To: Spec Miata Community
From: Spec Miata Advisory Committee
Subject: An update regarding tire issues, tire survey results, and more.
Based on several requests from members of the community to give an update on SM tire issues and proposals, we have outlined a few of our current tire related projects.
It is the SMAC’s intent to help reduce tire costs for the racers in any way possible and we are engaged in trying to reduce those costs in the following ways:
- Better Tires
- Tire Limiting Proposal
- Re-Allocation of Hoosier Contingency
Better Tires - SMAC has been working with Hoosier on reducing tire costs to the community through the implementation of a new Hoosier rain tire as well as a new Hoosier dry tire.
Hoosier is the contracted tire supplier for the SCCA Spec Miata class. This is a multi-year contract that is negotiated by the SCCA National Office. The SMAC has to work within the confines of that contract as has no authority to negotiate, modify or entertain any other tire suppliers.
For the dry tire we requested a tire that has more usable competitive heat cycles with better wear that does not reward shaving.
For the rain tire we asked for a harder tire that would be usable multiple weekends and not be destroyed in a drying track condition.
SMAC was involved in final prototype testing of both new tires and was able to recommend the introduction of the replacement for the Hoosier H20 with the Hoosier SMW.
The prototype dry tire did not ultimately meet the objectives we set forth, so based on Hoosiers recommendation they are continuing to develop another prototype tire to reevaluate to better meet our objective. In the interim, Hoosier did suggest making a slight change to the SM7 by eliminating the dual grooves in the tire to help improve tire wear.
The SMAC members are all individually bound by a non-disclosure agreement with Hoosier regarding any information on the testing, evaluation process and results. Simply put, this is not our information to share, and while we may wish to share more information with the community, we can’t.
Hoosier is and was willing to let us be a part of the validation process to try and make sure that we meet the objective and we appreciate that opportunity to work together on the solution.
Tire Limiting Proposal for Hoosier Super Tour Events - Based on multiple letters from June/July 2018 timeframe we read the letters and started an evaluation process on what a tire limiting proposal might look like. Given the complexities of the requests for the tire limiting program we decided that we needed some more information and have been doing the following:
- We put together a brief handout tire survey for the SM Super Tour competitors that attended the Watkins Glen event in late June.
- We discussed the June/July letters as well as responses from the Watkins Glen Super Tour survey at our August SMAC meeting and continued formulating ideas.
- September SMAC meeting we finalized the formal survey that was sent out in October to all of the 333 drivers who attended a Majors or Super Tour event in 2019.
- November SMAC meeting we started compiling the results from the surveys we received and put together a summary of the results.
- December SMAC meeting we discussed the results which we feel were somewhat inconclusive and discussed the idea of doing a tire limiting test at a Super Tour event in 2020. We presented this request multiple times to Topeka but were denied.
- SMAC has developed a rough outline of what the process for a tire limiting program might look like and will be formally requesting additional feedback from the community now that we have more details on how this would work. We will be releasing the proposed outline of the process via a What Do You Think (WDYT) in the March Fastrack.
Re-allocation of the Hoosier contingency program. - SMAC was given the approval to evaluate the 2019 Hoosier contingency program to look at the distribution schedule as well as investigate the possibility of changing the distribution of the allotment of 2020 contingency tires.
- SMAC felt It was worth investigating how the tires were distributed and did some calculations on who was receiving the tires. SMAC believes that distributing the allocated tires deeper in the field would help reduce costs for more of our competitors.
- SMAC believes that part of the issue with people running multiple sets of tires per weekend is that it could be due to the fact that they are winning enough tires to do this without a significant monetary investment putting competitors who are paying for all of their tires at a disadvantage.
- SMAC came up with a re-allocation of the contingency program plan in December but ultimately decided that it was too late in the year to change it for 2020 and effectively communicate it to the community.
Tire Limiting Program
- Receive and compile feedback on the tire limiting proposal from the community via the WDYT coming out in the March Fastrack.
- Work with CRB and Tech officials in Topeka to specify what the tire limiting proposal would look like and how it would be implemented and enforced.
- Submit to CRB for approval for the 2021 season, if still desired by the Spec Miata community.
- Continue to develop a proposal for re-allocation of Hoosier contingency, which would be effective for the 2021 season.
Updated Hoosier Tire
- When Hoosier has their next generation tire (SM8) ready to test we will evaluate.
Attached is the proposed tire limiting process that will come out in the March Fastrack. Tire survey results to follow.
Responses to this forum are not anything we can officially consider, so please respond though the appropriate channel which is through the letter log system at crbscca.com.