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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was just inspecting my tires in preparation for an autocross event this weekend and noted that this will probably be their last run. I think if I rotate front to back, it will last for the event but I'm bringing my street tires along as I may not make it home on the autocross tires.

As noted in this thread: http://fordstnation.com/motorsport-track/5872-focus-st-gobbles-tires.html#post82691 It would seem that the ST eats up tires pretty quickly.

So I'm shopping for a set of tires and based on reviews and feedback from a variety of forums, it would seem that Bridgestone RE-11's are highly recommended.

Any thoughts or other suggestions?
 

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I'd probably get something with a pretty firm sidewall. The Dunlop D2's seem to fit this bill more than the Rivals which I run but feel as though they allow more sidewall flex for greater latitudinal grip. I'd plan on flipping tires halfway through with the outsides flipped in. Finally, I'd really suggest examining whether you want to run in Street if camber is not allowed. The absence of camber modifications will make this problem persist. If you go to STX, you may not be the most competitive but you can put in RMM, coilovers, and swaybars to your hearts content while widening your wheels and reducing the diameter to 17".
 

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I ran the older Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec on my '08 Cobalt 08 SS Turbo for tons of quarter-mile drag passes and also did around 50-60 approximately minute-long auto-x laps on the set and with the pressure aired up and the stiff sidewalls didn't have any issues with them rolling over and they seemed to wear fairly even (that was running a 235/40-R18 on a slightly too narrow for them 7.5" rim width). About the only minor gripe was they're on the heavier side compared to other max performance summer tires of the same size.
 

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I have been using Hankook RS3's. I haven't the faintest idea if they are the best tires for autocross with this car. However, I've run them for 6 autocross events without any weird wear issues. No chunking. I am in Northern California so it doesn't get very hot here. I have been steadily reducing air pressure. Last run was 31 up front and 23 in the back. I don't really know if this is a good idea or not but I am just getting a touch of rollover at these pressures. An experienced driver drove my car a few events back and had the pressures even lower but I can't remember what the were. Haven't used a pyrometer yet but gotta say the tires are wearing fine at this point. I think Chad had RS3's as well. I wonder how his are holding up?

Sent from GN II
 

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The tires that seem to be the "tire to have" in autocross are the BFG g-Force Rival, Dunlop Direzza Z2, or the Toyo Proxes R1R. I've also heard people mention the Hankook Ventus R-S3.

I'm running Dunlop Direzza Z2's (245/40/18) and am happy with their performance so far. I was told they'll keep getting better with wear. In reviews/comparisons, the Dunlops are "peaky" tires and it is said that they will give you the fastest lap if you can drive your car on that peak of grip. However, the BFG Rival will "make a hero out of a zero" and are more of a consistant tire. Also heard from others that the Z2's were better in the rain. Others also said that Toyo Proxes R1R are excellent tires (ESPECIALLY in the rain) but tend to wear out VERY fast.

Like I previously mentioned, I am running the Z2's and I recently placed 5th at the Spring Nationals SCCA National Tour event on Memorial Day weekend in Lincoln, NE running in the Road Tire FWD (RTF) class. Had some REALLY tough competition. First place was a multiple-time national champion in H-stock trying out the Road Tire class, 2nd was the guy who placed 3rd at Nationals last year in RTF class, 3rd was another previous national champion, and 4th was the guy who finished 6th in RTF at last years Nationals. I was only 0.3 sec behind him after adding the best times of each of the two days together. Forgot to turn the stability control off on the first day! :S

I should be faster in September.

Here's a few pics from Spring Nationals:
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As you can see, there's not much sidewall flex on the Z2's.
Not like the stock Goodyears...
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YIKES!!:eek:
 

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Were wheels and tires your only mods?
Road Tire FWD (RTF) class follows the rules of the Stock class in SCCA Solo Racing so there's not much you can change.

Here's the changes you can make (what I did is in parentheses):
1. Air filter (I usually have a Green filter in the car for better sound but that is illegal according to SCCA rules because it has an additional opening on the end so I run a K&N filter when I race).
2. Cat-back exhaust (Borla cat-back).
3. Front OR rear swaybar (Steeda rear sway bar is on it's way).
4. Shocks (stock).
5. Rims must be same size diameter and width and within 5mm of offset. (Bremmer Kraft BR09).
6. Tires can be any width that will fit on the rim and inside the fender wells without modification (245/40/18 Dunlop Direzza Z2).

One other mod that I've done, that doesn't involve performance/racing, is the installation of a front hide-a-plate license plate holder. Nebraska requires a front license plate and I told the dealer NOT to install the factory license plate holder when my ST came in because I think it absolutely ruins the look of the grille being smack dab in the middle of it.
I was worried about the hide-a-plate blocking the airflow into the intercooler but my brother-in-law (who is a Ford Master Mechanic) said that it shouldn't have an effect for everyday driving and I could just lower and slide the plate under the car for when I race. And it looks SOOOOO much better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was worried about the hide-a-plate blocking the airflow into the intercooler but my brother-in-law (who is a Ford Master Mechanic) said that it shouldn't have an effect for everyday driving and I could just lower and slide the plate under the car for when I race. And it looks SOOOOO much better!
Do what I do. Practice this line. "I'm sorry officer, did I forget to put that up? Here, let me fix that for you."

I've driven by many NY State police officers and other area police and never had a problem. Don't know if that's because I'm in a sedate silver ST vs TS or if its because I'm 45 :confused:
 

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Never had a front plate issue out here in CA either. Seems now almost every third or fourth car I see on the road doesn't have one. My mom has never had an issue either and hasn't had a front plate in 8 years. The chances of getting a ticket are likely pretty low for this, since cops are busy writing more lucrative money makers like speeding tickets. And even if you did get one, it's not exactly a huge deal -- Put it on, get it checked off, then take it off again. Just don't get caught by the same officer again ;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am now leaning toward the BF Goodrich Rivals. I've been reading the reviews from folks using them now, and I like the idea of turning a zero into a hero, I could use the help! I think it will put me on par with the rest of the folks in my region. I'm third in the points standings overall right now and could easily be first if I can shave 2 sec of my run times. I used BFG years ago and they were easily good for those two sec so I guess old memories of glory are influencing me, that and the good reviews the tires are getting.
 
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One other mod that I've done, that doesn't involve performance/racing, is the installation of a front hide-a-plate license plate holder. Nebraska requires a front license plate and I told the dealer NOT to install the factory license plate holder when my ST came in because I think it absolutely ruins the look of the grille being smack dab in the middle of it.
I was worried about the hide-a-plate blocking the airflow into the intercooler but my brother-in-law (who is a Ford Master Mechanic) said that it shouldn't have an effect for everyday driving and I could just lower and slide the plate under the car for when I race. And it looks SOOOOO much better!
I put mine on with a super stick velcro from 3M. I can take it off on track days/race days.

DanFocusST.jpg

I'm also using Bridgestone RE-11 255/35's, so far I have found them to be better in comfort, ride, and grip to any other tire i've used, admittedly on other cars. But, I consider them better than R-S3's and star specs. They are a bit spender tho, I got my set of 18's for something like 1100 with tax.

peace, danno
 

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Wow. After seeing the sidewall flex on those stock tires, I'm starting to think I'll need some dedicated autocross tires sooner rather than later.
My only issue is I still don't know exactly what class my ST would fall under, and changing the tires or size of the tires only makes that classification harder.
 

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In NASA rules you NX-C, with lots of points to spare once you put on sub 200 treadwear tires.

In SCCA rules, I just read a thread that said your tire width doesn't matter as long as it fits in the fenders, and is wrapped on the stock sized wheel. And these do.
 

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John Berget Racing Tires

Call John and get a great set of used tires for a fraction of the cost. There's a few places out there for the weekend warrior on a budget. I've ran the Hankook's this year and I got the set shipped for less than $400 IIRC.
 
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