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A Modest Proposal: A Way To Reduce Tire Costs


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#1
Johnny D

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Whether we look at club racing budgets or at pro racing budgets, tires costs are one of the largest components of any racer's season. In pro racing, such as Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup or Pirelli World Challenge, where drivers generally budget for full arrive and drive costs of transport and mechanics and engineering and data analysis and hospitality, tire costs can still be 25% of the budget. Club racing costs are generally much lower, but tire costs for front runners can be even higher as a percentage. And in endurance racing, the tire number is a big thing. At the 25 Hours of Thunderhill for example, it is not uncommon to budget for 40 tires, which can cost $20,000 or more. Once again, a 25% tire budget is all too easily achieved.

 

While reflecting on the success of Balance of Performance (BOP) systems in IMSA and PWC and WEC, we got to wondering if a similar approach might apply to tires, with the goal of reducing tire costs. One simple method might be to allow only one set of stickers per weekend. Or, to take this idea further, a sanctioning body could limit drivers to one set of stickers every other event. Such an approach is more geared to club racing, and would need to be adjusted for enduros, but the idea of limited tire usage could still apply.

 

Such a "BOP" approach would almost certainly lower tire costs and it would also reward drivers who are gentler on tires. It seems consistent with the general trend toward spec classes. In fact, sanctioning bodies might limit the approach to tightly controlled classes. And they could specify longer life tire compounds as well, since absolute lap times are of no consequence in such classes.

 

Sanctioning bodies, with their sponsorship arrangements with tire companies, might be the barrier to this. A small price increase per tire, in classes where the tire is mandated would seem capable of making everyone happy, though we're probably naive to think it is that easy.

 

In the end, we think any proposal to reduce racing costs and increase competition is worth examining. We need more people participating in our sport, and lower costs are the way to do it.

 

http://www.windingro...uce-tire-costs/


  • mellen likes this
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#2
FTodaro

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how would you enforce this rule? How do you keep teams from not running two sets?


Frank
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#3
ChrisA

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Not feasible for club racing. How do you track how many tires a driver or team has purchased and what is used for the weekend[s]? This difficulty is compounded when folk double-dip other run groups and/or partake in enduros, HPDEs or AutoX. How do you account for a tire replaced due to damage? Who is tracking all of this and paying for the equipment and time to do so? I could go on, as there are many other problems with what was proposed. The only way to reduce the tire cost, broadly across a class, is for the required tire to have a harder longer lasting compound that has a broad, flat performance curve before drop-off occurs. Or for the tire just to cost less.


Chris

 

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#4
Johnny D

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Tom Martin wrote the article, you can comment below the article if you click the link ^^

 

FWIW I think NASA's SM Toyo RR is very good just the way it is.

J~


  • av8tor likes this
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#5
Danica Davison

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I wish this was possible for SM.  But with the tire contingencies and series sponsorships...I just don't see it happening.


John Davison
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#6
Rob Burgoon

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Whenever a rule is proposed, I find it helpful to think about how I would defeat/exploit it if I had unlimited budget and no sense of ethics.

 

If I was held to using one set of stickers per weekend, I would bring 8 sets of scuffs.

 

If I was required to use those 4 tires all weekend, I would skip warmup and run a single lap for qual each day.  I would use multiple sets of stickers on test days before the weekend.

 

If the tires were stamped, I'd look for people adding an artist to their support staff.

 

 

One thing that does help though, instead of pressure to run stickers in every session in testing, you might want to do some testing on tires with a few cycles on them since that's what you'll have for sunday.


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#7
Bench Racer

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There's no question, it's possible. Cheaters will always cheat. Dose anyone believe this is the first and only time a tire rule has been talked about being instituted in racing. If the consequence for not abiding to a tire rule is sever as in when caught cheating, your a$$ is permanently bared from said race org. all the cheaters will be history. How many of you cheat at the SCCA Runoffs with your fuel?  


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#8
Chris Ciufo

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I run the GearUp series in karts and they do this. Before qualifying you get your tires marked and you run those for qualifying and the 3 races. You get a spare tire of each size incase of damage. If you have an issue and need to replace more than one tire the stewards can grant an exemption. It works really well for karts and it would be nice to see something similar implemented in SM



#9
Richard Astacio

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I know at PWC, they also mark the tires.


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#10
Johnny D

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SM8 ?

 

J~


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#11
Diller

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In my perfect world I would control tire cost a different way. Use a street tire that doesn't have a reward for being new. Who cares if you have a trailer of stickers if they aren't any faster than 25 HC old tires.


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#12
Rob Burgoon

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In my perfect world I would control tire cost a different way. Use a street tire that doesn't have a reward for being new. Who cares if you have a trailer of stickers if they aren't any faster than 25 HC old tires.

 

 

You'll have to spend effort testing folks for tire softeners.   I wonder why we don't hear about that now...


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#13
av8tor

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just change the SM7 compound.  Make 'em more like the Toyos.  I have been amazed at the consistent life span of the ToyoRR.






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