Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another STI vs. EVO Challenge


By: Jake Namer

Maybe I am just stubborn, but I am sick of hearing about how the Mitsubishi Evolution is so great. Yeah, it's a good car. Yeah, I have lost to them on many occasions when I bring out the Subaru for Time Trials, Time Attack or SCCA autocross STU competition. But I like my Subaru a lot! After recently parting with my '04 Subaru STi I went ahead and picked up an '06 STi replacement, I think it's safe to say I will not be detoured. I've been tinkering with my '06 project lately and plan to really drive it home and take down the Evolutions once and for all. In the meantime, I will bask in the glory of James Wilson's success in destroying the Evolution in the latest iteration of Forum Wars. Enjoy the video below.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2011 Tire Wars: Hoosier A6 vs. Goodyear Eagle RS

By: Jake Namer

April is here, but signs of Spring have not surfaced yet. It's 40F outside and we have only had one autocross in the New York metropolitan area this year. The autocross season is here, but it's hard to take it seriously when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. However, that doesn't stop many autocross nuts from casually browsing the internet researching the latest autocross happenings around the country.

In my latest browsing session, I found a bit of news that will certainly turn the autocross community on it's head. Goodyear shroud cars are dominating Super Street Modified AND - the very competitive - Super Stock classes at the 2011 SCCA San Diego National Tour event! Goodyear had been quietly testing its new D.O.T. compliant Eagle RS race tire in 2010 and the 2011 official release happened all too subtly. Just days before the event, SCCA announced the tire had met the requirements of Section 13.3 in the 2011 Solo Rules.

The event is only halfway complete, but autocrossers from around the country are taking note of the impressive preliminary standings of Andy Mckee (SSM), Gary Thomason (SS) and Jason Uyeda (SS), all competing on the new tire. Their registration information suggests these key players have been blessed with direct manufacturer sponsorships from Goodyear.

As a recent adopter of the Hoosier A6 for all my tarmac biting needs, I was shocked to learn there was a new game in town. I cannot remember a time when Stock and Street Prepared/Modified classes' tire choice was, well, a 'choice'. Granted I'm young and I've spent a lot of time perusing the Street Touring classes of SCCA autocross (140+ treadwear), but for as long as I've known the sport, the A6 was THE tire. Clearly, Goodyear has set out to change the status quo.

For the readers thinking how you wasted your hard earn bread on a fresh set of Hoosiers, remember this: When the wind picks up in that parking lot at the 2011 San Deigo National Tour, the drivers sporting Goodyears will also be sporting their SCCA National Championship jackets. In other words, these guys are some of the greatest autocrossers in the country and would very likely be winning their class on A6's or possibly all season tires - they're that good.

While the fresh Goodyears may be making a splash at their inaugural SCCA Tour event, don't think for a second that Hoosier fans will give up without a fight. Many sectors of motorsports experience tire battles, and given that autocross is one of the largest competitive motorsports in the world, expect your local arena parking lots to play battlefield to a great "Tire War".

Will Goodyear Eagle RS dominate the DOT compliant classes of SCCA and other racing organizations? The first bomb has been dropped and only time will tell who will be the victor in this "Tire War". What will be your weapon of choice?

NOTE: Early signs suggest Goodyear will NOT be offering contingency sponsorship to SCCA Solo Racing or NASA Time Trial Racing, and only to SCCA & NASA Club Racing.