Are you incorrectly mounting your race tires? | Project C5 Corvette Z06

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Update by J.G. Pasterjak to the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 project car
Mar 28, 2022 | Chevrolet, Corvette

Mounting race rubber? Check with your supplier for best practices–because you might be leaving speed on the table.

This weekend, we mounted up a set of Goodyear Eagle RS race rubber on our C5 Corvette Z06 project.

Now, this wasn’t our first rodeo with Goodyear’s latest DOT-rated, R-compound tires, so going in we knew that they had a few specific instructions regarding mounting.

[Comparing the Goodyear Eagle RS to the status quo | Project C5 Corvette Z06]

But this brings up a larger and more important point when it comes to competition rubber: Everything is not always obvious, and it pays to consult with a knowledgeable rep from your chosen manufacturer if there’s any doubt when mounting competition tires.

For example, Goodyear wants the tires’ serial information pointing in a specific direction, and that direction is not necessarily out.

According to Goodyear engineer Nicole Stout, “We want the initial heat cycle of the tires to be ‘pushing’ a certain direction on the tread surface, and the fronts will receive most of the braking force, while the rears will receive most of the acceleration force. So that first heat cycle solidifies those bonds within the tire’s physical structure.”

Mounting them “improperly,” Stout says, would likely not lead to a degradation in performance, but due to the uncompromising nature of motorsports, where times are recorded and decisions made based on thousandths of a second, having the most consistent data set possible helps all involved–better communication and, ultimately, better on-track performance.

And, in the case of our Goodyear RSs, these specific mounting instructions are not entirely intuitive.

The first time we had these tires mounted by a local tire store–even after explaining what we wanted and marking the tires–they defaulted to mounting the “DOT” stamp outward.

The catch is, BOTH sides of the Goodyear RS wear DOT stamps, but there’s a difference: On one side, this info is part of the tire itself; on the other side, this info is in a slug–an interchangeable section of type placed into the mold.

Only one side of the tire has a stamp indicating the build location, though, and that’s the key to identifying what Goodyear considers to be the serialized side. Per Goodyear’s instructions, the serialized side faces to the left on the front of the car, and to the right on the back of the car.

So, before we plopped the tires onto our Bendpak Ranger R980AT mounting machine, we positively identified the serialization on each tire and marked them accordingly for position and direction. Then we got to mounting and balancing.

And, once properly heat cycled–we’ll discuss that procedure in a future update–the tires are “set.” Now, as Stout explains, the tires “can be rotated or flipped to even out wear without any worries.”

Just a reminder that as performance increases, sometimes so does complication. But adhering to best practices ensures good data, which ensures top performance.

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Kubotai New Reader
3/28/22 2:20 p.m.

Interesting.  I was told the same thing for mounting Avon bias ply slicks.  The molded code goes to the left for the front and to the right for the rears.  Does anyone know about Hoosiers?

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