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Best tire for consistent times over several heat cycles?

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#1
achilles99

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Hi everyone,

I recently picked up a spec miata primarily for track days (for now). I've been doing a lot of tire research, and quite frankly there doesn't seem to be a consensus on which tire is best. Too many variables for that "title" I guess!

What I'm looking for is a tire that is consistent between the first and last run, and will last as many heat cycles as possible. Since I'm doing only track days, I'll be doing several 20-40 minutes session over a day (5-6 cycles) or two (10-12 cycles).

I've heard that the Hoosier SM6 tire is great for an enduro race, but will they last for as many heat cycles as the RA1?

So, I guess the question is:

1) Between the RA1 and SM6, which has the most consistent lap times over many heat cycles?

Thanks!

#2
Ron Alan

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If your ever going to run SM then drive the RA1's and forget about the others...will last longer than most. Drive them until they cord...they will get better as they wear. Be good about moving them around and some will even flip them on the rim for longevity. I think your car set-up and driving style will determine how long they last.
I see a lot of guys who run Hankooks in their 2nd class over Hoosiers and heard they get great wear in relation to the grip/cost...good value! But have no first hand experience...just what a couple different drivers said to me!
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#3
Jim Drago

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always has been lots of debate over this issue...

If you want a tire that lasts long and not worried about ultimate grip, The RA1 is fine, the Nitto is essentially the same tire with different tread design and cheaper, so that makes more sense. I have never been one to agree that Toyos are fastest right before they cord. That may be true for a few laps, but the IMO that is b/c the weight of the tire. I have and continue to use baldies for qualifying at certain tracks, but if I want a really good Toyo, it starts at 1/32 or worst case 2/32. Not much life left when you start there.

If you buy a Hoosier, Ra1 or Nitto, The shaved tires starting at 4/32, you will get about the same life on any of the tires IMO. Nittos are the least expensive, Hoosiers are by far the most fun. All things considered, all three are very god tire choices.
Pick your poison. :)

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#4
trey

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I run my car in ITA so my tire choice is not limited

When racing , I'm on the Hankook Z214 C51 , I'm 9 heat cycles into them right now without heat cycle drop off , I have experienced some drop off late in a race ( 100 degrees in Texas ) ... I have not run the Hoosier , but I'm under the impression that the speed is similar to the Hankook and it might heat cycle out faster , plus the Hoosier is slightly more expensive.

When I'm not racing , I'm on Nitto NT01 , my current set is a year old and I've lost track of heat cycles but it's huge , they are close to cording and I had respectable times on them this past weekend on a 95 degree day. I rarely see them go off in a HPDE session. I do not shave them ( that makes them slow at 1st , but they last forever and is cheaper )

There is a significant difference between the 2 tires.

In my opinion , the NT01 is the cheapest and longest lasting of the 100 treadwear tires , the Hankook is the cheapest and longest lasting of the 40 treadwear tires.

If I was headed to SM competition and doing track days , I would consider learning on RA1 takeoffs

#5
achilles99

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Great responses guys. Sounds like the RA1/NT01 lasts the most number of heat cycles without dropping off too much. My goal is to learn the car, and improve on lap times. It's hard to do that if the tires fall off quickly, especially when running 6 20 minute sessions a day on an HDPE weekend.

Trey - I tried takeoff R888's, and had bad luck with both sets. I'm not sure if that's because they were takeoffs, or because they were R888's. I'm going to stick with new tires for now just to take variability out of the question in terms of heat cycles.

Is there a preferred vendor for the RA1/NT01's? I'm in Atlanta, perhaps I should support whoever is closest?

#6
red986s

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IMHO,

R888s are horrible, avoid them at all cost (new or take offs).

RA1s are fine for track days. I learned to race on old take offs and had no problems. I think I paid $200 for three sets!

SM6s (purple crack), The first time I used them I was hooked! You do use them up quicker. Better grip = more confidence = more aggressive driving style

I raced on a set of Nittos on a Golf in the 24hrs of Lemons and was impressed with the grip BUT, thats a whole different animal (car/race).

As mentioned above, it all depends on your driving style. You can chew up a pair of RA1s in 3 races or make a pair of SM6s last all season.
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#7
Pete Maerz

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always has been lots of debate over this issue...

I have never been one to agree that Toyos are fastest right before they cord. That may be true for a few laps, but the IMO that is b/c the weight of the tire. I have and continue to use baldies for qualifying at certain tracks, but if I want a really good Toyo, it starts at 1/32 or worst case 2/32. Not much life left when you start there.


Hi Jim,
Has your opinion changed since 2007? Link
(3rd post from the top)

Pete Maerz

#8
Motor City Hamilton

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Great Lakes SCCA is open tire. I have run at least a full season on each of 3 types of tires.

RA1 - I agree with Drago that the RA1 is fastest as fresh rubber shaved to 1/32. Get about six or eight good runs out of them then risk cording.

R888 - I actually liked this tire. Seemed just as good as the RA1 for about the same amount of heat cycles, fast for 6 to 8, but could run as practice tires through 12-15 total cycles.

Hoosier SM6 - Best deal for the money in my opinion. I am getting 20 useful race cycles out of them. I'm not seeing the "run them twice and they drop off" experience that some mention about Hoosiers. Maybe with the Hoosier "A" but I have not seen that affect with the SM6. I can run the SM6 for an additional 10 cycles for practice, so 30 total runs. What are they, $168 each and no shaving needed.

#9
philstireservice

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Great Lakes SCCA is open tire. I have run at least a full season on each of 3 types of tires.

RA1 - I agree with Drago that the RA1 is fastest as fresh rubber shaved to 1/32. Get about six or eight good runs out of them then risk cording.

R888 - I actually liked this tire. Seemed just as good as the RA1 for about the same amount of heat cycles, fast for 6 to 8, but could run as practice tires through 12-15 total cycles.

Hoosier SM6 - Best deal for the money in my opinion. I am getting 20 useful race cycles out of them. I'm not seeing the "run them twice and they drop off" experience that some mention about Hoosiers. Maybe with the Hoosier "A" but I have not seen that affect with the SM6. I can run the SM6 for an additional 10 cycles for practice, so 30 total runs. What are they, $168 each and no shaving needed.



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#10
Jim Drago

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Hi Jim,
Has your opinion changed since 2007? Link
(3rd post from the top)

Pete Maerz


No Pete
My opinion has not changed at all, you read what you wanted in that post. That post referred to Mid Ohio. My opinion from that post has not changed. Mid Ohio is a weird surface, if you run new tires there, they grain. So you have to run tires that have been cycled a few times and sat or they will shred to pieces. This was for DE tires.
Jim

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#11
Anthony Ralston

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IMHO,

R888s are horrible, avoid them at all cost (new or take offs).


Are they really that bad? I just picked up a spec that has R888s already mounted. I don't know the history of them.

I plan on just autocrossing the car for a few months while I refresh the car for racing (and wait for the next SCCA class...). Should I just tear through the 888s? Will they teach me bad habits?

#12
MPR22

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For pure DE tires, run Dunlop Direza Star Specs. Shave them to 6/32s if you want to squeeze a little more performance out of them. They last FOREVER and are only about a second slower than RA1s. They will last much longer and are very consistent from begining to end. I would run them if I ever got a chance to go to the track just for fun and not have to squeeze every last tenth out of the car.
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#13
KentCarter

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For pure DE tires, run Dunlop Direza Star Specs. Shave them to 6/32s if you want to squeeze a little more performance out of them. They last FOREVER and are only about a second slower than RA1s. They will last much longer and are very consistent from begining to end. I would run them if I ever got a chance to go to the track just for fun and not have to squeeze every last tenth out of the car.


Totally agree. Amazing tires. Good grip, good wear, consistent and communicative. And cheeeeeeap.
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#14
Keith Novak

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Totally agree. Amazing tires. Good grip, good wear, consistent and communicative. And cheeeeeeap.


+2 We run the Dunlops on our 24hr Chump Car as does just about anyone else in the know and in it to win it. Rough track, hot day, assorted drivers and they still do well for a loooong time.
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#15
Cnj

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For pure DE tires, run Dunlop Direza Star Specs. Shave them to 6/32s if you want to squeeze a little more performance out of them. They last FOREVER and are only about a second slower than RA1s. They will last much longer and are very consistent from begining to end. I would run them if I ever got a chance to go to the track just for fun and not have to squeeze every last tenth out of the car.


Agree. I recently was in a Miata in a 24hour race with these and running hard we went through 1 1/2 sets with plenty left on the second set. easy to drive fast, predictable and as others say, probably only a second slower a lap than RA-1's. A cheap way to develop driving during DE's where the only real goal in a Miata is to annoy the Porsches :)

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#16
philstireservice

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Agree. I recently was in a Miata in a 24hour race with these and running hard we went through 1 1/2 sets with plenty left on the second set. easy to drive fast, predictable and as others say, probably only a second slower a lap than RA-1's. A cheap way to develop driving during DE's where the only real goal in a Miata is to annoy the Porsches :)

Cnj



Star Specs are a street tire and they do last a while. That's why the Chump guys use them.

Another good choice, but won't last like a Star Spec, but will be as fast as Hoosier is the BF Goodrich R1. Fast and not as drastic a fall off like the Hoosiers.

Also coming soon look for the new Toyo RR1 (molded tire like the Hoosier, Hankook and BFG).

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#17
trimless

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Star Specs are a street tire and they do last a while. That's why the Chump guys use them.

Another good choice, but won't last like a Star Spec, but will be as fast as Hoosier is the BF Goodrich R1. Fast and not as drastic a fall off like the Hoosiers.

Also coming soon look for the new Toyo RR1 (molded tire like the Hoosier, Hankook and BFG).


Chump guys use star specs because they are the best tire available that meet the rules (190 + wear rating). The R1 tire would be an upgrade for sure, but will not meet the rules based on their 40 wear rating.. Shaving these tires down to 6/32" gets you a very good tire that last 12 hours at most tracks. Hard to beat.
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#18
KentCarter

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Several of us who have used the StarSpecs on our Lemons/Chump cars on Miatas have had the opportunity to compare them to our 'regularly scheduled tires' and feel they would have made a great spec tire for the SM series. Not as fast, but they are more consistent and cheaper. It doesn't matter to me if the spec tire is slower than it could be if we are alllll on the same tire. Low cost and long-life combined with pretty impressive grip does matter.
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#19
philstireservice

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Several of us who have used the StarSpecs on our Lemons/Chump cars on Miatas have had the opportunity to compare them to our 'regularly scheduled tires' and feel they would have made a great spec tire for the SM series. Not as fast, but they are more consistent and cheaper. It doesn't matter to me if the spec tire is slower than it could be if we are alllll on the same tire. Low cost and long-life combined with pretty impressive grip does matter.



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#20
Jim Drago

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Same support we had from 2006-2011 :)
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