Friday, June 10, 2016

Rallycross Tire Longevity - a lesson in sharing

I love rally.  Stage Rally, Rally Sprint, Rallycross, it's all awesome.  So, when I have the opportunity to let others experience how awesome it can be, I'm all over it!  I've been sharing the wheel with veterans and newbies alike in my 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe that I've been working on for almost 3 years now and they all seem to love it.  However, sharing the wheel has taken a noticeable toll on my once-new super-soft compound rallycross tires.

I picked up these meaty mud tires from Rally.Build last fall and fielded them on my rallycross car in November.  Since then, I've attended 6 events, which doesn't seem like much.  However, at each event I have had either a veteran co-driver showing me how to be better or a novice driver that I've been instructing myself.  At each rallycross event with the NRSCCA, cars get 8-10 runs through the day (depending on how much time we have).  So, at each event, the car has seen anywhere from 16-20 runs.  One of those events also included a rallycross school where we tacked on another 15 runs of testing.  If we add it all up, that equates to about 70 laps covered so far.

Those laps are taking a toll on this soft compound retread tire. These are Indy Sport SG Rallycross / Mud Tires that excel in wet and loose conditions. Grass, mud, and loose gravel bow to their bite... which is perfect for the conditions usually found at the site where we race.  They are only available in a soft compound to ensure grip from the start and greater performance in rallycross, but after all those laps, the tires are getting incredibly worn. 

Now I need to figure out how much more life I can get out of these tires.  Long-term plans for Rallycross need to be considered if I keep running tires like these.  I need to determine if the shorter lifespan of these softer compound tires are worth the cost of replacing on a much more frequent schedule than I anticipated.  I may try out a different set with a harder compound later this season and see if my times suffer enough to warrant destroying more of these Indy Sport SG tires.

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