Tire Conundrum - Adelaide
I hope this article explains the position clubs in Adelaide have on tire rules.
Well it has been a discovery tour for me dealing with organising the FPR Inter club events.
As you probably have seen I have set two inter club meetings for this year.
The facts I found by communication and some experimenting about tires and treating them led to this decision.
The facts are that there are several brands and composition of tires.
It is general knowledge that tires made of silicon do make the track slippery for rubber type tires by removing the inlayed rubber from the track surface.
In some clubs tires a treated with a penetrating type oil. Mainly used is the CRC 2.26 Lubricant . Other substances are also used.
The process usually involves soaking the tires for 2 hours up to 7 days prior to a race meeting.
This changes the rubber composition. Usually if the tire is then cleaned with Hydrocarbons - like Shellite or ZIppo.
This then leaves the tire surface vary tacky hence increases the traction of the car to a point where it handles the same as if it had downforce magnets fitted.
This process works better on some brands of tires. Mainly NSR Super Grips or slot it P6 tires. These are a soft composition tire to start with.
Because some clubs prefer to have the car performing with some drift and not as if it has downforce magnets they ban the use of soft tires and prolonged treatment with tire conditioning substances
like the CRC 2.26. They generally still allow the cleaning with Hydrocarbons or approved cleaning kits as without the conditioner they do not cause the tire to become tacky.
I believe The Southern City Raceways Group do not allow tire treatment and only use MJK Engineering tires .
As far as I Know Scalex World and the Maesbury Circuit Groups do not allow conditioning as well but are open to any brand of tire.
I have experimented with two of my Slot it Cars that I set up to race at Thunderbird Raceway , Slotmasters Club. They allow conditioning of tires.
I had soaked the tires for four hours with CRC 2.26 before the race meeting at Thunderbird raceway - as was suggested. At the track I found my lap times about 1 second slower than most of the
Slotmaster Members. A friendly chap advised me to soak the tires and rubout in before each heat. This immediately gave traction to a point were I was competitive in the lowest division.
I tried the cars today as they were left 2 weeks ago. They had little traction. I gave them a quick soak with CRC 2.26 and wiped it off. The traction improved but only average. I then cleaned them with
Shellite and they then became very tacky. Bingo! instant handling as if they had magnets fitted and the times were the same as magnet cars.
That sounds good but it does involve preparation before an event. If you don't prepare the tires - you won't be competitive.
I have spoken to the MJK Engineering and they say their tires do not respond very much to the conditioning and cleaning process because they are a harder compound.
Of course any type of tyre cleaning will temporally improve the tire traction. That includes sanding with fine paper and even cleaning with a rag damped with water.
As a result of this research, advice and experimenting I have decided to keep racing simple and only allow MJK Engineering and Paul's Urethane tires at FPR .
Some other brands will be given special permission as necessary. This means no pre meeting treatment is necessary and the cars will have nice handling whether magnet or non magnet.
Another reason is that nothing is needed to be change from what we already do and we end up with an even playing field
The MJK & Paul's brands provide very good traction without much treatment - usually a clean and sand will give very good results.
They provide enjoyable car handling good speed with the ability to drift with control.
Well it has been A conundrum (riddle - hard question) to settle on what to do for the best for FPR meetings and the interclub event.
There are two distinct tire groups in Adelaide - those that treat tires with conditioner and those that use natural untreated tires. In a lot of cases they refuse to compete against each other.
For this reason I have decided to run the two Interclub events this year - one for control (MJK) tires only the other for any brand and treated tires allowed.
It will be interesting to compare the results of each meeting. I have already sent the details out for both events.