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3 questions — tires and setup

February 23, 2011

First one

When are you coming for a #USRally race?

Rally on!

— Dear Eric,

There is a big pause in Canadian rallying after Perce-Neige (early February) and Rocky Mountain Rally (end of May). So, the team was looking into some events South from the border to fill the break. Unfortunately, we can’t make it to the 100 Acre Wood . After studying other US events, I’ve decided to do Rally Tennessee, because it’s… a tarmac event! Yes, I really want to drive on tarmac and don’t understand, why we don’t have more rallies on sealed surface.

Of course, gravel is great fun, but on tarmac you go faster, you can crash further and your heart is pumping harder. Mind you, I’ve never done an asphalt event before, but I enjoy track days and I have a lot of respect for those drivers (unfortunately, mostly European) who are considered ‘tarmac experts’.


What factors are looked at when choosing car setup and especially the tires you will use for the race? (I also want to know what the tire rules are, like how many and when can you change them?)


— Dear Thomas

There are a lot of books on car setup (mostly race car, not rally car). There’s one that I like in particular, but it talks about more than just setup: Race to WIN: how to become a complete Champion Driver.

For rallying on gravel and snow, the general rule is that you want to have the car as low as possible, without bottoming out too much. And as soft as possible, without losing precision, especially at turn in.
Usually you end up having to slow down on rough sections and huge jumps, to avoid going too high and too stiff. There are a lot of adjustments rally shocks have, but that’s a story for some other time.

In Canada and the US, there are not too many tire rules: we are allowed to use any tires we want (other than studs of any kind). We are free to change tires every service and even carry 2 spares to rotate between stages. It’s all about the money. There are multiple compounds available and we can also cut the tires to fine tune them for the conditions. For example, if a gravel stage has some mud, you would cut the tire to allow the mud to come out and the rubber to reach the hard ground. But if there’s a lot of mud – you go for a mud tire.
One thing to keep in mind – rally tires are EXTREMELY strong and can take a lot of abuse. Nothing like a stock tire.


Hi Crazy Leo! Why did you start rally?
Tnx, me

— Dear Me,

I rally, because I ABSULOTELY LOVE IT!

P.S. You can find answers to some similar questions in the Q and A section.

posted in Blog by Crazy Leo

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1 Comment to "3 questions — tires and setup"

  • Will wrote:

    When did you start Rally , and with wich car ?

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