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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at doing some autocross events next year with my '89 GT. I need some new tires and thought I'd ask you guys on what you'd recommend.

I have some 17x8.5 OZ Wheels that I've used on the street for a few years, and thought about running 245/40-17's. You guys think that will be a decent size to run on these wheels?

What brand of tires do you recommend and why?

Thanks
Jim
 

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I wouldn't go smaller than a 255 on an 8.5" rim. 245s are puny.

As for tires, how much do you want to spend? R comps are the way to go for serious auto-x'ing, but for a street/auto-x tire you can let your wallet decide how fast you want to go. If you can find some 17" Azeniis on close out, I'd grab them. If you want to spend $$, get the Dunlops.
 

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I won't restate the info or pose the questions in posts 2 & 3, but that is only a drop of good questions and info. If you haven't, do a search for "auto-x tires" or "best auto-x tire". Probably more that a dozen threads.....just on the first page. Enjoy the readings. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I plan on running in a street prepared class using DOT tires with a treadwear rating of 120 or higher. Using the search did'nt show me very much info, and with tire technology changing constantly, I want to make a wise decision that I will be able to live with for a couple of seasons.

I did'nt realize there were very many offerings in a 255 size until I took a look at Discount and Tire Racks offerings. I think that will be a good size for my Mustang. I'm thinking the Nitto NT05's will do the job for me for a reasonable price.

What do you think?
 

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Hankook Ventus RS3 would be my first choice. 255/40-17.

They work great on heavier cars, as they don't mind heat. Grip is more than competitive, they wear well and aren't too expensive. Nitto isn't really in the street tire/autocross game, at this point.

Other options would be the Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs and the Kumho XS, but I'd lean towards the 'kooks.
 

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Hankook Ventus RS3 would be my first choice.
Really? I never thought they were a serious player. Do you base this on actual regional or national results? Interesting.

Nitto isn't really in the street tire/autocross game, at this point.
I always thought the NT05 was a "contender"?

Other options would be the Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Specs and the Kumho XS.
I couple of months ago I wanted to special order a new set of the Star Specs, and was told they had stopped production. Has anyone heard if they are being discontinued or updated?
 

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I'm not sure how much this will help but a friend of mine who does some open events runs hankooks and he likes them very much. Great wear pattern, life, price, and he feels the road better with them he says than his prior tire (not sure what he used before), I thought it was an older bfg... unsure...
 

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Really? I never thought they were a serious player. Do you base this on actual regional or national results? Interesting.

The RS3 is a definite player. I've driven on them (both an STS class Miata and STX BMW) and they rock. Look at Nationals results and you'll see them well represented on the podium in the ST* classes...and, on heavier cars, we'll see more of 'em next year. They do really well with heat...as opposed to the Toyos, which kick axx on lighter cars

I always thought the NT05 was a "contender"?

Nope. It isn't like they're bad tires, they just aren't in the top tier for autocross at a competitive level.

I couple of months ago I wanted to special order a new set of the Star Specs, and was told they had stopped production. Has anyone heard if they are being discontinued or updated?

That's a new one, for me. I dunno. Have driven the Star Specs and they're fantastic tires for autocross.
Up until last year, I had stayed away from street tires...I like the R comp crack pipe, thanks...but, these new tires are pretty amazing.
 

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Wow. Now you have me rethinking my next street/HPDE tire.

I really love the Dunlops. They have served me well for over a year, especially last August when I took a week long vacation that ended with two days at VIR.

I was also looking at the Kumho XS's, more for a larger size (275), than my current 255's.

Hey, who was the jack that said you can just search to find this info? :rolleyes:

Thanks Mike,
 

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Heck, the Dunlops are great...so are the Hankooks...and the Kumhos, too. Last test Andy Hollis did for GRM, the lap times were so close it was almost statistical noise, IIRC.

Where things start to shake out is differences in how specific tires react to wet and heat. The 'kooks just don't seem to mind heat, which I think is important on a 3000lb plus car on 255's. I've never tried them for a track session, but I hear they don't suck in that environment either.
 

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Since we're on the subject, anyone know which of those tires run wide vs those that run narrow?

My Toyo Proxes RA1s are the perfect size to fit under my fenders now at 275/40/17 on my 17X9 '95 Cobra R wheels. One of the things I worry about is getting a set of same size tires from a brand that runs a bit wider and forces me to have to deal with tire rubbing issues. I'd like to stick with the 275/40s if possible to get the most tire under the car but without rubbing issues.
 

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Since we're on the subject, anyone know which of those tires run wide vs those that run narrow?
Funny you should mention that. I was on the Rack yesterday, checking out the 255 R-S3's tread width. It shows 10" :eek:, which unfortunately is incorrect. On the 'kook site, they spec out at 9", and I believe 10.2" section.

Another problem is that most manufactures only list the section width and not the tread width, which leaves one guessing (as we are) what the widest tread width might be. And the widest SW may not translate into the widest TW.
Comparing 4 255's tires on Tire Rack:

BS RE-11 SW=10.2 TW=9.4
Dunlop Spec SW=10.4 TW=NA (Don't remember, need to measure again :shakehead 9tw?)
Hankook R-S3 (SW=NA TW=10) Listing error should be 10.2 SW/9 TW
Kumho XS SW=10.2 TW=NA


I was also considering moving up to a 275, but that takes out 2 of my three top choices, as they only offer a 255. And depending how the final tread widths measure up, I'm not sure if the extra tread width is worth it, if I'm gaining only .25" or less. Right now I like the 255's height with my gearing, the little bit of weight, and the cost savings. Sooo.... :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess there are many things to consider here. I kinda opened up a can of worms it seems...........but it does allow us to share experiences, knowledge and opinions.

I only plan on running 4-5 autocrosses for the whole driving season. I mainly am looking at having fun with the car and need a tire that I can drive to the events and back. I'm sure whatever I select, it will be better than the Bridgestones I took off my WRX that I have been driving on the past 2 years. Those tires are only a 225 section width.

Thanks for the info guys
Jim
 

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XS are supposed to be one of the top "street" tires for dry grip but they don't seem to do well in wet. They should get you to and from the event without trouble unless you get caught in a rain storm.
 

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I daily drove my 285 XS's for almost 2 years and didn't have any real trouble in the rain, snow was a different story though :)
 

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I have a good amount of tread left on my Kumho XS's and they're no longer competitive for autox. I also learned from having a co-driver i need to get my runs in before they heat up too much or times fall off from too much heat. I did not spray them down between runs so that should help. Some of the drop off in times could also be the outside temps as my last few events were in much cooler weather.
 
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