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Old 07-10-2005, 12:05 AM   #1
UGotBoost?
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Default Autocross competition tires, advice please

I've been autocrossing for about 1.5 years now and I'm interested in competiton tires (deducated) for racing.

My question is, do I really need the competition rubber?

I've got a set of Rotas with Pirelli PZero Neros that I use on the street (and as of now, at events as well). Their grip is pretty great, but I'm looking for the next step... and I'm sick of tearing my street tires apart prematurely.

Important Mods:
Cobb Stage 2 (AP), free-flowing exhaust
Helix Rear Sway/Endlinks
V7 STI suspension

I've got a set of stock wheels that I plan on using with my new tires, going with 225/50/16. My research on Tirerack.com has led me to the Kumho Ecsta 700's for the bang/buck. I was going to buy them shaved to 4/32's and heat-cycled, as I don't plan on racing in the rain.

So.. Any advice on 1: Competition vs. UHP Summer and 2: Brands/Makes of tire?
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:54 AM   #2
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if you plan to go 225/50/16, you might wanna do yourself a favor and get wider rims than the oe stockers. you're gonna experience sidewall flex with this setup. i m thinking you want the most out of your tire since these are dedicated, so start with a better wheel. 98-01 RS 16x7 can be obtained at reasonable prices $300-400 depending on condition.

i cant answer the tire questions as i have never used race rubber, sorry.
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Old 07-10-2005, 01:31 AM   #3
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right now I am decideing between the Kumho MX, Azenis, and Hankook Ventus R-S2's.....right now the Hankook R-S2's are winning.
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Old 07-10-2005, 04:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by express_wagon
if you plan to go 225/50/16, you might wanna do yourself a favor and get wider rims than the oe stockers. you're gonna experience sidewall flex with this setup. i m thinking you want the most out of your tire since these are dedicated, so start with a better wheel. 98-01 RS 16x7 can be obtained at reasonable prices $300-400 depending on condition.

i cant answer the tire questions as i have never used race rubber, sorry.
Well, I don't have my heart set on the 225 width... I just love the 225/45/17s I've got on now. I'd seen (in about 100 posts) that 225's will FIT the stock wheels, but fitment and performance are 2 different things.

Would narrowing the tire help with sidewall flex?
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:00 AM   #5
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I would go with the Kumho V700 victoracers over the V700 ecstas. The ecstas tend to have worse wear on heavier cars like our subarus. The victoracers are a very good tire that I use with great results. It may not have the sizes you are looking for though, but I have not checked. If your budget only allows to use the stock tires for running in SM (where your mods put you), then go with it. But go for wider wheels if possible. The taller tire for a WRX is not the best thing as the lower torque that it has makes it harder to spin those tires at the lower auto-x speeds.

Going from a street tire to r-comp is a night and day experience and I think you will be very happy with the difference.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:16 AM   #6
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Bridgestone Potenza RE55S.

Linky
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UGotBoost?
Well, I don't have my heart set on the 225 width... I just love the 225/45/17s I've got on now. I'd seen (in about 100 posts) that 225's will FIT the stock wheels, but fitment and performance are 2 different things.

Would narrowing the tire help with sidewall flex?
i think you will but then you'll be getting a thinner tire. trade-offs.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:59 PM   #8
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you don't want to go any narrower than 225.

Go ahead and put the Victoracers on the stock rims 225-50/16. I ran this set up in 2002 and did well on the local level.

It's not the ideal set up (narrow wheel) but it works fine and saves you the $600+ a set of 16x8's would cost you .

G
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateLurker
Bridgestone Potenza RE55S.

Linky
now that's a nice looking tread
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:16 AM   #10
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Id go with a 215/40/16 kumho 710. The smaller sidewall is better for gearing on course, they are VERY sticky, and the 215 710 is as wide as the 225 victoracer.
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:53 AM   #11
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My experience driving my STi on various tires is that even road race tires like the Toyo RA-1's will be an enormous difference from UHP summer tires like the RE070's, Falken Azenis, etc. Huge. As rankink said -- night and day.

I don't know and am too lazy to look up sizes for 16" tires. The Kumho V710 seems to be the fastest tire right now and looks like it wears pretty well for a race tire. The Hoosier A3S05 is getting close but probably won't wear as well. I'd stay away from the older A3S04 -- they have a terribly short life and the shoulders will cord really fast, and the previous two are stickier anyway. The Ecsta has a decent lifetime for a race tire but may need shaving which adds price. The Victoracer is the old standby -- it's not as fast as the others but it should last longer. Lastly, the Toyo RA-1 will be slower than the above by a small amount but still a second or two faster than a street tire. The good thing about the Toyos is that they don't heat cycle like all the others and they last a really long time -- about 4x longer than the Hoosiers for me and 2x the Kumhos. I know from experience that an RA-1 near the end of it's life is faster than a Hoosier A3S04 which has gone through too many heat cycles even though it has tread.

A couple other options I know almost nothing about are the Hankook Z214 C70 which seems reasonably fast, though GRM says it doesn't wear as well as the V710 and is a bit slower. The Yokohama A032R Soft sounds very similar to the Toyo RA-1 -- it wears well, seems somewhat streetable in a pinch, but is a non-trivial amount slower than the "real" autocross tires (though as seen in the GRM test, while the slowest of the R compounds tested it is is over a second faster than the RT-615 which was the fastest street tire tested).

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:44 AM   #12
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Local regions vary, but around here, for a car to be competitive in SM...it needs a better suspension (think coilovers w/ kidney-bruising rates) and V710s or AS304(5) in at least 245 width. A 2.5L STi engine is also helpful.

You mention free-flowing exhaust...does that mean catless? If you still have a cat, you'd be better off running the Cobb STX map and staying in STX. Then you just need sticky street tires (Falken 615 or 215, Hankook Z212, Kumho MX, Yoko Neova)

With current classing, the WRX just isn't a class-leader in any of the race-tire classes (DS, ESP, or SM).
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:07 PM   #13
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As long as your Cobb stage 2 doesn't adjust your boost, you're legal for STX. While you won't have R-comps, the WRX is more competitive in this class. There's quite a few tires to choose from (Falken RT-615/215, Hankooks, Kumho, etc.) that perform great on your car. The max. wheel width is 8" and the national level drivers are mainly using 17". You may want to use your stock rims for everyday use (I have 225/50/16 Pirelli PZero Nero M+S and no rubbing issues) and use your 17's to race on.

Depends on what you want to do - win locally in SM/ESP on R-Comps or try to compete on the national level some day in STX without doing a lot more modifications to your car.
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