RallyCross Tire Discussion

Postings from the RallyCross Members of the Detroit SCCA
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:12 am

RallyCross Tire Discussion

Post by Matt_the_Wolfe »

Since this will always be a hot topic, i figured it woudl be a good idea to give it a permanent home on the forum as a pool of knowledge for all our members/newcomers.

This bit below comes courtesy of Jon Armstrong from an older post on another RX group;

"This post is a few years old now, but is mostly still relevant to RallyCross tire selection.
‎Max Lawson‎
Colorado RallyCross
April 21, 2015

**I'm updating the original post based on the comments**

Alright. Rally tire discussion time. There are a few to choose from of varying prices:

Black Rockets - $125-160 (available locally at Rocky Mountain Autosport)
Indy Sports - $140-170 (available locally at Rally.Build)

Pirelli - $219-309 (available locally at Rocky Mountain Autosport)
Maxxis - $220-240 (available direct or through Keith at a discount w/free shipping)
BFG/Michelins - $190-250 (available ~$38/tire shipped from Subie Sports, old stock from 2013)
Yokohama - $205-260 (available shipped from rallysport.ca)
Dmack - $170-215 (google Dmack to buy direct)
MaxSport - $???-??? (google it ;))

Our experience mainly lies with Black Rockets and Yokohamas:

Yokohamas - bought in 2012 for our WRX ($160/tire on a group buy). A035 medium compound. Our first rally tires and if available cheaper we'd get them again. They held up well over 1.5 seasons and gave good traction throughout. I got 1st in PA locally and 3rd nationally with them in 2012. Ask Peter if he thinks they are competitive (he's been running them for years).

Black Rockets - bought in 2013 for our WRX ($150/tire from RMA) and now run on our Evo. BR44 medium compound. Our 3rd set of rally tires. Softer than the Yokos but not by a whole lot. They showed wear quickly but are still holding strong over 1.5 years later (admittedly not run for every event in this period but they've lasted longer than expected). Good rally tires but I would not say they are as good as the Yokos. I got 1st in PA locally and 6th nationally (albeit with a couple unfortunate cones) with them in 2013. A LOT of Colorado people run them as they are inexpensive and available locally.

BFG/Michelins - we've never owned them but I believe they are the de facto amazing rally tire from what I've heard. Eric has been running them for awhile. Word is they aren't available new in America anymore.

Maxxis - new to the scene as of last summer. Keith got a set and did quite well this last weekend with them. Pricey but with the other Keith's discount perhaps not so much so.

Indy Sports - new to the local scene. Mark ran them to a close second against Peter this last weekend in an under-powered car in the softest type tire. There are a variety of types available locally which is nice. I'm interested to see how they do at a non-rainy/non-muddy event.

Pirelli - Gregg just bought himself a set for himself and Alicia. Sounds like peeps like them.

Any other insights from other rallycrossers? What are you thoughts on these tires? What other options am I missing?

A good (but not cheap) international source - http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk/motorspor ... tion-tyres
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:12 am

Re: RallyCross Tire Discussion

Post by Matt_the_Wolfe »

Archived useful posts form the old forum;

Kenneth Tsang;

When I ran the RX-8, I used Yokohama IceGuard IG20's because they were the only non-sport/touring type of snow tire I could find in a non-trucky 18" size. They were really really good in deep snow and on hardpack dirt surfaces and terrible in mud.

However, for your FR-S (this is for the FR-S, right? If yes, then awesome!), I'd recommend the General Altimax Arctic which happens to be available in a 215/45/17. I've only rallycrossed on them in winter conditions (snow/ice/cold mud) where they are fantastic, but I'd guess that they would do just fine on dirt too. Bonus: They're super cheap.

The Firestone Winterforce is pretty popular too, and I think M4 was won at Nationals on them at some point too even though gravel tires are allowed in M classes. Not much personal experience on those though.

Even though your decision has already been made (and in my opinion, correctly), I'll add a couple more data points to this thread. I started rallycrossing my RX-8 on 225/40/18 Hankook W300 IceBears, which are "performance winter" tires. They worked pretty well, especially on packed dirt but were not fantastic on looser surfaces. I also had some silly problems with slight inclines on ice at my first Son of Sno*Drift rally. I autocrossed on them once too at Great Lakes Crossing. Naturally, they were terrible. They lasted me a good long time though, including a summer with a few long trips and I sold them with about half of the original tread remaining.

I then switched to Yokohama IceGuard IG20's in a still-too-big-but-stock-legal 225/45/18 and they have been wildly inconsistent. In mud, they're awful. In deep snow, they're amazing. On ice, they're entirely useable but not spectacular. On hardpack, they have decent grip but they squeal and squawk a lot and could stand to be a bit stiffer.

On Sean's GTI, we were running the General Altimaxes as stated before, and they were pretty great on Saturday. I actually got a set of the Altimaxes for my fiancée's Honda Fit last winter after doing lots of research. The tread pattern is a copy of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta (did I spell this right?) RSi, which happens to also be true of the Hankook iPike W409 (see below).

Additionally, the General is a rebadged US-market version of a tire by Continental's Swedish arm, the Gislaved Nord*Frost 3, which really lends it a lot of credibility. Because really, if you had a company called "Gislaved," would you make bad snow tires?

Dan Hutchinson

I think the big advantage to the Winterforce is that the tread pattern is relatively open, so they clean out effectively. For the same reason, I'm curious about the Cooper Weathermaster S/T 2's.

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Jon Armstrong

If you want one set of tires for year-round rallycrossing, then Winterforces are probably your best bet.

They are:
1) Cheap
2) Excellent tires for muddy events - which it seems is the most likely condition for rallycross in our region.
3) Good tires for grassy conditions.
4) Pretty close to a gravel rally tire on a dry horsetrack.
5) Good in deep snow
6) Pretty good on ice - not the best ice tire, but not too shabby either.

Seems like a good compromise. Of course other tires may perform similarly (such as the Altimax mentioned above).

Bridgestone RE39 mud rally tires took the 1+2 position overall. They rock.

The bad: They haven't been produced in years.

The good: I own a set of almost brand new ones!

Sean: Burke and I did an unscientific test last year at Marshall of running Hankook gravel tires in the morning, then Winterforces in the afternoon at a non winter event. We still won (and you were in our class). icon_razz.gif

Winterforces don't seem to give up much performance to a gravel tire, even on a dry horse track. But, they certainly won't last as long, as the winterforces get chewed up pretty quickly.

Sean Murphy

Studless over 'performance' - wrong kind of performance. Don't forget the General Altimax Arctic - these and other snow tires like them (budget) may give up a tiny bit of rubber and siping effort (good for glaze ice), but are great and tend to have the largest tread gap (best for mud, and powder). And maybe they don't even give up any performance - the Altimax especially is very well-reviewed.

All winter tires will fall apart when the temps get warm (maybe over 60deg, certainly over 70's too warm) but if you only use them when it's cold, I'd expect 3-5 useable 5000mile winters out of a set. I had a set of blizzaks ws-50's on a volvo 850 used for 5 winters, and one 400mile highway trip at 70+ degrees put noticeable wear into them...


My Altimax Arctics have about 20-25k on them and they basically lived on the car all year. Say a minimum of 15k of that was in summer months (I took my pi-odometer photo in late March, it's around 330k now) including about five or six autocrosses. The front tires had 9/32 after all that and the rears 10/32, so I finally rotated them.

They seem to still work well enough. icon_smile.gif They're no Blizzak when it comes to glare ice, but they are FAR better than the Winterforces and still have that nice bargain-basement price tag.

I'm definitely going to replace them next year, though. The rubber compound has definitely changed relative to last year. IMO snow tires are one season only items because of this, which is why I left them on the car all summer. I did that with Blizzaks that were three years old and they went from about 7/32 to nearly slicks in a few summer months...

Mike R

I started racing with Blizzak WS 50, they were good but wore quickly. Great on glare ice but in mud and deep snow the Winterforces are better.

The Winterforces have a more open tread design, not a continous band around the center of the tire. This more favorable on loose and soft conditions.


I was running a brand new set of 195/65/15 WS70's on my accord Saturday. They were pretty good in the dry and absolutely terrible in the mud. I have ran winterforces in the mud before in the civic/miata and they were much, much better.

I think the large gaps between the tread in the winterforces/atlimax's are very helpful for shedding the mud build up in the tires.

During our unscientific test, I personally liked the winterforces on the dry, relatively gravel free track.

The winterforces had a noticeably greater amount of a sidewall flex in comparison to the Hankook's. But to me at least the car seemed to be more predictable in the rear with snows. It didn't seem to break loose as quickly or dramatically. As you all know, I tend to overdrive things, and maybe the flex in the sidewall gave me some more leeway. Who knows....

As Jon mentioned they will not last as long, but damn does it sound cool screeching tires on dirt!
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