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B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
2/10/21 8:14 a.m.

Hey Friends! It's been a while. 

My local motorsport complex is re-starting their RallyX series. I ran this series before in a mostly stock fully gutted Imprezza for a few years but when The Firm (Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park) stopped the series my buddy and I sold our Poobaru and moved on with life. Well now the series is making a comeback and it's stronger and more epic than ever! 

Our new rally car is a Nissan Sentra B13 SER. Completely stock and gutted. We are doing this all on the cheap. So we plan to keep running the 14in stock wheels and we are very confident in our overall setup as it VERY similar to Bubs b13 Stage Rally car Raven. 

This series is not SCCA rallycross. It's more of a rally sprint. 9 Heats of 3 different stages around 2 miles long. Each of these stages has tarmac, Florida sugar sand, asphalt millings, gravel, and a huge grated lime rock skidpad. So picking a tire has always been a struggle for us. We had pretty good success with running an All season in the last two series. Strong sidewall is a MUST. 

So, Here is where you all come in. I need a new tire. Snow tires tend to take a beating on these surfaces and don't last long... I'd like for them to at least last this series. I also love cheap. 175/70/14 or 175/65/14 is kinda the rage we are looking at unless a tire compound really makes sense at 185/60/14.  Or, maybe we run a more dirt friendly tire up front and a more street tire in the back? Idk - You all discuss it. 

Right now Im looking at VREDESTEIN Quatrac 5 175/70R14 88T based on a thread I read on here recently from a few years ago. They are dirt cheap and seem to be decent at everything and great at nothing. You know, a golden corral tire of sorts. I'm also considering the Ohtsu FP7000 185/65R14 86H , Federal Formoza FD1 175/65R14 or running some Nokian Nordmans up front with the commuter tires on the back the car came with. Anyways! Beat me up, tell me I'm wrong. Give me your thoughts. 

 

Here is a picture of our old car and the new one for your viewing pleasure... or displeasure... 

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/10/21 8:18 a.m.

How much of the track is each surface?  Are they all about equal?  The problem you might run in to is that anything good in the loose stuff will get eaten on the skidpad and tarmac.  I would be pretty tempted to run the cheapest rally tire (most likely Federal or MRF) that you can get your hands on.  Expect to pay around $600/set for those new.

Now, if you think a street tire will survive the rougher parts maybe the stuff you're currently looking at would be great, but there's really no comparison to rally tire construction and I think you'll eclipse the cost difference pretty fast blowing out street tire after street tire and having to replace them.

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/10/21 8:30 a.m.

If a sticky street tire is durable enough, I'd run that and maybe cut some additional grooves into the tread to help in the sand.  It sounds like sand is the only surface that really requires tread to dig in, so I'd expect a sticky compound to gain you more than lack of tread costs you. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/10/21 8:45 a.m.

Of the tires you've mentioned, I would avoid the Ohtsu- I have a few sets of wheels that had those on them and they were rock hard despite being only a couple years old.  I would agree that an all-season will probably go faster if you cut some grooves and square up the edges, but the cut edges may not survive the whole season.

On the Quatrac 5, I'd probably do something like this (red is a sqare outside edge, blue is a cut to connect the groove on one side to the other) assuming the sipes don't go so deep that this would mess up the entire center tread area:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/10/21 8:53 a.m.

Another alternative, going further down the "if regular street tires are strong enough" path- Falken Azenis RT615K+ are under $100ea in 195/60R14 and will be WAY faster on the paved parts than the all season stuff.  Get crazy with the groover and they might not be too slow in hard packed sand or gravel either.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/10/21 8:58 a.m.

I'd go with the Federal rally tire in hard compound. That's what I use for both stage and (some) rallycrosses, and they have held up very well (my set that has 2 full stage rallies and 5-6 rallycrosses on it still looks to be 80% on wear). Also, never flatted or debeaded one, including in the brutally rough STPR waste management stages. 

You can get a full set for $600 shipped, though not positive they come in 14" (we upgraded to 15" wheels last year). 

Yes, you give up grip on asphalt, but they won't wear fast like snow tires or cheap A/S tires will.

--

Another option would be to go with the Maxsport "gravel" tread tires. Not quite as beefy as true rally gravels, but they seem to hold up well. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/10/21 8:59 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Another alternative, going further down the "if regular street tires are strong enough" path- Falken Azenis RT615K+ are under $100ea in 195/60R14 and will be WAY faster on the paved parts than the all season stuff.  Get crazy with the groover and they might not be too slow in hard packed sand or gravel either.

That's along the lines of what I was thinking.  And a wider tire should help on the gravel, it'll be holding on to more gravel bits at a given time (which especially matters if it's not able to dig well). 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
2/10/21 9:03 a.m.

Might I suggest the Michelin Agilis CrossClimate. Smallest size available is 185/60/15 and it's intended as an all-season tire for vehicles with higher loads, like the Ford Transit Connect, so it might have stiffer side walls and it's severe snow rated for traction. They're $110 each though.  For the record, I have absolutely no experience with these tires. I was looking at potential rallycross tires to put on a Miata and thought these might have some merit. On asphalt, I would expect it to do little more than howl when pushed and cornered.

Michelin Agilis CrossClimate | 185/60R15C (tirerack.com)

B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
2/10/21 10:08 a.m.

Dang that was fast! Yall are awesome. 

I'd love to throw down on some REAL rally tires at some point. In fact, if this season goes well and the FIRM keeps going I think that that would give us the confidence to make that type of investment. 

The course is always different. There is 1.6 mile road course, 400 acres of rally stages, and that huge skid pad so they are always changing it up. 

Based on all the events we have done id say its about: 

20% tarmac 

50% Sugar sand/ dirt / gravel

30% limestone skidpad/asphalt millings. 

at each event. It's never more than 20% tarmac but it can be more of the other two one way or the other. The lime rock skid pad is super grippy stuff and hard on tires. The sugar sand is like powdery beach sand. It's a blast driving on all those different surfaces but makes the tire thing harder than one would think. AND I know that proper tire choice is better than any go fast part addition. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
2/10/21 10:20 a.m.

In reply to B13Birk :

So, for rally tires, I believe Tire Streets is also in Florida and they shipped nice and fast when I ordered MRFs from them.  You may be able to reach out and ask them what they have in old 14" sizes laying around, maybe you'll get lucky and be able to pick up something that they don't want to put in regular stock.

If no rally tires, based on your description I think it would be a fun time to run something sticky, slide all over on the sand, and make up time on the hard stuff.  Assuming the car won't get stuck, anyway.

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
2/10/21 10:34 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

I was going to say crossclimate or crossclimate2, but as you pointed out no 14s, or even 15s for the 2. We briefly had plans to get back into a street tire rallycross car (before those plans went waaay off the rails in a different direction) and were really interested in those.

I've seen people have success on 200TWs at detroit scca events that are largely hard pack dirt with a few loose sections. But at 50% or more loose surfaces like you describe that might be a bit too aggressive. I'd probably find the most aggressive tread pattern performance all season I could, maybe adding some extra grooves like nonack described if legal/possible. Unfortunately given the situation I think either a) just no tire is going to hold up well or b) if there is a tire that holds up well it's not going to be found at bargain basement prices. Might need to do some cost analysis on if spending a bit more money on tires that last longer and are maybe are a bit faster is worth it to you.

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/10/21 10:38 a.m.

The fastest cars on hard TX dirt are usually running 200 TW autoX rubber.  If you don't have loose dirt in the correct line, I'd consider a high performance street tire.  
 

I'm seriously considering something along the lines of Firehawks or GMAX RS's for my 2nd set of wheels for rallycross this year.

NoBrakesRacing
NoBrakesRacing Reader
2/10/21 10:42 a.m.

Regardless of the tire, it sounds like a fun course with those changes.

Good luck

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/10/21 11:08 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I'd go with the Federal rally tire in hard compound. That's what I use for both stage and (some) rallycrosses, and they have held up very well (my set that has 2 full stage rallies and 5-6 rallycrosses on it still looks to be 80% on wear). Also, never flatted or debeaded one, including in the brutally rough STPR waste management stages. 

You can get a full set for $600 shipped, though not positive they come in 14" (we upgraded to 15" wheels last year). 

Yes, you give up grip on asphalt, but they won't wear fast like snow tires or cheap A/S tires will.

--

Another option would be to go with the Maxsport "gravel" tread tires. Not quite as beefy as true rally gravels, but they seem to hold up well. 

A little offtopic here, but how do Maxsport tires hold up in a SCCA Rallycross application? Are you still better off with a soft/med rally tire?  Looking for something for RWD, NA Miata.

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/10/21 11:13 a.m.
dps214 said:

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

I was going to say crossclimate or crossclimate2, but as you pointed out no 14s, or even 15s for the 2. We briefly had plans to get back into a street tire rallycross car (before those plans went waaay off the rails in a different direction) and were really interested in those.

I've seen people have success on 200TWs at detroit scca events that are largely hard pack dirt with a few loose sections. But at 50% or more loose surfaces like you describe that might be a bit too aggressive. I'd probably find the most aggressive tread pattern performance all season I could, maybe adding some extra grooves like nonack described if legal/possible. Unfortunately given the situation I think either a) just no tire is going to hold up well or b) if there is a tire that holds up well it's not going to be found at bargain basement prices. Might need to do some cost analysis on if spending a bit more money on tires that last longer and are maybe are a bit faster is worth it to you.

 

Echoing this comment from a fellow Detroit region Rallycrosser: on dirt oval tracks where there is some hard pack clay surface on the bowl, sticky summer performance tires reign supreme.  Sometimes the grip on hard pack surface is equivalent or more than some pavements.  However, some of those courses then go into the infield with loose dirt and something more of a gravel tire with more open chunky tread will do better in that surface.  It really depends on how much of a mix of hard pack dirt, and loose dirt there is. Think of hard pack dirt as pavement.  Obviously this depends on ambient temp, but in FL you don't have cold rallycross events!  Winter tires will get destroyed at higher temps on dirt and pavement surfaces.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/10/21 11:25 a.m.

Size wise, going to something with the shorter sidewall will help reduce debeading and help with transitional response. 

The all weather options popping up, starterld by nokian (wrgs) and then vrerdstein, and now pirelli and Michelin have entered the markets, aren't a bad place to start, as 14s won't be a limiting factor within that segment. You'd need to go to a 185/65R14 to open up a lot more options, including wrg4s.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/10/21 12:05 p.m.
engiekev said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

I'd go with the Federal rally tire in hard compound. That's what I use for both stage and (some) rallycrosses, and they have held up very well (my set that has 2 full stage rallies and 5-6 rallycrosses on it still looks to be 80% on wear). Also, never flatted or debeaded one, including in the brutally rough STPR waste management stages. 

You can get a full set for $600 shipped, though not positive they come in 14" (we upgraded to 15" wheels last year). 

Yes, you give up grip on asphalt, but they won't wear fast like snow tires or cheap A/S tires will.

--

Another option would be to go with the Maxsport "gravel" tread tires. Not quite as beefy as true rally gravels, but they seem to hold up well. 

A little offtopic here, but how do Maxsport tires hold up in a SCCA Rallycross application? Are you still better off with a soft/med rally tire?  Looking for something for RWD, NA Miata.

I've been using the knobby ones (I forget which model it is) and for a single driver they hold up fine for a full season, even on our hard clay. And that's on a 2800# 200hp bmw. I haven't used the "gravel tread" ones but am strongly considering for this year for more hardpack traction (and they're lighter than pure gravels). The problem with rally tires is they're super-heavy compared to maxsports. Less of an issue with my power, but in a Miata maybe more of an issue. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/10/21 12:38 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

Size wise, going to something with the shorter sidewall will help reduce debeading and help with transitional response.

Shorter sidewalls will transition better, but IMO, they're more likely to de-bead.  A taller sidewall will absorb more impact force as it flexes, plus there's more surface area of sidewall being pushed outwards by the tire pressure.  Both should make it harder to apply enough force to the bead to un-seat it. 

ojannen
ojannen Reader
2/10/21 1:03 p.m.

For The Firm events, I think you have two choices.

A 200TW autocross tire is the best choice for the track sections and the limestone skidpad.  It is acceptable for the jump due to the stiff sidewall and marginal but good enough for the sugar sand.  They get a lot worse when you get below 2 or 3/32nds tread depth.  I would try to pick the one with the best cold temperature performance.  Definitely not the BFG Rivals.

The gravel rally tires lose time everywhere to other tires but let you send it on the jump.  The stiff sidewalls make them sort of work on track.  They just weigh too much for a low hp car.  They come in 14" sizes so you can save money on wheels.  The FIRM events are all about acceleration out of digs.  At the last event, I was hitting low 70s when the higher hp cars were touching 100 mph.  Gravel tires would probably drop that number down even further.

Snow tires are the best on sugar sand, good on the limestone but atrocious on track and potentially dangerous on the jump.  I wouldn't run these at a Firm event unless you felt comfortable at 45 psi, added camber for the track sections, and braked on the jump hill.

I was on Maxsport retreads at the last event and the track sections just weren't fun.  I run close to zero camber on my rallycross car and rode on the sidewall in every corner.  The last event had 5 tarmac corners at 35+ mph.  They would have been 3rd gear corners on better tires.

If I was trying to save money, I would buy two gravel tires for the front wheels and run all seasons on the back.  I put about 300 runs of Firm and SCCA Rallycross on a set of Zestino Mediums around central Florida and they were still fine.  I ended up selling them because they were several seconds slower per run compared to Maxsports at SCCA events.  If I had known the Firm was going to start doing events regularly again, I would have kept them.
 

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
2/10/21 2:13 p.m.

When you're talking about Maxsports, are you talking about the non-directional RB3F, or the directional RB3D2?

 

ojannen
ojannen Reader
2/10/21 2:49 p.m.

In reply to engiekev :

I am running the RB3D2 in the soft compound on my BMW 318ti which weighs about 2700lbs.  They work nicely for rallycross in my area which is fairly high grip but not as high as hard pack or clay in the afternoon.  The current set is two years old with about 200 runs.  They are about due for replacement because the tread blocks are rounded off.  We have started to notice the grip decreasing and times increasing against our regular competition.

Sidewalls are pretty soft.  If we could convince Maxsport to make these on a 200TW carcass, they would be perfect.  As it is, I run a little higher pressures so they don't feel so floppy.  The weight savings when compared to a gravel tire is considerable.  At least 5 or 10 pounds per tire.

 

B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
2/10/21 3:14 p.m.
ojannen said:

For The Firm events, I think you have two choices.

A 200TW autocross tire is the best choice for the track sections and the limestone skidpad.  It is acceptable for the jump due to the stiff sidewall and marginal but good enough for the sugar sand.  They get a lot worse when you get below 2 or 3/32nds tread depth.  I would try to pick the one with the best cold temperature performance.  Definitely not the BFG Rivals.

The gravel rally tires lose time everywhere to other tires but let you send it on the jump.  The stiff sidewalls make them sort of work on track.  They just weigh too much for a low hp car.  They come in 14" sizes so you can save money on wheels.  The FIRM events are all about acceleration out of digs.  At the last event, I was hitting low 70s when the higher hp cars were touching 100 mph.  Gravel tires would probably drop that number down even further.

Snow tires are the best on sugar sand, good on the limestone but atrocious on track and potentially dangerous on the jump.  I wouldn't run these at a Firm event unless you felt comfortable at 45 psi, added camber for the track sections, and braked on the jump hill.

I was on Maxsport retreads at the last event and the track sections just weren't fun.  I run close to zero camber on my rallycross car and rode on the sidewall in every corner.  The last event had 5 tarmac corners at 35+ mph.  They would have been 3rd gear corners on better tires.

If I was trying to save money, I would buy two gravel tires for the front wheels and run all seasons on the back.  I put about 300 runs of Firm and SCCA Rallycross on a set of Zestino Mediums around central Florida and they were still fine.  I ended up selling them because they were several seconds slower per run compared to Maxsports at SCCA events.  If I had known the Firm was going to start doing events regularly again, I would have kept them.
 

 

This was super helpful. I think we have met a few times at the firm before. Anyways, I appreciate your feedback especially since you know and have run the firm before. We are running a bone stock (for now) Sentra... making 140 or so crank HP but she is SUPER light. Either way - you make a great point about the weight of gravels which i have been taking into consideration. Will we see you out there for this new series? 

ojannen
ojannen Reader
2/10/21 3:37 p.m.

In reply to B13Birk :

I am out this month due to a work conflict.  I should be there for the event in May.

I am debating building a car for these events.  I just don't have enough power to compete with all of the long straights.  I wouldn't mind some amount of roll cage for the rally stages too.

B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
2/10/21 5:15 p.m.

In reply to ojannen :

It's looking like the firm really plans to commit to this series. They are working on sponsors etc. We are planning to cage our call as well. Not a full FIA cage but probably a good 6pt. Our Subaru had a  4pt with a harness bar and that was nice but this b13 is a beer can lol. Door bars will make us feel much better. 

B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
2/10/21 6:04 p.m.

After a ton of measuring and reading all of your feedback I think I figured out what my plan of attack is.....

 

I'm just going to swap the 35's off my overland rig and run those. 

In all seriousness, Y'all have been Incredibly helpful and I greatly appreciate it. 

The current plan as of now is to pick up a set of the VREDESTEIN Quatrac 5 and run those at the first event Feb. 27th. They are only $190 for 4 tires shipped to my front door and seem to be the best option for a quick - "hurry the first race is in 3 weeks setup" - I got in touch with some folks with tires streets. com and unfortunately they are out of pretty much anything that will fit the 14's. After talking with a few very knowledgeable B13 rally guys they all agreed 14's are the way to go with our suspension setup due to wheel travel. So, ill be placing an order for some REAL deal rally tires and hoping we win the series and win the cash payout for our class LOL. I'll keep you all updated. Feel free to keep sharing your thoughts below. 

Thanks again, 

Jon

- Now go get busy living! 

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