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.



1 comment:

  1. I knew about the Goodyear auto-x tires about a year ago. I drove to the Goodyear Competition Store one day after work to meet with their representative and to see about getting some of these tires for my Honda S2000 that I was running in Solo events at that time. I was told the tires were still under development and that they would let me know when they would be available. Weeks went by and I never heard a thing. Follow up calls on my end proved unsuccessful. Just about the same time it became apparent that I was not going to have a set of these tires in time for competition, I received a phone call from a fellow Solo competitor friend who put me in touch with his Hoosier Representative. I made one phone call and the mission was accomplished. They brought my tires directly to the SCCA Solo National Championships, where they mounted and balanced them for me, as well. The service I have received from Hoosier since that day has been nothing less than outstanding. It is fun doing business with the Hoosier Team, and as previously mentioned, they are a contingency sponsor for SCCA Solo events. Thanks, Terry, for everything you and your team do to support me. You are simply the best!!!

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