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Thread: R-Comps for HPDE Car that's Driven to Events

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    Default R-Comps for HPDE Car that's Driven to Events

    I'm going to be making the move off of street tires finally. I'm still working on my own trailer and trailer storage situation so that will lead to me street driving on r-comps for a few months (if not all of next year).

    I'm looking for some suggestions or comments regarding which r-comp you would street drive to/from the track. I'll be driving about 3k max a year on these and all of them fit within any classing restrictions the car may run in.

    The following tires are the current candidates:
    RC-1
    NT-01
    Toyo RR

    Which one would you pick for this usage and why. Thanks.

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    Member JulioG's Avatar
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    What car do you drive? What tire size do you usually run?

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    The answer is always miata :P Running 205/50/15. Going to stick to that size for now because of the wheels on hand. I've been on Rivals as street tires for the better part of 3 years to make sure I learned the car control I needed. I want to move up to the next level in terms of learning and lap times... FWIW car currently does 2:03.5 at brp 13CW on street tires.. Driver does 2:04 most of the time

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    I am on my third set of NT01s, and they have worked for me. First set was on a 350Z (275/40/17), but I used to change them out so that I only drove them on the streets to go to and from the track. Not sure if you have a second set of wheels that you can keep street tires on, but if its a daily driver, then that is the way to go if possible.

    I am into my second set of smaller NT01s on a similar size/weight car as a miata (1967 Alfa GTV w/205/55/14) that I have driven to BRP, CVR, ACS, WSIR without any problems. I don't daily drive the car, though. Just the occasional drive through the hills or on the way to the track.

    In my experience, limited street driving doesn't shorten the life of the tires much because street driving doesn't wear out the shoulders of the tires, and that is what goes first. I have heard you can extend the life of NT01s by have them re-mounted with the sidewall marked "inside" switched to the outside. The claim is that there is no structural difference in the inside vs outside of the tire.
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    i'm interested in hearing the opinions/facts on changing the mounting to "inside out" and how that works...anyone?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    I am on my third set of NT01s, and they have worked for me. First set was on a 350Z (275/40/17), but I used to change them out so that I only drove them on the streets to go to and from the track. Not sure if you have a second set of wheels that you can keep street tires on, but if its a daily driver, then that is the way to go if possible.

    I am into my second set of smaller NT01s on a similar size/weight car as a miata (1967 Alfa GTV w/205/55/14) that I have driven to BRP, CVR, ACS, WSIR without any problems. I don't daily drive the car, though. Just the occasional drive through the hills or on the way to the track.

    In my experience, limited street driving doesn't shorten the life of the tires much because street driving doesn't wear out the shoulders of the tires, and that is what goes first. I have heard you can extend the life of NT01s by have them re-mounted with the sidewall marked "inside" switched to the outside. The claim is that there is no structural difference in the inside vs outside of the tire.
    Won't the tires experience a heat cycle each time you drive the car on the street long enough to heat up the tires? Might not be a problem for cars only driven to/from the track but still should be considered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebruner View Post
    I'm going to be making the move off of street tires finally. I'm still working on my own trailer and trailer storage situation so that will lead to me street driving on r-comps for a few months (if not all of next year).

    .
    Sounds like you have not fallen off the cliff yet like many of us with trailers and lots of baggage. If I had to do it all over again I would seriously consider using a comfortable SUV or light truck like tacoma or F150 to flat tow the track car. I would use giant high profile street tires to drag it to the track. I would swap to race tires of my choice at the track. It is just as fast to swap tires as it is to load up all the junk in your trailer and get the car in and out. You could even use nice street tires to get to the track and use them if it rains and swap tires to race tires for the dry. You will have much cheaper operation and storage issues if you never get a trailer. Later if you hate flat towing the flat tow rig is only a few hundred dollars lost.


    Another thing to consider is rain. It does not rain much in socal but you can have damp or wet tracks or sprinkles for a while. A full tread NT01 or RA1 might make a better single dry tire than a slick Dot-r tire like a BFG or A7 at least for carrying only 1 set of tires racing from November to March in socal.
    Last edited by fatbillybob; 10-12-2015 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Integral View Post
    i'm interested in hearing the opinions/facts on changing the mounting to "inside out" and how that works...anyone?
    I do that all the time and it really gets more life out of the tires but I have my own balancer and tire machine so doing all the monkey business helps to justify machine costs. It can be $100 bucks to mount and balance trackside. The local tire monkeys are usually less. So what you do is balance your wheels then tape the weights if any with one color of duct tape. Then you mount new tires and balance them. When you swap there is all kinds of rubber and junk on the tires so you can't really balance them so I don't. Light racetires just are not like heavy street tires and I don't have a problem with balance at 150mph ACS speeds but you can definitely feel smoother running on a newly balanced fresh set of tires.
    Last edited by fatbillybob; 10-12-2015 at 07:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    Won't the tires experience a heat cycle each time you drive the car on the street long enough to heat up the tires? Might not be a problem for cars only driven to/from the track but still should be considered.
    If my lap times were more important, then this would be more of an issue. I run NT01s until they cord. I am sure heat cycles matter, but most advice I have heard indicates that the NT01 compound doesn't drop off that much by being cycled out. Fresh sticky rubber always feels best on track, and they seem to drop off after that. Someone with more competition experience can probably chime in here.
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    Aren't Rivals just as fast as NT01s and RC1s? I hear they're at least very close so I'd get another set of those until you can get the trailer situation figured out.
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    I ran around LA on Yokohama 052Rs for two years with my Miata. They became hard as hell after about a year, then scary as hell in anything above a heavy mist. Still, on/off ramps and taking 'the long way home' from work was a lot of fun. The tire road blasted the sills pretty bad, too. I wouldn't do it here in Atlanta, it rains too much. Which, being in LA and entering into an El NiŮo, is something to consider.
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    Kam
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    If you can find them, RA1s would be my vote.
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    Not seeing that big gain between what you're driving on and RA-1 / NT01 and such..
    If you're not going to get another set of wheels with real sticky tires on it, might as well stick to max performance street tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    I am on my third set of NT01s, and they have worked for me. First set was on a 350Z (275/40/17), but I used to change them out so that I only drove them on the streets to go to and from the track. Not sure if you have a second set of wheels that you can keep street tires on, but if its a daily driver, then that is the way to go if possible.

    I am into my second set of smaller NT01s on a similar size/weight car as a miata (1967 Alfa GTV w/205/55/14) that I have driven to BRP, CVR, ACS, WSIR without any problems. I don't daily drive the car, though. Just the occasional drive through the hills or on the way to the track.

    In my experience, limited street driving doesn't shorten the life of the tires much because street driving doesn't wear out the shoulders of the tires, and that is what goes first. I have heard you can extend the life of NT01s by have them re-mounted with the sidewall marked "inside" switched to the outside. The claim is that there is no structural difference in the inside vs outside of the tire.
    Thanks for the info. I too am leaning towards the NT01 as a starter R-comp. My car only sees street miles on the way to the track, it literally never leaves the garage otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Integral View Post
    i'm interested in hearing the opinions/facts on changing the mounting to "inside out" and how that works...anyone?
    From my personal experience, I have found that the added costs of un-mount/re-mount does not create a tipping point where itís worth it. Typically youíre only extending the wear of the tires by a few sessions at most and the added 100-150 bucks to make the swap isnít worth it.

    That isÖ unless youíre like FBB below and have your own mounting machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    Won't the tires experience a heat cycle each time you drive the car on the street long enough to heat up the tires? Might not be a problem for cars only driven to/from the track but still should be considered.
    Thatís an interesting question. For ****s and grins I pyroíd the rivals while at a gas stop on the way to the track. I found that those cruised along at 130 degrees max (inside shoulders with 3 degrees of camber). That to me means there likely isnít enough heat in the carcass to dip into heat cycles. NowÖ the fly in the ointment here is that the R-comps are going to have significantly stiffer side walls and compounds that create more friction. I think itís reasonable to think that the higher quality rubber R-comps (hoosier, toyo rrís) would all experience significant degradation during fwy driving to make it untenable. They may even generate enough friction during street driving to get up to 150ish degrees, which likely is going to create a heat cycle.

    I think for these lower grade R-comps however, the accidental heat cycles should be livable. At least Iím telling myself that.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Sounds like you have not fallen off the cliff yet like many of us with trailers and lots of baggage. If I had to do it all over again I would seriously consider using a comfortable SUV or light truck like tacoma or F150 to flat tow the track car. I would use giant high profile street tires to drag it to the track. I would swap to race tires of my choice at the track. It is just as fast to swap tires as it is to load up all the junk in your trailer and get the car in and out. You could even use nice street tires to get to the track and use them if it rains and swap tires to race tires for the dry. You will have much cheaper operation and storage issues if you never get a trailer. Later if you hate flat towing the flat tow rig is only a few hundred dollars lost.

    Another thing to consider is rain. It does not rain much in socal but you can have damp or wet tracks or sprinkles for a while. A full tread NT01 or RA1 might make a better single dry tire than a slick Dot-r tire like a BFG or A7 at least for carrying only 1 set of tires racing from November to March in socal.
    Interesting comments regarding the trailer. Iím starting to think that my 99 dual use car may stay a lap time chasing project that stays street drivable. I was considering going a w2w route with it (pte, spm, etc), but recently Iíve come to the realization that Iíd be better off going down the route of a donor if I went there.

    Iím also considering building a tire/tool trailer. Iím thinking it would be awesome to not have to tetris pack the dual use car and just insert a hitch into the receiver, load up the trailer and bounce. The ultimate goal here is to get a second set of wheels/tires either wayÖ but for now I donít even have mini horrible freight trailer parking at my disposal. So my thought was to make the switch to R-comps and street drive them for now to try them out and get used to change in grip, braking etc.

    Part of the motivation here is that I will be going to a more serious driving experience at some point (be it w2w, more serious time attack). I think going straight to w2w without having any experience on r-comps seems like a mistake.

    I wonder how the Rivals are compared to an NT-01 in the rain. Prob both pretty terrible but the rival has to be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    I do that all the time and it really gets more life out of the tires but I have my own balancer and tire machine so doing all the monkey business helps to justify machine costs. It can be $100 bucks to mount and balance trackside. The local tire monkeys are usually less. So what you do is balance your wheels then tape the weights if any with one color of duct tape. Then you mount new tires and balance them. When you swap there is all kinds of rubber and junk on the tires so you can't really balance them so I don't. Light racetires just are not like heavy street tires and I don't have a problem with balance at 150mph ACS speeds but you can definitely feel smoother running on a newly balanced fresh set of tires.
    Very jealous of your setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    If my lap times were more important, then this would be more of an issue. I run NT01s until they cord. I am sure heat cycles matter, but most advice I have heard indicates that the NT01 compound doesn't drop off that much by being cycled out. Fresh sticky rubber always feels best on track, and they seem to drop off after that. Someone with more competition experience can probably chime in here.
    I would also run them until they chord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Aren't Rivals just as fast as NT01s and RC1s? I hear they're at least very close so I'd get another set of those until you can get the trailer situation figured out.
    Itís not necessarily just about lap timesÖ although I think the rivals are a touch slower than the RC1ís. Iím hitting the point to where the rivals canít keep up with the grip the car is creating. The rivals are a great tire, but there is no doubt they are built upon a street tire carcass. To get optimal pyro readings Iíve had to crank them up to -3 degrees or more (I suppose technically less because negative). Even at those camber settings I destroy outside shoulders on hot days.

    There is likely an element of over driving going on thatís creating that issue no doubtÖ but Iíve seen some pyro readings on hot days of above 200 degrees. Iíve concluded after some reading that this is likely above the intended optimal temp range for this type of tire. At first I was consuming street tires at a reasonable amount of time (10-12 days on a set) but now Iím down to them looking pretty shady after 4 days.

    Also recently Iíve gotten the chance to drive some genuine r-comp shrod cars and they are a very different experience. Specifically braking grip is a huge change. The one place Iíve really struggled with my street tire car is getting the threshold braking just right. Itís very easy to lock up front tires on my car and Iíve actually killed a few tires as a result.

    I still have a lot to learn about drivingÖ but I can tell following other SPMís and other cars around that my car is like driving on ice compared to those. Itís been fun and a great learning experience for the past 3 yearsÖ but itís the limiting factor in my lap times and development at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Force McCocken View Post
    I ran around LA on Yokohama 052Rs for two years with my Miata. They became hard as hell after about a year, then scary as hell in anything above a heavy mist. Still, on/off ramps and taking 'the long way home' from work was a lot of fun. The tire road blasted the sills pretty bad, too. I wouldn't do it here in Atlanta, it rains too much. Which, being in LA and entering into an El NiŮo, is something to consider.
    Solid point. Maybe one last set of rain capable street tires is a good call. I need to think about it for sure.

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    I have to say, too, that I ran r-comps on 195-60-14 sizing. Two things I noticed: first, the smaller width made me more comfortable with the car's setup. That means I was acclimated to how the car drove loose. Second, the taller sidewalks were more forgiving and a touch more comfortable over expansion joints and road irregularities.

    I think driving a Miata is more fun on smaller tires. There is a bit more response, agility and character in 185 and 195 sizing. I would often track the car on 225/45-15s, but gratuitous grip aside, it was a little boring. I know I was slower on 14s, but I felt like I was growing and learning more on them as a driver. Just an opinionated observation. I wish 14 inch tires were more popular.

    Those Yokos were the 'Aqua tusk' design and OK in the rain, but loud as hell.
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    My two cents: Make it simple. Buy an extra set of wheels and mount r-comps on those. Swap wheels before the event and minimize miles on them. used wheels are plentiful if you can find ones that are straight.

    Putting miles on anything less than 200 treadwear on the street is burning money, unless you have money to burn. They will eventually heat cycle to the point you might be better off on a higher treadwear on the street anyway (and a greater safety margin with a wider, more forgiving envelop).

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    I vote for NT01s if you're going to drive to the track on them. A better solution would be to find a way to carry four extra wheels and tires with you and change from street tires to R comps at the track.

    Doesn't Blackbird Fabworx offer an off-the-shelf roof- and/or trunk-mounted tire rack for Miatas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB View Post
    My two cents: Make it simple. Buy an extra set of wheels and mount r-comps on those. Swap wheels before the event and minimize miles on them. used wheels are plentiful if you can find ones that are straight.

    Putting miles on anything less than 200 treadwear on the street is burning money, unless you have money to burn. They will eventually heat cycle to the point you might be better off on a higher treadwear on the street anyway (and a greater safety margin with a wider, more forgiving envelop).
    Decent suggestions. I'm fairly paranoid about wheels being a consumable. I keep track of the hours on my current wheels and plan to age them out. Used wheels are unfortunately a non-starter for me because of the unknown and the potential for life changing events to come from them.

    Another issue is that I have only my miata and no current way to transport the extra wheels/tires to the event. While money is a consideration... the entire hobby is essentially burning money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    Doesn't Blackbird Fabworx offer an off-the-shelf roof- and/or trunk-mounted tire rack for Miatas?
    Certainly can do

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    I vote for NT01s if you're going to drive to the track on them. A better solution would be to find a way to carry four extra wheels and tires with you and change from street tires to R comps at the track.

    Doesn't Blackbird Fabworx offer an off-the-shelf roof- and/or trunk-mounted tire rack for Miatas?
    . . . or a tire trailer.
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