SCCA Solo Super Street Setup
I thought I would share some of the research and testing I have done since the SEB changed the rules for the new Super Street classes. I also wanted to step away from the Solo Setup sticky to concentrate on the new "Street" rule changes. The obvious rule change is for 2014 140+ treadware rating and 2015 200+ treadware rating. I personally think this is good and bad. Good because, it is cheaper, it is great to be able to drive to and from events without changing wheels and tires, and the lotus' work well on street tires. It is bad because Super Stock is a very competitive class with very good drivers, and they are blowing that apart by having a SS class on street tires and SSR on race tires. I think most of the good drivers would stay in SSR, which takes me away from that intense competition, at least for now. I also wonder how many people are going to compete in SS, will we have good numbers? The next rule allowance is we can change wheel diameter by +/- 1 inch.
By dropping down to a 15x6.5 front wheel, you have the potential to run a wide variety of front tires. If you stick with the 16x6.5 front wheels, you are limiting yourself. Also a 15x6.5 front wheel can offer a weight savings from the stock set-up. The problem is, a 15x6.5 4x100 wheel that is well made, light weight, reasonably priced, and fits around our brakes is next to impossible to find. Add on top of that finding a 17x7.5 rear wheel that matches is even harder. If only we could run a 15x7, 17x8 setup. I would prefer to not have a regular cast wheel. I would like it to be a spun cast or something like Enkei's MAT casting technology. If you can afford Forged wheels, those are even better.
If anyone has any advice on this I would greatly appreciate it.
SSR- both the Type C and Type F wheels are discontinued and are hard to find used. When I talked to SSR in early Sept they said they are working on replacements for those wheels, and they will be released soon. Keep an eye on this.
Rota- They make options that I believe will work. I can't verify if they fit over the brakes or not. What I've found is a 15/17 set-up is heavier than the stock 16/17 LSS setup. Also I wasn't sold on the quality of the Rotas, some people say they are fine, others swear against them.
Enkei- I ordered a set of the RPF1 Type II's only to find out those are discontinued also. They don't have anymore options for their Racing line of wheels, only their Tuning series which are much heavier.
Konig- They work with Enkei on some of their wheels and borrow their MAT casting process. They make a few different wheels in the 15x6.5. I ended up with the Feather which weighs 12-12.4 lbs depend on who weighs it. I believe it is a regular cast wheel not a MAT wheel. It does not fit without a 8mm or greater spacer. The spokes close to the hub hit the brake caliper.
Volks-The TE37s are offered in a 15x6.5, 17x7.5 setup, but I can't afford them.
Custom Wheels- I talked to wheel manufactures like Bogart and Kodiak. Bogart said with some work and creative thinking he "might" be able to get something to work. The problem is the wheel center vs. the outer lip.
Once again if anyone has experience with this, please share.
16 inch tires leave you with Toyos, Kumhos, or Star Specs.
From research I believe the Toyos are only great in the magical sizes. Otherwise the tires are just good. None of the 16" sizes are magical and shavable. I've heard the tread block is so tall and soft that it leaves the car feeling numb and doesn't react like it should. By shaving the tire you get rid of that numbness, but if it is not a magical tire the compound changes half way through leaving a harder rubber.
Star Specs are another good option but not great. The Toyos and new BFGs beat them pretty consistantly.
15 inch tires open up a lot more oportunities. Almost all of the major manufactures make a 205/50/15.
Toyo - You can run the magical 195s on the front and 235s on the rear. I believe this is going to be one of the best setups if not the best for 2014. I will have to test this.
BFG - This also is going to be one of the best setups. I went with this mainly because of how many people in my region switched to BFGs this year and love them. I would recommend the 205/245 setup vs the 225/245 for more steering response.
My Current Setup
Fred at BWR is the best and I would highly recommend buying your parts from him.
BWR Hardcore Bar
BWR DA Ohlins with BWR stock legal drop spring perches, LSS springs
15 x 6.5 +38 Konig Feather Front wheels with custom 8mm spacer
17 x 7.5 LSS Rear Wheels
225-45-15 BFG Rivals
245-40-17 BFG Rivals
BFG Rivals Impressions
I have only done one event so far with the Rivals and it was in a sealed blacktop parking lot with not a lot of grip. I ordered the 205-50-15 front tires, but BFG has stopped making that size for this season and is currently out of them. Hopefully they will be making them again soon. I had no choice but to go with the 225 fronts. I was worried that they would be too pinched on a 6.5" wheel, but they don't look bad to me. The tread surface looks flat and not rounded, and the sidewalls are slightly angled in but not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I believe a 205 would perform as good if not better, less weight, sidewalls straighter for better turn-in. The rears look like they are more pinched than the fronts. On the road, these tires are quiet and smooth. They absorb bumps and centerline reflectors better than my A048's or AD07's. On the track, I had to get used to these tires a little bit. I made too many easy mistakes at first, by overdriving into a corner. These tires talk to you and let you know what they are doing, listen for the change in squeal. Even with making mistakes, I could easily re-gain control of the tires and continue on without completely blowing the run. After I got adjusted to the tires/parking lot, the car felt really good. You could easily adjust the balance of the car with the throttle. A little lift would let the rear come around and point it where you wanted to go, a little too much lift and you were drifting-which was fun, but not fast. I can't comment on how the car felt in a slalom, because there was only on 3 cone slalom that you were braking the whole way through. Using the RTR SS Pax I ended up 1st in class, 3rd in overall PAX. I also beat another RTR car by 1.3 seconds that just trophied at Lincoln. My co-driver was 2nd in class, 4th in overall PAX. This tells me these tires are plenty fast.
More to come after this weekends event.
Me and another lotus driver have teamed up to split the costs for tire testing. He is going with the Toyo shaved 195/235 setup. We will run BFGs on my car, Toyos on his, then switch to Toyos on mine and BFGs on his to verify which tires we like better and/or which tires are faster. I also will continue to look for a good wheel option so I can have a matching front and rear wheel.