Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Will the Tudor United Sports Car Championship be better than the WEC? YES and here's why...

 Come 2014, the WEC will be in its 3rd season. Like the majority of the other FIA World Championships (beyond F1) however they are poorly attended affairs.

 I've made this statement a few times already that the Tudor series will be much better than the FIA World Endurance Championship and my comments have come under fire not surprisingly from Europeans.

 I am not one to wave Old Glory like my sometimes fellow Conservatives and even some Progressives/Liberals like to do but the facts are the facts.

 WEC is poorly attended, no where near capacity and mighty expensive for the limited TV coverage. I also think the standard and inflexible 6 hours or 1Km format is a bit ridiculous and not TV friendly, which explains why Eurosport only shows you the first hour and last hour of the six hour races. 

 If ESPN did that with NFL or NBA games there would be calling for scalps. You can't even do that with Indycar races and why since the races run about two hours anyway.

 My point is that WEC appeals to the hardcore endurance racing fan only. But until now, the only alternative was Pan European championships like European Le Mans Series which is also poorly attended I might add.

 So its not shocking to me at all when its rumored several teams in both the ELMS and WEC are considering full season if not partial seasons in the new series.

 The WEC paddock got the message when the ALMS race out attended the WEC race by good margin, some estimate 20-25% It impacted the WEC paddock so much that drivers like Bruno Senna announced he would like to drive more in America next season. Endurance Info is reporting that several P2 teams, Krohn Racing, Aston Martin and AF Corse are all interested in running here next year.

 Why? Because they'll be racing in front of somebody! 

 Series in Europe have the unfortunate habit of racing at circuits design to house 50-100K of rabid F1 fans. This is especially glaring at places like Silverstone and Monza. It was repeated at COTA, a place that housed 165K F1 fans last season for the first race ever there.

 Most of the tracks the ALMS goes too and that Tudor will have on its schedule next season have much smaller grandstands because the majority of fans use the surrounding topography (IE grassy areas and hills) to watch the cars as they go around.

 The only major test in terms of attendance next season will be the Six Hours of The Glen, which in the Grand Am era was not as well attended as the NASCAR race there (much worse). Even Indycar has done poorly and they dropped it from the schedule. That is an exchange of venues for the Tri-State area as the series will not be returning to Lime Rock, which is very well attended and even that's an understatement its PACKED.

 The Long Beach race is at least 40K and might increase this season, if the races before it (Daytona and Sebring) prove to be exciting as I think they will be.

 The way I see it, you can race in a new series with some momentum behind it, with familiar teams, schedule and tracks or you can do another series in a respected but poorly attended championship with contrived GT-Pro Am class and teams losing interest.

 This is especially the case when budgets are considered. Rumor has it the Tudor series with four very long races and a slew of 2:45 sprint races cost about the same as FIA WEC. According to John Hindbaugh it will cost $1.5M British Pounds more to run Tudor over WEC. I am going to assume that includes shipping the car back to Europe for Le Mans. That doesn't sound unreasonable.

 But it seems some teams don't have a problem with that. Greaves Motorsports has already announced they will enter the new series for the entire season. Others rumored to be coming are Murphy Prototypes (who raced in at Petit Le Mans last season and loved it), TDS Racing and Pecom which is run by AF Corse and I already said they are interested in running at least the long distance races next season.

 When all it said and done as the teams must commit to the Tudor series starting Nov 1st, I think the grid will be at or very close to the 60 entry threshold.

 All the races will be well attended and nothing improves a team's moral than to run in front of supportive and enthusiastic fans.

 Those are the reasons why the Tudor series in ONE season will prove to be superior to the WEC despite its world championship status, which seemingly is only important to Europeans...



Monday, October 28, 2013

This is pretty much a No-NASCAR zone, but congrats to Darrell Wallace Jr....

For doing what only Wendell Scott has been able to do up to this point, win a race.

 I pretty much ignore Nationwide (which is going away as title sponsor next season with no replacement announced yet) when not racing on a road course so I hadn't heard or seen the Black DW before.


 At least NASCAR has a diversity program which is more than I can say about Indycar or Sports Cars, despite historical figures such as Willy T. Ribbs.

 Of course there's Bill Lester who's tasted victory in often ignored and now defunct Grand Am series which is NASCAR owned.

 I will be talking much more about the lack of diversity in motorsport. As much as Supercross, NHL and Golf were last frontiers for Black Americans. Racing IS the last frontier because you're asking a community of people to spend hundreds of thousand of dollars which they don't have or spend on other things, such as BW women spending 8 Billion dollars a year on hair replacement products, such as wigs and weaves.

 Stay tuned I can guarantee that it will be very interesting and should get the conversation started that largely went dead with the moderate success of Danica Patrick.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Professional Motorsport Death Watch

 NASCAR's ratings continue to decline and empty seats is increasingly become commonplace even at popular venues like Daytona and Bristol. NASCAR's 2014 schedule doesn't offer any relief for what ails the media darling of the early 2000's.

 NASCAR is saying wait until 2015 when NBC comes aboard to replace ESPN, returning Sprint Cup series to the free HD airwaves. Oh, what's coming?

 A shorten schedule  = Unlikely
 More Road Courses = Possibly
 Road Courses in the Chase = Doubtful

 To say NASCAR followed the NFL model is an understatement and while that might be okay for the hardcore NASCAR fan, for the rest of us, it's turned into NASCAR fatigue.

  That said even if the hardcore fans don't notice or notice but choose to ignore it, is that NASCAR has reached the top and its downward slide is actually picking up speed.

 It seems attendance is back to pre-Financial Crisis levels, but the ratings are still down and while overall attendance might be back up, its hard to believe statements like that when the stands are visible emptier than just a few years ago.

 3 races at the home of NASCAR (Charlotte) was a bit much then and it's really too much now. I would highly suggest the series consider adding the All Star event to the Coke 600 schedule, technically it is, but it happens a week before the Coke 600/Indy 500 weekend or at least move it around to other tracks to make it interesting.

 That's just for starters, I'll save the rest for the 2nd in a series of YouTube videos.

 Indycar's atrocious attendance at Fontana for the season finale with the series championship on the line came and went with a resounding THUD.

 What about Indycar's schedule? How about just like NASCAR, more of the same... Just like we reward failure in Government and Big Business, I guess we'll continue to do so in Motorsports because these people are related to politicians and big business tycoons.

 The only bright spot was the ALMS finale at Petit Le Mans, but we have trouble in those waters as well. The NASCAR way is already being felt by the IMSA Safety Crews. There's a strong possibility that the people that know them best in an accident might get the ax as cost-cutting measure. 

 Fanstatic! (Sarcasm)

 Thus far, the changes coming for next season in the Tudor series is expected this one however sort of blindsided the community in road racing and drag racing who is used to having traveling safety teams.

 So is racing really in trouble? YES IT IS! To prove it too you, you'll have to come back... Thanks to Autoextremist for posting a similar rant before I did, I just happen to agree with Peter; 100% and thought I would add my 2 cents.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oversubscribed Part 2 - The Drivers (Updated)

 Besides the good problem of lots of interest from teams here and overseas in the united series (nevermind its not that united...), it seems there is some concern over job availability next season.

 Pro classes need not worry (Prototype/GTLM), this is only a problem for the Pro-Am classes (LMPC/GT-D).

 The Silver Driver ranking has Gold value to teams serious about winning races and championships. Some people don't like driver rankings; to them it seems contrived. I will agree they are contrived but we should let teams determine how serious they are about their business model.

 Just consider what happen between Guy Cosmo, Level 5 and Extreme Speed.

 Using rankings give them (teams) the option of being serious or semi-serious (do you want more economic security or more speed?)

 Teams that don't depend on drivers bringing money to the team to purchase new cars are free to commit to a company, say Audi, get access to factory drivers and only have to pay a salary to driver that's Silver ranked. The rules say you can have two Silver drivers in the car and this is how Callaway Competition from Germany dominated the 2010 FIA GT3 Championship with Daniel Keilwitz and Christian Hohenadel both Silver drivers...

 The grey area with the rankings is experience. You could be a silver driver if you never won a major championship or race victory or over age 50. 

 What's considered a major championship or race victory?

  •  Win or Championship in CART, IRL or Indycar
  •  Win or Championship in NASCAR
  •  Driven, Win or Championship in F1
  •  Win or Championship in GP2
  •  Win or Championship in DTM
  •  Win or Podium at Le Mans

Success in any of those series will automatically get you a Gold, Platinum if you have won a F1 race.

 Any success anywhere else will get you a Silver ranking; Interesting huh?

 Here's an example:

 Elton Julian like many drivers don't lack talent but lack funding and that ended his career in British F3, but not before that he won a race and finished in the Top 5 of the championship. He was just starting his own racing team (Dragon Speed) and fielded a car in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup when he was asked to drive with Gunnar Jeannette in his father's team LMPC car.

 He was brutally fast and almost won the LMPC Championship, his first season full time back in a racing car.

 He was ranked as a Silver driver. Gunnar himself has loads of experience in the ALMS and at Le Mans, he is also a Silver driver.

 This is how you can "Game" the system. Its intention is to pair usually painfully slow gentlemen drivers with money with young inexperienced (but fast) or older experienced drivers (coach).

 The problem with this ranking system is there are plenty of experienced drivers around the world who are very quick but ran out of money or have been injured in a crash. They are Silver ranked drivers because they haven't won any major races or championships.

 When the rankings are released it will be very interesting to see who is ranked where.

 Here's the FIA WEC Driver Rank List 

 Drivers that I think will be in high demand:

 Billy Johnson (released from Roush Racing)
 Lawson Aschenbach (2013 World Challenge GTS Champion)
 Archie Hamilton (Seen in Petit Le Mans Paddock)

 I'm sure there many more, but based on the list I left the link too, here's some others

 Rui Aguas (Extensive Ferrari experience)
 Lance Davis Arnold (Mercedes Customer Sports Driver)
 Matt Bell (Ferrari supported driver)
 Tim Bergmeister (Porsche experience + US track knowledge)
 Sebastiaan Bleekemolen (Porsche experience)

 These guys and others in Europe will get the call up for GT-D mainly. Considering how many teams (19-21) will run and despite being a Pro Am class, sliver drivers will be golden to teams serious about winning.

 Update #1

 Here is an interview Elkins gave to John Dagys of Sportscars 365 on the subject of driving rankings for the Pro-Am classes (GT-D and LMPC).

 Update #2

 Greaves Motorsports has confirmed at least one entry into TUCSS but not just the North American Endurance Championship that was rumored previously but the entire season of races! The team said it looking for partners but they are just saying that because there have been no contracts signed between the team and likely partner Chris Dyson.

 The partnership is likely only for a season, possibly two as Dyson owned AER is looking to bring an unknown badged production based (block, heads, cam location) online for P2 in the near future.

 In driver related news (not that Chris Dyson isn't a driver)

 Drivers Jonathan Hirschi, Nikki Pastorelli and a few others are deeply interested in the new series.

 Update #3

 An official announcement is said to happen later this week, but it looks like Paul Miller Racing will join Flying Lizard as full time Audi Customer Sports North America teams in GT-D.

 As I look at it, there are reasons why both teams have went with Audi. 

 For one, Flying Lizard (Seth Neiman) likely feels jilted over Porsche' selection of CORE Autosport to represent them as an official factory program in GTLM. But I also believe Porsche Motorsports thinks the stakes are too high for an owner-driver involved with a factory effort. This is unlikely to happen as CORE's owner Bennett will continue in LMPC (will be at the Sebring Test next week).

 The second the lack of resources, IE drivers. With as many as seven (possibly eight-nine at the long distance events) Porsche teams in GT-D, three in GTLM and two more in WEC next season; plus the LMP1 program, it looks obvious to me that Porsche's resources are stretched pretty thin.

 Its very likely Audi teams including GMG will have access to Audi drivers. Christopher Haase will be testing with Flying Lizard and bringing them up to speed with cars they have never run. It looks like Benoit Treluyer will be shaking down PMR's Audi R8 LMS @ Sebring.

 All these teams will be at the Sebring test.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

You were never crazy, NASCAR was paying teams and trying to crush the ALMS with Grand Am! (Updated!)

 Since was posted in a NASCAR land newspaper, I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere. Maybe others have seen it and the general reaction is "water under the bridge" since Grand Am bought the ALMS to create the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship that begins at Daytona next year.

 However when Murphy The Bear often spoke of this truth, he was called all sorts of names including the often used "conspiracy theorist". Usually its because the lack of any real investigation leads to opinions about things, rather than facts.

 Well, we finally have the facts and Grand Am fans will need to eat quite a bit of crow.


 Its funny how a divorce often uncovers things you wouldn't expect.

 Grand Am was and never well be fondly remembered as much as the ALMS will be and that's just the truth. This sort of information puts a final nail in the Grand Am's coffin. I will be watching the new braintrust very closely.

 Thanks to Peter Delorenzo for posting this on his blog!

 Update #1

 I had to do a bit of searching on Murphy's blog which he no longer post too as he lost interest in covering the downward spiral of the ALMS. I don't blame him... The bungling at under the current management is astounding. The complete and total mismanagement of the Porsche, Audi, Acura LMP story which blew up in Acura's face when they were the only players left in 2009 after committing to LMP1 right before the financial crisis blew up in Oct of 2008.

 Here's the post from 2009 that confirmed NASCAR's payment plan to teams which included Brumos and Spirit of Daytona. Having known this since before 2009 actually; that is why I can't take anything Jim Keane says seriously. As the co-host of The Racing Insiders and employee of Spirit of Daytona when he complains about cost to upgrade the slower than dirt DP's up to LMP2 pace, it rings very hollow. The majority of his employer's bills (and his paycheck) are paid by General Motors or Government Motors as some people like to call them.

 Its this sort of bs that if the general public knew would turn them off of sports car racing.

 I'm going to continue to dig deeper because its unfortunate that we had to lose the battle when we didn't have too. In the end, we as ALMS fans have won the war, but we're forced to accept the DP's and even Michael Shank is giddy about running at Le Mans, in what I have no idea because I doubt seriously DP's in any guise will be accepted by the ACO.

TUCSS Oversubscribed? North American Endurance Championship the Alternative? Update!

That seems to be the thinking in Daytona Beach.

 Given all the information I have found, it looks like the 60 car threshold will be met. Currently Daytona has 60 pit stalls on pit lane and 74 garage spaces. 

 According to various sources including Graham Goodwin of Dailysportscar, some European P2 teams may not be extended an invite to the series opening round. The reason given is the expected capacity of GT-D to be about 20 cars, if not more. 

 Right now I count about 54 cars committed to the new series full-time, which is why they went forward with the split races at Long Beach, Detroit and VIR.

 Pickett Racing has yet to confirm but will be staying in the series at least for 2014 and already confirmed Stevenson Motorsports departure.

 That leaves only six spots.

 The only fly in the ointment is the approximate 30% increase in budget needed to run the new 12 race series (11 races for Pro Am classes and 11 races for Pro Classes actually).

 Who will fill those extra spots?

 The likely order is; season entries get priority. Then those entries for the North American Endurance Championship (NEC) and finally the one-off's.

 I mentioned before since the WEC season doesn't start until April 18th at Silverstone, both Daytona and Sebring would be excellent tune ups for the coming season. I believe some teams will skip the ELMS all together to run in the much tougher US series.

 Driver Johnny Mowlem on Mid-Week Motorsport said his team, 2013 ELMS GT Champions Ram Racing is looking very hard at the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. They would love to do it, if they can find the budget. Its likely if they don't do the entire series, they may opt for the NEC and Le Mans, which would require shipping the car over twice but overall that is cheaper than a WEC season or full TUSCC campaign.

 Paul Dalla Lana who is unhappy with the way WEC is run generally left his Aston Martin Vantage GTLM car in America after the WEC COTA event (in which the ALMS outdrew WEC much to this dismay of ACO/WEC management), is likely to also run the entire Tudor Championship. 

 AF Corse has said it would like to do the NEC as well.

 Among the Prototypes, I know Murphy, TDS and Greaves are all interested. I believe Greaves will partner with Chris Dyson for a full season, while Dyson Racing sorts out what its long range plans are. Chris has said its unlikely they will buy a new chassis since their budget called for a three year program with their Lola. IE they hadn't planned on buying a new car and don't have the budget for it. At COTA it was mentioned by Rob Dyson that its likely they will develop their own engine for P2 (via AER which they own) but its unlikely to be ready by the start of next year.

 So if you count three prototypes, two extra Ferrari's in GTLM, its likely only one spot left and who that gets that is anybody's guess, but I'll say Dalla Lana and his Aston Martin Vantage.

 *Update #1 

 It seems intentionally (or not) John Dagys has mentioned in his post-race report for the final Petit Le Mans that Scott Tucker had raced for his final victory and championship in the ALMS which we knew was ending but does that mean the 2-time P2 champ, 2-time LMPC champ is considering the world stage (FIA WEC)?

 I wouldn't blame him if he did.... I don't remember where I read it, but it seems Mr. Tucker lobbied for the new merged Prototype class to remain Pro-Am to allow Gentlemen drivers like himself and equalize the competition with that requirement.

 That will not happen in the new series because despite P2 being a Pro Am class in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS or LMS) and World Endurance championship (WEC) it will be fully professional in the US. There will be no more Trueman Award (Grand Am) for best Gentlemen racer (that I know of).

 So for people like him and Tracy Krohn for example, you have a few choices.

  •  Prototype Challenge (since he's a previous champion I doubt this, even if he ordered a new cars already)
  •  Prototype 2 in WEC/ELMS - More than likely WEC since ELMS is a much weaker series than the ALMS or what the Tudor Championship will be.

 I would mention GT series like Blancpain but I think its obvious he's not interested in running GT cars at this point in his career.

 So my money is on Tucker wanting to continue to drive will go to the WEC next season. The competition depth will be greater than it was this season, so it will be good for his team to move on.

 While I always thought Tucker for next year was a bit of a question mark, I didn't think ordering LMPC cars meant much. It could be just a business opportunity to rent out chassis to drivers since for logistical reasons, he won't using his US based transporters or shops if he races in WEC. It is likely he'll have a satellite base camp in Europe somewhere since the majority of races are in Europe (Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans including Test Day) as are most if not all the teams.

 It could very well be an arrive and drive scenario, stay tuned to see if I'm right.

 *Update #2 

 I've created an editable table to keep track of next year's entries. If you know of any information before I find out (I check around the net daily), feel free to edit the table.

 Here's the link 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What impact will FIA GT3 cars have on World Challenge?

 When Pirelli World Challenge announced they would allow full spec FIA GT cars, I knew it would only be a matter of time before things got serious.

 As it stands now, expect for a few drivers, PWC has a very Pro-Am/Club feel to it. 

 Team Cadillac for intents and purposes should be dominating; they have previously when other teams without even close to the resources of Pratt & Miller were forced to build their own cars.

 I place before the court the Hawk Performance Nissan GTR and its generally poor performance/reliability.

 But when Global Motorsport Group, a long-time Porsche supporter moved over to Audi R8's (older FIA spec cars) it proved to be a excellent decision. This season has been very consistent for GMG; winning a few races and I think completing every lap this season. 

 James Sofronas is leading the points going into the final weekend.

 If you saw the entry list going into this weekend it looks very normal, ho-hum actually.

 But when checking for times this morning, guess who was leading the timesheets in yesterday's cancelled practice/qualifying session? 

 Audi R8 LMS factory driver and former Porsche Super Cup Champion, Rene Rast.

 For those that don't know; Rast has been winning races in ADAC GT (German GT3), Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT Series, driving the majority of the time for Belgian Audi Club-WRT.

 I've said before with the acceptance of full FIA GT3 cars into World Challenge; Teams that have multi-car efforts like GMG will feature at least one factory driver, who will go for the driver's and manufacturer's championships.

 This ups the ante considerably since the best drivers in the series currently are journeyman driver Randy Pobst, who is popular with the club racer/autocrosser community since that's where he comes from. Former CART/CCWS driver Alex Figge also joins Pobst in the factory supported Volvo S60R.

 While the Caddy team has become the retirement home for ALMS drivers who have lost a step. GM lifer Andy Pilgrim who left (read: forced out) the Corvette program almost a decade ago is joined by current series champion Johnny O'Connell, who was forced out of the Corvette program at the start of the 2011 season.

 Once you understand that, you can see how a Pro-Am driver like James Sofronas who is actually a very good driver for somebody that doesn't do it for a living; can lead the championship with a good reliable car like the Audi. As I said previously GMG was a Porsche team being based not very far from Porsche Motorsport North America which is located about an hour from my house in Huntington Beach.

 They were basically up against cars built by P&M that are somewhere near the overall pace to a FIA GT3 car. The Porsches they were driving were Cup cars with larger 4.0L engines. As I mentioned recently on Racer.com and Sportcars 365; these cars do not have the downforce the factory Caddy or Volvo has and that impacts lap time. Now with that said, a very quick professional driver, who can get the most out of a Porsche, say Pat Long can win with those cars. But expecting Amatur drivers like Ende and Sofranas to compete with them is totally unreasonable.

 That's why I said WC has a club racer feel to it. At various times over its history World Challenge has had factory involvement, so this is nothing new. This will surely to bring up the level of professionalism the series needs to move up in popularity.

 I fully expect GMG to field at least two Audi's next season if not as many as four, but one car will have a factory Audi driver. Because I am fairly confident that TRG-Aston Martin will put Damien Faulkner in a Vantage GT3 for both World Challenge and GT-Daytona.

 I fully expect a real "Sports Car War" to break out in World Challenge...

 Here's a bit of news not everybody heard: Multi-time DTM Champion Bernd Schneider will be running the in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in Dec. I heard this during the last Blancpain race which his team won to secure the driver's championship for Max Buk. Being a factory Mercedes driver, who do you think is on the entry list for Thunderhill?

 That would be one Tim Pappas, who owns Black Swan Racing, driving a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.

 I don't think it takes much of a leap to put two and two together.

Fun Small Cars and The Morons Who Own Them

 While watching some NFL games this afternoon, I am always online. So while I was online and if you read my previous post you know I am looking at the '14 Ford Fiesta ST and '14 Chevy Sonic LT (the lowest cost style with the optional 1/.4L Turbo engine) to purchase as a fun daily driver.

 I am always curious on what others are doing with these cars. 

 I read a story back around 2004-2005 that more OEM's would be using small displacement turbocharged engines to replace engines larger than 2.0L for small cars (Class B think Fiesta, Class C think Focus). As of 2013/2014 model year, there are more factory turbocharged cars available than when I bought my Dodge Neon SRT-4 in late 2006.

 So as I said I am curious what others are doing, specifically with drag racing these cars. I am a fan of drag racing as a grassroots motorsport. Its affordable and as long as your car is slower than 11.50 and under 130 mph trap speed, only a helmet is required for safety equipment.

 Unlike road racing which requires a whole host of safety equipment and you'll be at a disadvantage against those that have trailered their cars. Meaning your car will have all its interior parts, likely air conditioning and other things not needed. You'll be at a weight disadvantage which is important in all forms of motorsport but maybe tractor pulls.

 Which is why I am not all that shocked at the lack of good drag strip numbers for the majority of these cars.

 I've found a Focus ST that ran 13.8 on street tires, that required an engine controller upgrade (Flash). Not bad, it could have run better though. Starting with the Dodge Caliber SRT-4, OEM's have been putting larger brake rotors on the cars. This makes sense as the cars have higher curb weights and more power. This has been challenging to get serious traction that racing slicks provide because nobody offered a slick for a wheel bigger than 15" that would fit on most small cars.

 (Actually I found some quicker cars on focusst.org)

 M&H Tires to the rescue!

 M&H Tires has always supported the grassroots/weekend warrior. I guess demand was there and they filled it, fantastic!

 Of course there will still be excuses by people that own cars that can use the traction but as the saying goes, you can take a horse to water, but you can't make them drink it.

 As I said drag racing is an affordable way to get started in motorsports. I would much rather autocross than goto a HPDE (High Performance Driving Event) where you can't pass people aggressively. The reason is they don't want people with expensive cars getting involved in accidents which would dissuade people from coming.

 Why not autocross and drag race? You wouldn't autocross on the stock tires (nobody competitively does), so why would you drag race on your stock wheels and tires????

 But people continue to show up at the drag strip on street tires. Now some think this is harder on the drivetrain. While the wheel hop that primarily happens on street tires, even drag radials can break things (axles, motor mounts, etc), slicks eliminate that almost completely since the soft side walls of the tire absorb much of the shock to the drivetrain. Drag radials are much better than street tires because the even if they are radial tires, the side walls do flex, which helps with overall traction.

 Its much safer to the drivetrain to drag race on slicks (a) or drag radials (b). To not cause wheel hop with regular street rubber, you cannot be overtly aggressive with the launch, since the race track is more tacky than often very slick public roads.

 Street tires are not the fastest way down a drag strip. People do it anyway, because I think there's a false belief especially those with little to no experience that if they are quick on street tires, they'll be fast street racing (I don't encourage that....).

 In my next post about this subject, I will talk more about grassroots motorsports that you can do with your street car.

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