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Tire management

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Poll: tire management (78 member(s) have cast votes)

Do we need a tire management program

  1. yes (69 votes [88.46%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 88.46%

  2. no (5 votes [6.41%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.41%

  3. undecided (4 votes [5.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.13%

Opinions on proposed program

  1. I like it is as is, no changes (50 votes [64.10%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 64.10%

  2. I don't like it (3 votes [3.85%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.85%

  3. I like it but it needs some work (25 votes [32.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 32.05%

Do you agree with the tire replacement part of the proposal?

  1. yes, leave it as is (50 votes [64.10%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 64.10%

  2. no not at all (4 votes [5.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.13%

  3. yes I agree but the plan needs work (24 votes [30.77%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.77%

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#41
Jim Drago

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FWIW, The SRF guys are basically racing teh SM7 and getting 15-20 raceable cycles according to reliable sources. Not sure if it is due to weight, real suspensions.. no idea. But they race just as competitively as we do?

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#42
av8tor

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I like the idea you have presented, but I am sure Hoosier is not too excited about limiting tires. I wonder how much influence they have on the decision making.


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#43
tjohn67

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Jim, I agree with this and it has my vote.  I do like the idea that you get 5 tire stickers instead of 4 at registration.  That way if you flat spot a tire you don't have to go hunting for an approval.  For some of us it happens......


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#44
Jim Drago

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Jim, I agree with this and it has my vote.  I do like the idea that you get 5 tire stickers instead of 4 at registration.  That way if you flat spot a tire you don't have to go hunting for an approval.  For some of us it happens......

I like that idea as well.. rethought that..
If you get 5, I would tag 5 stickers.. rotate and race the second race on three two session tires and one three session tire and put it on the least needed corner :( Not sure what to about that, but I don't like it

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#45
Shiftyrat

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Thank you for tackling this issue Jim. Being a new road racer with only three years under my belt, tires are one of the most important considerations in my mind. New tires versus five cycle tires will not help me move to the front. Having said that, it makes me feel better knowing we have a rule as I get better that my competitors are racing on similar equipment with a limiting amount of new tires.

Having expressed my lack of skills and feeling good about myself, the more important aspect is the money. Saving money helps everyone no matter what your budget. More than once I have worked getting a friend into SM, and the first thing they ask after they find a car that they can afford is "How many new tires do i need for a season of racing in one of the organizations?" I know some people are not on a budget, but for a grass roots program that is spec based why not limit tires. The best marketed racing programs in the world market limit tires. Cannot be that hard for all of us to do, hell i already pretty much adhere to the guidelines you proposed based on my budget. I always run at least two race weekends on one set of stickers, and then turn those into warm up and practice sets. 



#46
Tom Hampton

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Why do you insist on being a PITA?? You know what was meant and the difference between the 2 organizations...you dont need help! But a respectful response informs those who may not understand.


Did you really just ask Davey Dew....why he is a PITA? :rotfl:

 

Leapards and spots, man...leapards and spots. 


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#47
Alex

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This is the one of the best topic I have ever seen so far in SM class! YOU NAILED JIM!!!
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#48
Chris Ciufo

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In karts you are allowed a spare of each size, but in order to be tagged you need to prove to tech that it is required, ie, bring them a cut up/ badly flat spotted tire and prove that it is unsafe to run. you may be able to sneak one sticker past tech, but if half the grid starts going up with "bad" tires they will quickly catch on. 


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#49
Tom Sager

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1) limit the number of tires
2) Push Hoosier to deliver a tire that has more raceable cycles

 

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

 

Hoosier should be able to deliver on #2. 


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#50
Tom Sager

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FWIW, The SRF guys are basically racing teh SM7 and getting 15-20 raceable cycles according to reliable sources. Not sure if it is due to weight, real suspensions.. no idea. But they race just as competitively as we do?

 

Weight largest factor most likely, they weigh only 1560 now with driver. They got even lighter with new engine.


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#51
Vinnie Baratta

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An emphatic yes for me.  Do it yesterday.

 

Tire are most of the reason I've been more focused on NASA than SCCA this year. Although even in NASA in our region the front runners are stickering up every weekend.

An 800 dollar set of tires and knowing that I'm on level footing with enough is enough to get me to more Super Tour events for sure.



#52
Bench Racer

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Great idea.  Not to put work on the SM directors, but if the racers wanted to do this the SM director could assign someone each event to mark tires, moving the responsibility and encouraging racer interaction prior to the event.  

Ron and Tom, is this comment not implying there currently are "SM directors"? Not busting the posters balls, only asking a question.


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#53
Nathan Pring

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Appreciate you looking out for racers Jim, especially those of us scraping by.  This definitely seems to be a nationally focused issue. As a regional racers, worrying about 2 sets of tires a weekend isn't an issue, tire affordability and wear is.  

 

I understand Hoosier is contracted with SM to provide tires, and i'm hoping there's some vast improvement with the SM8, but I can't see a tire company making their tires last longer, unless pressure is applied as there's plenty of other tire vendors out there.  Failing that, is their room for regions to run on other tires other than the SM7/8?  I'm currently running SMSE and running the Toyo RR (like i have been for practice days) would go a lot further than limiting sets per weekend, and I dare say might help with the 1.6 entries in the south-east and would actually differentiate SMSE from SM.


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#54
Chris D.

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Thanks for putting the effort into this proposal Jim.   My personal budget target with the SM7s is one set of tires for two race weekends.   If I push it to three it becomes a shit show and I might as well stay home.

 

I think this proposal is a positive step forward.   The pointy end guys and guys with bigger budgets would still plan on one new set per weekend, but at least this would close the gap.   

 

Longer term, I would hope we could get a set of tires like the old Toyo RA1s.   I could run those 15 or so sessions and they'd be grippy right up until they corded.


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#55
Martinracing98

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I think Hoosier understand that keeping race classes successful even if it results in fewer tires sold to each racer is in their long term best interest.


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#56
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If anyone is thinking a 200 TW full tread tire is just as fast as a 1/32 shaved 200 TW tire your kidding yourself.
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#57
Steve Scheifler

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If anyone is thinking a 200 TW full tread tire is just as fast as a 1/32 shaved 200 TW tire your kidding yourself.


Agreed. And unless they are running 10/10s from green to checkered it makes no sense to compare tire performance and stability with any tires run at enduros.
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#58
Steve Scheifler

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Warning: Long-winded post ahead.

Thanks Jim, there’s been the occasional vague reference to something like this but nobody has stepped up with an actual plan and submitted it through channels. This has the potential to make a real difference. Clearly there is very strong support so far from people who respond to the poll.

I like the stickers over other options for the reasons you state if the right adhesive can be found. Making them tamper proof would probably be lots of little slices that hold together when the backing is removed but come apart if removed from the tire, as is common with license plate stickers. Of course the kids will need to stop using Black Magic Tire Wet. :)

But, I do have some buts. I’m not a fan of introducing artificial “excitement” through strategic challenges so I would support the idea in spite of that aspect rather than because of it. As Jim says, perhaps not everyone will be pleased but it should benefit the vast majority of the field at Super Tour events, either by direct cost reduction or improved performance parity. It’s possible that a few will decline to attend an HST as a result but I think just as likely that a few will attend because of it.

I’m less convinced about regular Majors events and am leaning towards Martinracing98’s position on regionals or whatever we call them these days. We spend a lot of time and effort on tire management particularly at “lesser” events and this blows holes in it, but I think it would impact many others even worse. We have a lot of space both at the shop and in the trailer, and wheels are cheaper than tires, so we keep a LOT of sets mounted at all times and typically carry 4 sets of drys per car to the track, plus a couple spares. We keep total cost low by not dismounting until we are truly done with them, but a lot of what we might well use for a timed session or two would not make a full weekend.

Now visualize someone with room for just a couple sets of wheels & drys at home and in the trailer, and the budget. How often will he/she be stuck choosing between the risk of not making it though the weekend on one “decent” set and the cost of not only purchasing and mounting a new set but also later paying to re-mount the used set to get more use out of them or throwing them away? At the lower levels I don’t think this is a rare/minority scenario, I think it would be a very common and costly conundrum. (By the way Jim, did you include $60-100 per set m&b in your tire cost calc? Most of us pay that)

So some of those people dig deeper for an extra set or two of wheels because it saves money long-term keeping those for test sessions, and manage to convince the wife they don’t look that bad stacked in the corner of the family room with a plant on them. Unfortunately, test sessions and test days are not always available so they probably end up stuck with a pile of usable tires that won’t quite cut it for a full event. I don’t think this is far fetched, I think it’s guaranteed, and we haven’t event talked about the guys who get by entirely on other people’s take-offs.

I am very concerned about the impact on regional budget racers, and I suspect that a lot of them run whatever races are close whether technically a Major or regional. So I’m concerned that implementation at all Majors *may* negatively impact attendance for those. That’s the part I’m on the fence with. Would it make any sense to give the regions the option to set the policy for their Majors in the supps?

Unfortunately, if I am correct and this proved unpopular at the lower levels then it doesn’t really help the class or the club where help is probably needed most. I’d still be glad to see cost savings and a more level field at HST events and some Majors, but in the big picture my concerns for the club lie more with improving affordability at the lower levels and I’m not sure this will achieve that.

In that vein, this is also a good time to revisit the “contingency” program which I have never supported. I see that a couple people have already raised it so I’m not alone. If you’ve read this far I’m going to risk a little reflection on history. Back in the day we had an open-tire rule allowing any DOT rated tire in the correct size. Debate raged for some time about the need to spec a tire and some prominent class leaders were opposed. Back then a “contingency” and/or discounted tires was just part of brand marketing as in other classes and with other products so there was no issue. But eventually the spec tire supporters won, well, sort of. A deal was struck which I presume included some monetary benefit to the club, and altogether antithetical to creating a spec, contingencies would still be paid to the guys at the pointy end. With a mandatory spec tire there is NO logical way to look at that other than the masses subsidizing the few, and in a way that only increases the gap between them. I’m in no way suggesting that the typical guy running mid-pack on back is suddenly going to run with the lead pack on equal tires, and I hope they don’t believe that, but that ISN’T the point. I’ve heard & read all the arguments from contingency proponents over the years and they range from absurd to pure elitist rationalization, none even remotely convincing.

Whether this cost control plan moves forward or not, and whether or not we get a more affordable-to-race SM8, I say it’s time to rework the contract with Hoosier as of 2020 to eliminate all contingencies and instead hold down the rapidly escalating price of their tires, which without doing the math I am confident have risen far above the official rate of inflation. I don’t care if it comes to only a few bucks a tire, (and we should be shown the calculations) it should go to everyone buying new tires, period.
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#59
Martinracing98

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I am very concerned about the impact on regional budget racers, and I suspect that a lot of them run whatever races are close whether technically a Major or regional. So I’m concerned that implementation at all Majors *may* negatively impact attendance for those. That’s the part I’m on the fence with. Would it make any sense to give the regions the option to set the policy for their Majors in the supps?
 

I was thinking the same thing with having the process/practice with the supps identify if restriction is in place. As you are aware the St. Louis regions struggles with attendance. I go to the races there just to support the local track. When I go I try to burn up tires I do not want to use anywhere else and only switch to a lower HC tire for the final race on Sunday, and then not always.


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#60
FTodaro

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Agree that the tire management program should not include regional racing. To my view its not a problem in regional racing I do not see people running more than on set of stickers if they have them at all.


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