My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

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My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby FV80 » January 17th, 2019, 5:18 pm

For general information....
From the cockpit, I was unable to FEEL any difference at all in the tires. In the first Q session on Friday, my best time was right in line with my best time from the same session last year .. with similar weather and also in line with the first session (practice) where I ran the old tires. However, our times fell off quite a bit after that. It's hard to say WHY the times were off that far, but G Rice posted on Apexspeed that FF times fell off 2-3 seconds during the weekend. From the cockpit again, I was not able to FEEL a change in the way the tires performed compared to the old C3000 tires - seemed as good on the last lap on Sunday (still only the 4th heat cycle) as they felt in the second qualifier on Sat morning .. but DID seem slower than that first session. Still no way to know whether it was the tire or the track .. or something else. Just not enough data. There were LOTS of yellows throughout the weekend that made it even more difficult to 'judge' the tires.

Although I'm a bit concerned that we might have a Spec Tire that is significantly better in its FIRST session than any other, it seemed quite consistent in later sessions. Only time and multiple races will tell us for sure.

On another related note, I checked the Hoosier RAIN tires in their catalog and the new Spec Rain Tire requirement for 2020 is the EXACT SAME tire as we have been using in recent years - so no need to go buy new ones if yours are decent (though I'm not sure how many years back the same tire actually goes). The basic goal I think is to eliminate anything other than HOOSIER rains.

On a side note.. Official Results posted new track records for FV using the Spec Tire. Russell Fredericks now holds the Sebring 12hr lap record with a 2:41.907, eclipsing Laura Hayes' record from Saturday by a couple of tenths. Just for comparison, the old record was 2:36.866 set in 2014 but I don't believe that difference at all reflects the difference in the tires. There were many more things in play than just the tire.

Steve, FV80
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby Stumpthumper » January 18th, 2019, 9:42 am

Thanks for the write up!
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby jpetillo » January 19th, 2019, 12:24 am

Steve, thanks for posting. Like you said, time will tell just how good the new tire is as it's put to the test across the country this season. John
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby hardingfv32 » January 19th, 2019, 5:18 pm

Anyone using disc brakes yet?

Brian
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby FV80 » January 19th, 2019, 5:32 pm

hardingfv32 wrote:Anyone using disc brakes yet?

Brian

Yes. Laura Hayes in Allan Adderley's Caracal with a new full 4 wheel installation of Varacins disc brakes. She started off with significant issues with bias, but made good progress in each session. Don't know much more. She finished 3rd in the Sat race with a briefly held new lap record, but fell out due to an engine issue in the Sunday race where Russell Fredericks set another New Lap Record.
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Re: 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring & Atlanta

Postby FV80 » March 19th, 2019, 8:44 am

As a follow up - I have now run the Spec Tire for 6 sessions with no noticeable falloff. I can FEEL no difference from last year's tire from the cockpit and have made NO pressure or any other adjustments to the car for the new tire. I put my 6th session on the first set in Saturday's race at Atlanta and decided to do an A/B comparison (as best I could) to a sticker set in Sunday's race. My gut feeling is that the older set was as good as, if not better, than the sticker set. It SEEMED that the sticker set got a little greasy after 9 or 10 hard laps, but they got no worse and stayed in there till the end. Visibly, the 6 session tires look more like a 2 session set of C3000s.

Overall, I'd give the FVS an 'A' in the ST category. Sunday's traffic was MUCH cleaner - seems we lost a few FF on Saturday, so although they caught us on the 3rd lap (after a split start), it was only a single car .. and the next one didn't come by for several more turns before the 'big' pack of 5 or 6 caught us a lap later. We had 3 in the Vee lead pack, but there were plenty of race laps left so we gave ground where needed to avoid the potential collisions. I ran about the same top speed going into 10A (maybe 1 MPH down.. but that's a tough call), but came out of T7 about 3 MPH slower than the 3000s.

Fast laps for the race compared reasonably well to fast laps from last year's race. The new track record for ST was set by Donnie Isley at a 1:45.2. Last year's fast lap was a 44.9. Most of last years laps (in the lead pack) were in the high 45's and most this year were in the high 46's and low 47's. The closing rate with FF and F5 was not noticeably different from my perspective.

To me, the ST tires 'come in quicker' than the C3000. From the first turn, they feel good and don't seem to change during the pace lap. The C3000's showed a quite noticeable improvement in grip after 5 or 6 turns last year. I also didn't notice much change in our first session when the temp was in the mid 40's. I was VERY careful the first 3 laps because we had rain all day on Friday and off track was SOAKING WET everywhere. Only a couple vees went out for Friday Q1 ( rains .. since it was RAINING lightly).. and 1 of those ended up nose first into the wall (but got it fixed for Sundays' race). All dry from there on with temps from mid 50's on Sat to mid 60's on Sunday both under sunny skies.

Just follow up info for the class :P
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby jpetillo » March 19th, 2019, 9:29 am

Steve, thanks for the report. We're all looking forward to trying them out. John
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby hardingfv32 » March 21st, 2019, 7:34 pm

Can you state an opinion based on your Atlanta experiences about disc vs drum brakes?

Brian
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Re: My first weekend of 2019 Spec Tire for FV at Sebring

Postby FV80 » March 21st, 2019, 7:45 pm

hardingfv32 wrote:Can you state an opinion based on your Atlanta experiences about disc vs drum brakes?

Brian

My opinion is still the same. I see NO PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGE .... *UNLESS* someone is not 'knowledgeable and capable' about getting drum brakes to work. If a person is just not able to make drums work decently, THEN there would likely be a performance advantage FOR THAT PERSON. However, I'm sure that there are a number of "things to learn" about how to make Discs work on a vee as well as possible, so there's likely to be another (different) learning curve for them. I have only seen and raced against TWO cars with discs. I have seen no NEGATIVE issues, other than 'getting used to them and working out the details'.
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