want to be part of your own little group doing your own thing on your terms with Formula Alphabet race groups, or be part of a larger group with the opportunity to do a few races with only FC cars on track? I cannot answer that question for you.

    Why is helping fill a field a bad thing? Is running 12th in a 20 car field of cars in your class on spec tires for 3 hours per weekend better or worse than finishing 4th of 6 cars running in class within a 25 car field made up of 7 classes ranging from FV to FA? Again, I cannot answer that question for you. I do know that with 3 FRP races within range of you (same tracks), you have the opportunity to sample that racing. If you buddies won't add a FRP race or two to your schedule, then take it upon yourself to bring your cars to M-O or PRIC and check it out. Bob has bent over backwards to be inclusive and you have nothing to lose.
    Greg Rice, RICERACEPREP.com
    F1600 Arrive-N-Drive for FRP and SCCA, FC SCCA also. Including Runoffs
    2020 & 2022 F1600 Champion, 2020 SCCA FF Champion, 2021 SCCA FC Champion,
    2016 F2000 Champion, Follow RiceRacePrep on Instagram.

  17. The following members LIKED this post:


  18. #14
    Contributing Member EYERACE's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.05.02
    Location
    Orlando Florida 32812
    Posts
    3,811
    Liked: 575

    Default

    In the Southeast the ARs are not a spec tire but most seem to be running it these days because AR / Primus supports FC and no one minds if some other tired FC shows up. There has been an AR / Primus Series for a couple of years and it's starting to get more cars out. I don't wish to mess with the success......so no 'spec tire being imposed please

  19. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    08.03.12
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    63
    Liked: 17

    Default Spec FC tire?

    Any thoughts of the Pirelli radial currently being used as the spec tire in the Pacific F2000 series? I've heard good things but also that it may not work on older FC (Pinto) cars due to the camber range limitations mentioned above.

  20. #16
    Contributing Member
    Join Date
    10.11.06
    Location
    Howell, MI
    Posts
    568
    Liked: 218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rsmart View Post
    Any thoughts of the Pirelli radial currently being used as the spec tire in the Pacific F2000 series? I've heard good things but also that it may not work on older FC (Pinto) cars due to the camber range limitations mentioned above.
    Yes, the consensus is exactly like you describe. Older cars will have a hard time getting camber, changing roll centers, and getting the damping curve correct.
    www.wrenchaholics.com

    Rental, Coaching, and Data Analysis for Great Lakes Region

  21. #17
    Contributing Member Rick Kirchner's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.24.02
    Location
    Tehachapi, CA
    Posts
    6,458
    Liked: 1450

    Default

    So with an eye toward reducing the costs of racing (which includes but is not exclusive to reducing tire costs), I have to ask my question from the other forum post again - Is it possible to create a radial racing tire that is optimized for the lower camber values obtainable with the older cars?

    Like may have stated, there's a lot more than the tire that goes in to making the newer cars faster, that alone precludes the 97 and older cars from doing much more than racing within a sub-class. If so, could those cars benefit from the longer lasting radials with an additional rule that says you have to keep camber to no more than 2.5 deg? That prevents a modification arms race in the older population of cars, and if they are more or less competing among themselves (CFC?) who cares?

    Shocks? You have to get them re-built periodically anyway. I'm sure 90% of the guys out there don't know what they need and are just going off the suggestions from their shock guy. If he's not done work with these radials you are probably SOL anyway. To some degree that's like the old FSV guys that ran the Type 3 motors and complained to the point where VW had to make special parts for the new Type IVs. Nevermind the TY3's blew up all the time and the Type IVs were a much more reliable motor anyway.

    Everybody though seems to be looking to control tire costs. The west coast guys running with Pacific ad/or the SCCA and/or VARA would like a lower operating cost option rather than what's available now. Pacific would like to see them on Pirellis. The east coast guys want the hoosier radial. The south east guys would like the AR - and I admit I was leaning that way, but it seems that AR is really trying to be a full-performance competitor to hoosier and not a cost control tire. That and their customer service (via phone and e-mail) sucks. The only tire that clearly falls out of all this is the standard hoosier bias plys, which are both expensive and short lived. The Avons are a better deal when longevity is factored in.

  22. #18
    Senior Member John LaRue's Avatar
    Join Date
    03.29.01
    Location
    Muncie, Indiana
    Posts
    1,941
    Liked: 964

    Default Hoosier Radials

    I have several sets of decent Hoosier Pro Spec radials that I would be glad to donate to anyone who wants to give them a try. Just cover shipping. John

    jlarue at johnblarue dot com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




About Us
Since 2000, ApexSpeed.com has been the go-to place for amateur road racing enthusiasts, bringing together a friendly community of racers, fans, and industry professionals. We're all about creating a space where people can connect, share knowledge, and exchange parts and vehicles, with a focus on specific race cars, classes, series, and events. Our community includes all major purpose-built road racing classes, like the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and various pro series across North America and beyond. At ApexSpeed, we're passionate about amateur motorsports and are dedicated to helping our community have fun and grow while creating lasting memories on and off the track.
Social