Eldukerino New Reader
Dec. 25, 2013 2:39 p.m.

Hey guys, I autocross my Datsun 510 with my local autocross club and I'm currently doing some winter upgrades. I'm planning on stepping into the world of R-comp tires for the coming auto-x season and looking for some advice on what to get. I have run Extreme performance summer tires for the last few years (Kumho Ecsta XS's, then Toyo R1R, and most recently BFG Rivals) and have been pretty competitive with these, generally about 1-3 seconds away from FTD depending on the length of the course. I would like to step it up for this coming season and I think a set of R-compound tires would be enough to get me amongst the top runners.

My use will be for auto-x, doing about 10 events a season with 6-10 runs an event (I would say about a total of 80-90 runs a season), and probably 2 hillclimbs. I would like have a set of tires that will last me the whole season and hopefully not drop off to much towards the end.

While Hoosier A6's may be the bee's knees, I don't think I'm ready for that level of tire (and the short life/high price tag that comes with them). The tires I'm considering are the Kumho Ecsta V710, Hankook Ventus Z214, and the BFG R1 S. I also considered Nitto NT-01's, but I don't think they will be much better than the Rivals I am using already.

I am looking for some feedback from people regarding tire life vs traction for the above tires. Also, if anybody has any other suggestions for tires in the same category that may fit my needs, I'm all ears.

FYI, I run 205-50-15 for tire sizes.

Here is a shot of my car from an event last year.

wbjones PowerDork
Dec. 25, 2013 3:46 p.m.

I can't speak for the BFG's … never used them, don't know anyone that has

but the V710's were the E36 M3s before the A6 came along … they were faster and lasted longer than the previous Hoosier a-x tire

I run the A214 as my track tire I've run the C51 compound in the past (set my PR at CMP on a set) I'm going to try the C71 compound this yr … it's more like the A6 .. but with a bit less grip and a bunch more life

the only time I've a-x'ed on R-Comps was several yrs ago on used V710's … they were amazing .. but I was comparing them to Falken 215's

if you're not ready for the A6, then I think the Z214 (C71) would be the choice … but if you can get a good price on the V710's … you might as well give them a try

Dec. 25, 2013 8:41 p.m.

I would reconsider the A6. If you can get the appropriate level of camber (2.5-3.0 degrees static, typically) and have independent suspension all 'round, then you might be able to make them last a whole season, especially on a light car like the 510.

Also, check out ebay - you can usually find A6's really cheap coming off qualifying runs for road racing cars. (I think I usually spent $100-250 on a good set in 18" diameter.)

One issue - I think they're really sensitive to over driving. If you lock the brakes, over correct the steering and end up way past the ideal slip angle, etc, then they are going to get trashed. Definitely requires precise, restrained driving.

That said, I've had used sets of A6's last me 8+ auto-x events with two drivers (that's 8 runs per event) without issue after getting a good alignment. That was on a C-stock RX8 weighing in at ~3000 lbs. Tires were ~255/35R18's. We ran ~2.8 degrees of camber up front maybe 2.6 in the back. Had a stock alignment to start and ripped up a set of tires in a few events. After dialing in the camber (and we still ran generous toe out) the tires would last really well.

Yavuz Reader
Dec. 26, 2013 1:40 a.m.

I've used both the Kumho and Hankook - I felt like there was much more grip on the Hankooks (C71 compound) and the lifespan was just as long, if not longer than the Kumhos. I have never driven on hoosiers so I can't compare to the A6, but out of those two tires I would say I liked the Hankooks better.

pimpm3 HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2013 1:51 a.m.

Look on ebay, you can find good used sets of Hankooks or Toyo RA1s for $200.00. I run that size RA1 which comes off of spec miatas for track days and autocross. They are not as fast as the purple crack but they last forever, are cheap and are a great step up from the street tires you have been running.

ZOO SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2013 4:32 a.m.

I was super impressed with the Hankook C71 Z214s when I ran them on my Elise. They transformed the car to a legitimate FTD threat at all events, and it was otherwise stock.

bludroptop SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2013 5:39 a.m.

Coming soon to a tire retailer near you... Hoosier A7!

All the grip with longer lifespan, according to the swirling rumors.

A SM7 is already up on their website in spec Miata size (convenient for you)

Hoosier website linky

DaveEstey UltraDork
Dec. 26, 2013 6:43 a.m.

I ran a set of the C71s on an SMF Integra with 470whp and they handled admirably. I took class wins every race I entered that year, and the class includes all SM cars like big power Subarus.

wbjones PowerDork
Dec. 26, 2013 7:24 a.m.
bludroptop wrote: Coming soon to a tire retailer near you... Hoosier A7! All the grip with longer lifespan, according to the swirling rumors. A SM7 is already up on their website in spec Miata size (convenient for you) Hoosier website linky

what I've been hearing is grip is likely down, while the life is supposed to be greater …

for the size you want, I'd check out SM teams that have min. heat cycle SM6's … especially since they will eventually have to get rid of them (re. what bludroptop said)

Lof8 Reader
Dec. 26, 2013 8:16 a.m.

I've been running the Hankook C71 compound for the last year and a half. Lots of grip and great lifespan. I highly recommend.

ZOO SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2013 8:16 a.m.

I'd like to correct my earlier post. There is nothing you can do to make your 510 more competitive, and as a result you should give it to me while you pursue other, more capable platforms.

Apexcarver PowerDork
Dec. 26, 2013 9:20 a.m.

My first set was some used and abusded victoracers...

After that it was a series of V710's (on the mustang) A new set on the mustang lasted me 2 seasons, with 6 2day events per year. (that is putting the tires on AT the event) So, they might work for you. Hoosiers can last allright, but have a magic run window. (good for only 50ish runs before starting to go off time wise)

BIGGEST QUESTION do you want to drive to the event on these tires? If so, consider the Toyo R888. They are cheaper than the other options and will last a bit better.(but trade off some speed).

wbjones PowerDork
Dec. 26, 2013 9:37 a.m.
ZOO wrote: I'd like to correct my earlier post. There is nothing you can do to make your 510 more competitive, and as a result you should give it to me while you pursue other, more capable platforms.

wbjones PowerDork
Dec. 26, 2013 9:39 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote: My first set was some used and abusded victoracers... After that it was a series of V710's (on the mustang) A new set on the mustang lasted me 2 seasons, with 6 2day events per year. (that is putting the tires on AT the event) So, they might work for you. Hoosiers can last allright, but have a magic run window. (good for only 50ish runs before starting to go off time wise) BIGGEST QUESTION do you want to drive to the event on these tires? If so, consider the Toyo R888. They are cheaper than the other options and will last a bit better.(but trade off some speed).

lots of folk have huge amts. of hate for the R888 .. I found that they were pretty good on track, not as quick as the A6, still ok

as for a-x, you'll find that they have a hard time getting enough heat, same problem the RA-1 has (for a-x) … in hot weather + a co-driver, they should be fun

Cone_Junkie SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2013 11:14 a.m.

I can't compare them to anything other than the 7 year old RE0-1Rs that I took off, but the Z214 C71 has really impressed me. I shaved an average of 4 seconds off my times when I switched.

Took 8 of 9 events that I used those tires. This is also in SM, so a 150HP 240SX against a 300 HP e36 M3, a 400 HP Mustang, and a 500HP G8 were my main competitors. Hopefully I have enough tread to make it through next season too.

codrus HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2013 12:37 p.m.

Personally, I can't see much reason to buy 710s, Z214s, etc. Around here, at least if you want to race for wins you buy Hoosiers, and if you don't then you might as well use the Rivals, etc. Why incur the extra cost and inconvenience of non-streetable rubber if you're not going all the way?

NT01s, RA1s are good track day tires, and will do for autoxing in a pinch, but it's really not their strong point because they want more heat than you can get in 4 runs. I used to use my RA1s and on days when we got fun runs the tires were still getting hotter and faster until about run #8.

Eldukerino New Reader
Dec. 26, 2013 5:03 p.m.

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll have to have a look over on ebay to see what I can find with regards to some used Hoosiers. If I don't go that route, I will seriously be looking at the Hankooks. I guess that my biggest reason that I am not considering new Hoosiers is that this will be the first time I will be driving on R-comps. I think it would be wise to have a little softer transition to the world of god like grip than the Hoosiers would provide. I would just hate to overdrive them and have them go off in just a couple of events, especially considering the club I run with isn't crazy competitive (although a handful of guys still run A6's).

Apexcarver wrote: BIGGEST QUESTION do you want to drive to the event on these tires? If so, consider the Toyo R888. They are cheaper than the other options and will last a bit better.(but trade off some speed).

I live about 2 miles from where we run, so I'm not worried about driving to those events on slicks. For anything further, I don't mind having to switch tires.

ZOO wrote:

I'd like to correct my earlier post. There is nothing you can do to make your 510 more competitive, and as a result you should give it to me while you pursue other, more capable platforms.

Trade your Elise for my 510

ZOO SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2013 9:36 p.m.

In reply to Eldukerino:

The best I can do are pics - the Elise has moved on. I "should" change my avatar, but I like the pic of it at high speed on the track.

Eldukerino New Reader
Dec. 26, 2013 10:03 p.m.

So I looked on Ebay. Found a bunch of SM Hoosiers in my size. I would think that the road race compound would be no good for auto-x as they wouldn't get any heat into them. Bummer because it would be awesome to dial in my cars setup for stickier tires without wearing down a set of new ones.

carbon Reader
Dec. 26, 2013 10:39 p.m.
Eldukerino wrote: Hey guys, I autocross my Datsun 510 with my local autocross club and I'm currently doing some winter upgrades. I'm planning on stepping into the world of R-comp tires for the coming auto-x season and looking for some advice on what to get. I have run Extreme performance summer tires for the last few years (Kumho Ecsta XS's, then Toyo R1R, and most recently BFG Rivals) and have been pretty competitive with these, generally about 1-3 seconds away from FTD depending on the length of the course. I would like to step it up for this coming season and I think a set of R-compound tires would be enough to get me amongst the top runners. My use will be for auto-x, doing about 10 events a season with 6-10 runs an event (I would say about a total of 80-90 runs a season), and probably 2 hillclimbs. I would like have a set of tires that will last me the whole season and hopefully not drop off to much towards the end. While Hoosier A6's may be the bee's knees, I don't think I'm ready for that level of tire (and the short life/high price tag that comes with them). The tires I'm considering are the Kumho Ecsta V710, Hankook Ventus Z214, and the BFG R1 S. I also considered Nitto NT-01's, but I don't think they will be much better than the Rivals I am using already. I am looking for some feedback from people regarding tire life vs traction for the above tires. Also, if anybody has any other suggestions for tires in the same category that may fit my needs, I'm all ears. FYI, I run 205-50-15 for tire sizes. Here is a shot of my car from an event last year.

First of all, beautiful car, secondly, I really like my ra1s. I run them on the street too, they last pretty well (for r comps) and rock in the wet.

Dec. 27, 2013 12:14 a.m.
Eldukerino wrote: So I looked on Ebay. Found a bunch of SM Hoosiers in my size. I would think that the road race compound would be no good for auto-x as they wouldn't get any heat into them. Bummer because it would be awesome to dial in my cars setup for stickier tires without wearing down a set of new ones.

Just keep looking. You'll probably get a really good selection right after the road racing season starts back up in the spring.

codrus HalfDork
Dec. 27, 2013 1:13 a.m.
Eldukerino wrote: I live about 2 miles from where we run, so I'm not worried about driving to those events on slicks. For anything further, I don't mind having to switch tires.

It's not so much the wear on the tires that makes them non-streetable, it's that they're fragile. Hoosiers, for example, are a pretty fragile tire (as a result of being so lightweight), and are reportedly easily destroyed by a pothole that wouldn't be a big deal with a normal street tire.

Eldukerino New Reader
Jan. 12, 2014 1:36 p.m.

Well, I just sprung for a set of Hankooks. First event is in a month and a half. I'll report back with how it goes.

beans Dork
Jan. 12, 2014 4:48 p.m.

Looking forward to your results. I'm really tempted to pull the trigger on a set because of the cost.

wlkelley3 SuperDork
Jan. 12, 2014 6:54 p.m.

I suspect that you'll be happy with the Hankooks. I have been using them a while now on my Miata, on my 2nd set. I feel they warm up quicker than Kumho's but that is just my seat of pants. I used Kumho's before.

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