Hoosier Tire Test

January 25, 2011

Roebling Road Raceway
January 20-21, 2011

First, let’s be perfectly clear, those of you that follow the Series already know if you place the likes of Bruce Foss, Kris Kaiser, Tonis Kasemets, Cole Morgan and Gib Gibson at the same location for a few days, it is going to be fun, yet very productive.

Hoosier wanted to test some sample ideas for improving the spec tire for the F2000 Championship Series with the goal of supplying a new tire for the 2011 season.  Kris Kiaser of K-Hill Motorsports was contracted to supply two Zetec powered F2KCS cars for the test.  Tonis Kasmets and Cole Morgan had been selected as test drivers. 

The plan was to run seven different tests, with the first being to set a baseline with the 2010 spec tire, and then try six other combinations of new tire construction and compound.  There were combinations of tire width, construction type, and compound to be sorted through with the goal being to find an even better tire for 2011.  One example; in the second session a stiffer front tire was combined with 9” rear, both using a new compound.

After testing the six combinations the result that emerged was the best combination turned out to be a front tire with a stiffer sidewall, an 8” rear tire with a stiffer sidewall, and both front and rear using the 2010 compound (R35A).

Bruce Foss

New compounds were tried, hoping to maybe find one less susceptible to adverse “pick-up”, provide good wear, and have a good feel.  In the end, the new compounds were judged to not feel as good to the drivers as the existing compound, and the lap charts showed the newer compounds as slower, with no improvement in “pick-up” characteristics.  That’s why you test.

A later phase of the test was to run long continuous runs with the best combination of the test.  These runs were sessions of 22 to 33 laps at speed.  In the past most teams experienced the front tires wearing faster than the rears.  In these long session tests using the new tire, it exhibited a much better front to rear wear ratio.  Even with the use of 8” rears, the rears still wore slightly less than the fronts.

It should be stated here that the two test drivers displayed slight differences in their driving styles, yet session after session their results were near equal.

You’ve been reading all this and you are still waiting for the news?  OK here goes…

The new tire was consistently a bit over .9 second faster than the 2010 tire.  But there is more to it than just that fact.  What the test committee determined was that this new tire displayed four important traits:

1.  Better Speed.  Based on the test results.

2.  Better Balance.  Both drivers agreed on how the tire felt to drive.

3.  A larger range to tunability.  It was judged that the new tire would make it “easier to hit” with setups throughout the entry field.

4.  Easier to drive.  As reported by both test drivers.

Maybe it was best said by Tonis,  “In my opinion, if in the past the field had a 2 second spread, with the new tire this year it should now be a 1 second spread.”

Another possible 5th benefit.  It is expected that at the high speed tracks we should see an aero advantage with the narrower rear tire.

After the testing was over and the cars were loaded,  I spoke with Bruce Foss.  He was excited as to how well the test had gone.  He believes the F2000 Championship Series competitors will embrace the new tire combination.  His goal is for the new tire to be available for teams to order off the Hoosier website by March 1st.   In the coming weeks the Hoosier website tech sheets will be updated with the new engineering data (e.g. vertical deflection rates, sizes, spring rates, etc.)