We all know that more rubber on the ground, the larger the contact patch, the more grip you will have. Next, I personally liked an A/T tire when we raced back in the late 80's. To me, the a/t's were much more predictable in medium to slower speed corners than the m/t. The m/t would slide,grip,slide,grip and so on. Now at higher speeds, this wasnt much of an issue,just mainly on slower stuff. So I noticed TOYO has made a real nice looking middle of the road tire called the R/T. BJ Baldwin qualified on these in Vegas for the B1K.
So, here I go thinking again! If there are so many WRC style sections of track out there, It would seen like the R/T would be a better setup choice especially for the 2wd Gordini. The current R/T will be fine in the sand, and will handle better on any wet hard packed slick roads with faster corners. Now, with all that being said, it makes one wonder why RGM is not using that tire.
1-Probably not enough test time on the R/T's
2-Maybe not enough race compounds available to date
3-Its hard to change something that works descent in 70% of the terrain.
My thing is, if the Gordini can get into and out of the corners quicker, then that will at least narrow the gap on the mini's and their high tech awd systems. Look at the BFG/Michelin the pug is running. That tire I bet has a larger contact patch. Just sayin! Folks, Grip is Good!
Happy New Year from Team TOOL
As to tire choice, I suspect that your 1), 2) &3) are in fact all at play, but that 3) probably is the most relevant. Those with a good grasp on the rules for this event may know better, but I've not seen competitors use different tires for different stages. So I suspect that the rules require one tire type for the entire event. So 3) would be the best overall.
As to your observation about speed on entry and on exit, I'll repeat here part of a post from a few days ago that I made after watching the video of the Peugeot testing: I too noticed the Peugeot picking up the inside front. It seems also to have to be tossed into the corner a bit to induce over-steer in order to get it to "rotate" in the corner. This then seems to exacerbate the lifting of the inside front and induces under-steer on exit. In several corners the car looked to run wide as a result, almost as though the driver hit the apex too early. They will likely improve on this---probably already have. But the impressive thing is how well the Gordini seems to handle, keeping the front down on the surface, allowing use of throttle to rotate the car without washing out the front----all the more so as it's a live-axle rear end. All in all it looks to be very well balanced, very responsive, especially considering its short wheel-base. It looks very impressive, and very much simplified compared to the Hummer, which should give good reliability.
The Peugeot IRS obviously is designed to keep the rear tires flat on the surface, but the video suggests that they were probably having to use a higher spring rate than desirable, perhaps because of less than optimum suspension travel available. This is what was likely causing the inside front to lift, resulting in the understeer on exit. I think, from the testing video that TOG posted, that the Gordini in fact is getting into and out of the corners quicker, and probably is faster overall on most surfaces----it's all a compromise. The real factor most crucial to victory is reliability, and the simplified design, including the live-axle rear suspension of the Gordini is very well calculated to achieve this---notwithstanding the theoretical superiority of IRS.And a well tried and proven tire choice is a major part of the reliability equation.
@Mark,if your an 'Elite' driver,you have to declare your tire before the Rally starts and that is the tire you must run the remainder of the Rally.
Thanks Mike---I suspected something like that an am glad you are up on the rules. Those tires have worked well, and are the best overall compromise---were I an "Elite" driver (an ambition I abandoned about 20 years ago!!!) I'd make the same choice.
TOYO's seem to be the choice for most privateer's,Thank's Robby
Thanks mark, thats exactly my thinking all the way around. I do know the rules do not allow for changing tire compounds and patterns. Yet, with the very well balanced Gordini and further testing, I could see a time when RGM would possibly go to the R/T,and again only for the potential of more grip. I certainly wouldnt change my tire with so little R&D time on them. It took Robby and TOYO quite some yime to finally come up with a tire model Robby and TOYO were both happy with.
And to Mikes point, teams like to use products that dont fail. And it appears TOYO has a tire in the M/T that currently works very well. Good stuff!