Since we're way off topic here...I think Kate Upton is gorgeous. Let's talk about that for a year and a half.
What? did you say something??
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East Street Auto Parts
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I'm not saying SCCA picked the wrong tire, however a survey is an imperfect method to glean what racers want/need.
It's not as simple as seeing that lots of people hate shaving tires and want trackside support.
Speaking for myself, trackside support can go off a cliff if I spend $5 less on each tire. I'm fine with shaving if it saves me $25 on each tire.
I'm fine with shaving AND no support AND paying $50 more if the truly competitive life if the tire is twice as long.
The difficulty is figuring out the right questions to ask to tease out what each demographic in the class wants/needs and how badly and what compromises to make.
Over the years, it seems that SM was destined to be on Hoosiers. There was a groundswell of support that grew over the years, and we got what we asked for. The complaints from some front runners was that they never knew which session the Toyos were going to "come in" and that differed from track to track, making it even more of a crapshoot.
On toyos, I remember when we would qualify on stickers (because they would be awesome for 3 laps), then we would put them away for a month and then use them for a few races. It was more complicated back then. So now we have a tire that is fast and predictable and finding out it may be more expensive to be competitive.
It's great to see people get really passionate about their sport and tires has always been one of those polarizing subjects for us. They are a very big part of the game we play, especially up front, where skills pretty much surpass the limits of the car, and there are only a few things that make a big difference -- tires do.
But for this rule or future tire selections, we really should be looking first and foremost to the needs of the many. The Hoosier issue, real or perceived, may or may not be a big deal to the mid packers, so whatever we do should not penalize or make it more expensive for them. We've asked for input in Oregon region and have yet to hear any complaints from the mid pack. It's always great to hear the perspective of Drago, Mike, Dave and other class leaders, but it would really be great to hear the perspective of the mid pack guys. Is it a big deal or just one of those "you guys decide whatever"?
I have an opinion so I must be right
I'll weigh in instead of just being sarcastic.
I'm bonnified mid pack or at the back of the pointy end depending on the pack. Racing in that company, I've used sticker Hoosiers, properly cured Hoosiers, beautiful condition RA-1s, RA-1s with just maybe enough tread to last the race, and my full tread 5 y.o. 888 rains that I dug out of retirement for an enduro. I end up competing against the very same people mid pack wheither they're on Hoosiers or Toyos (although I think I'm the only one who resorted to 888s). Sometimes I'm running them down. Sometimes they're running me down and that can vary at different points of a race.
Since I started racing (the year of the dreaded 888s) everybody has complained about the class tires and wanted to use a different one. Just like the complaints never really changed much about the tires, neither did the fast lap times. We changed tires so many times that to allow people to run what they had, we always had a mixed bag of tires mid pack. The front runners made a gentlemans agreement on what to run. Along with the "I was down on power" excuse, tires seem to be right up there with why one mid packer went faster and another slower. My conclusion has been that 2 seconds of mistakes per lap in 10ths here and several 10ths there is a much bigger factor than either power or tires. My excuse when I don't do so well is that it was driver related.
I have swallowed the bitter pill and realized that whether I'm on sticker Hoosiers or junk tires I found behind the shed, my line and the movement of my right foot is a much bigger factor to where I'm fast or not. I'd like to all be on the same tire so people complaining about the tires will shut up and race. I'd prefer to not mark the tires because in order to actually cure them and get more sessions on them, sometimes I plan my weekend around what session I'm going to put that 1st cycle on the Hoosiers and bed a set of brake pads. People will still complain they didn't have the best tires that weekend. I'll do my best not to roll my eyes and continue torquing lug nuts.
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