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TESTED:  Goodyear Eagle RS Competition Tire

By Steve Rockwood

 

 

If there’s one thing that racing has taught me, it’s drive smoother.  Why?  Fast lap times, sure, but that’s not it.  Consistency? Close, but no cigar.  Less likely to crash?  Getting real warm.  Tires last longer?  Bingo!  The most important part of a race car, and likely the largest expense you’ll have in any given racing weekend (excepting my third point: crashing), is tires, and I want to make those expensive gumballs last as long as possible without going slow.  In the never ending game of rubberized trade-offs, we installed a set of Goodyear Eagle RS DOT R-compound tires on Project G20 Racecar.  

 

 

 

Goodyear’s Eagle RS, size 225-45-15 in the RC compound

 

 

Goodyear got back into the DOT racing tire game just in time for the inaugural MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship (MPTCC) race, and the first team to have experience with the tire was the APD team with their Acura TSX.  After talking to Jonathan Donner about the tires, how well they performed, how long they were lasting (bonus!), and how our cars had very similar issues (namely, lack of negative camber), then watching Edik Stepanyan completely demolish the entire field in Round 4 of the MPTCC at Willow Springs, we decided to try a set for ourselves.

 

 

 

Edik Stepanyan’s Acura Integra on Goodyear Eagle RS tires

 

 

 

 

The APD Acura TSX on Goodyear Eagle RS tires 

 

 

 

Now, with any R compound tire, and really anything made of rubber, sacrifice is the name of the game, and the Eagle RSs were no exception.  The problem lies in that tire construction can be optimized for a very specific purpose, and be really good at it, or it can be optimized for a number of purposes and not be very good at any of them.  An all-season tire, for example, has the unenviable task of working in the snow, the rain, the heat of summer, the dead of winter, and last a reasonably long time while being generally unobtrusive and hopefully grip well.  As a result, it isn’t very good at anything, but will adequately do the job of tires through all of these conditions.   

The opposite end of the spectrum in the DOT world would be the ultra-soft autocross compound racing tire.  Barely any tread means rain and snow are out of the question.  However, the autocross-specific compound isn’t very amenable to multiple heat cycles, and isn’t going to be happy with your 10 lap, three-way battle for 1st either.  This is why almost every DOT racing tire worth its price tag will have a selection of compounds for you to choose from.  Some, like Goodyear and Hoosier, make it easy (AC or RC, A6 or R6, respectively), while others, like Hankook, are less obvious (C31, C51, or C71).  Since we certainly weren’t dodging cones in a parking lot, we chose the RC compound, sized 225-45-15, which brings us to our next dilemma.

 

 

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Comments
4cylndrfury
4cylndrfurylink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 5:55 AM
As a P11 owner, I first want to say that I hart the G20 racecar (P11>P10 btw ;) ). Thanks for the writeup - I wasnt aware that Goodyear was so helpful at the trackside...did they recognize you as media types? Offering a helping hand, hoping for some free PR, or are they genuinely that helpful in the wild?

And whats the plan for a new gearbox? Aftermarket goodness, or a junkyard swaparoo? What failed? Premature ventilation? Syncro death? Impromptu gear tooth dentistry? Inquiring minds want to know!
Boxed Fox
Boxed Foxlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 6:38 AM
I'm very curious about the wear and life on these tyres. I'm especially curious about how they perform closer to the cords.

If these are any better than the Hoosier R6's wear wise I may have to make the switch on the Prelude.
HAR
HARlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:04 AM
@ Steve: Great write up Steve!

Our team started the MPTCC season utilizing the Eagle RS as our "secret weapon" to give us a little extra edge against the competition and by the Vegas races you, Dai and the S2000 were on them as well, evening up the playing field in regard to tires! So much for the extra edge...lol:)

We new you guys were going to be extremely competitive in Vegas with your new turbo set up and really started to worry when you decided to run the RS's as well! There is no doubt in my mind that if your transmission had not failed you would have been up on the podium in Vegas as well. Now that the Eagle RS secret is fully out of the bag we are going to have to find a bit more power for the Acura over the winter to keep up with you guys next season!

@ 4cylndrfury: Yes, the Goodyear folks are genuinely that helpful to everybody. Our decision to run the Eagle RS this season was based not only on the tremendous characteristics (grip, consistency and longevity and the ability to work well at lesser camber angles) of the tire tire compared to other D.O.T R's we have experience with, but the level of support they provide as well, helping with set up information and input to dial the tire in with the most minimal amount of testing, (read cost) possible for us.
HAR
HARlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:36 AM
@ Boxed Fox: We have a lot of time on Hoosier R6's and BFG R1's on various vehicles and find the Eagle RS more consistent through it's life cycle, with a longer life cycle for us (read, more available heat cycles).

Try a set and we think you will be quite pleased.

If your in California, Caroll Shelby in LV would be your local distributor: 702.430.5160

National Distributor List:
http://www.racegoodyear.com/distributors.html
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:23 AM
@ 4cyl: P11>P10 for daily driving pimpage, yep. Hard to overcome the beam and 300lbs of additional heft on the track though. At least Jonathan's porcine performer justifies its portliness with gigantic wheelwells (he's rocking the class-maximum 245mm tires)! ;-p

And yep, that Goodyear truck is everywhere, and the guys were quite busy helping out the "regular Joes" (who most likely fund their racing with far more successful businesses/careers) when we got there. While a full-sized 18 wheeler, I never knew it was there until I thought about it.

As for the gearbox, I'm working on the forced induction this week, then you'll see what we did to the transmission to fix it in a month or two, depending on how long it takes to build it.

To quote: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

@ Boxed Fox: We'll make sure to update this article with wear stats when we have them. So far, other than being dirty, you can't even tell they were used...

@ HAR: Yep, cat's out of the bag. Your car and Edik's car had us sold as soon as we saw these tires. Thanks for the help!
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:29 AM
BTW, I added some text to the rear tire caption. I was utterly amazed that these tires didn't pick up a SINGLE marble the WHOLE WEEKEND. This probably had a lot to do with these tires' consistency and even breakaway out back. With other tires (and I mean EVERY other tire out there), the rear wouldn't tell you anything until it decided it was tired of following and tried to pass the front.
JustinP10
JustinP10link
Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:32 PM
Steve, performance per dollar, would you pick these over the cheaper NT01s, if you weren't running in race group?
Grunt
Gruntlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:53 PM
Rockwood 6spd it!!!.
HAR
HARlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 1:35 PM
@ Rockwood: "porcine".... oops... wait a minute we actually do resemble that descriptive...lol

We actually had to to do quite a bit of work to get those 245's on 9" wide wheels in there on the Acura as well but it was certainly worth it.
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:45 PM
@ Justin: As always, that depends. For me, yeah, I really like this tires and I think they'll last longer to boot. That being said, you'd still have a rocking good time on the NT01s, just not quite as fast. What car would they go on? Trailering to the track/swapping tires?

@ Grunt: our nose is heavy enough, the shift feel is horrible (read: money shifts), and we're really not making a huge amount of power. That being said, the best laid plans... ;-p

@ HAR: And we had to do quite a bit of work to get the 8.8" 225s under there. The monkey business you saw at the track was to get the Goodyears under there... ;-p
JustinP10
JustinP10link
Friday, December 30, 2011 8:58 AM
They'd be going on a P10, similar to yours actually... just with less power. Turning it into PTE/TTE car, probably a D car later on, once I have time/money for more power and aero mods. If it doesn't get trailered, I have a set or two of street tires that I could throw on quickly, for trips to and from the track, if needed.

I drive my MS3 to and from the track on the NT01's, but that's because the track is really close (~15 minutes to Firebird)
JustinP10
JustinP10link
Friday, December 30, 2011 9:18 AM
Oh yeah, when can we expect an update on the engine changes? I saw you referenced them in the comments, but you can also see hints of the changes in the main image for this article too. :-P
HAR
HARlink
Friday, December 30, 2011 9:48 AM
@ JustinP10: Hey Justin, if you don't mind, let me throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth. If this is a new car for you, meaning you are in the build/upgrade process and do not yet have it perfected (suspension set up etc...) and are just getting to know the car and it's individual handeling characteristics/limits, etc...

Get a set of NT01's to use to learn the car, the tracks and perfect everything about the situation within your defined parameters, then move to the Eagle RS as your actual competition tire.

The NTO1 will give you more longevity at less ultimate grip/speed in that scenario (meaning cost less overall)but allow you to to do the brunt of devolpment work.

The Eagle RS is a very fast and very consistent competition tire, with proper "care and feeding"... We heat cycle ours properly before use, when not in use, wheels and tires are removed from the car cleaned thoroughly and then stored in a cool, dark place to maximize performance and life.

HAR
HARlink
Friday, December 30, 2011 10:22 AM
Also: A couple of questions, what will be your cars competition weight, size of wheel and tire you are planning, spring rates and maximum camber Justin?
JustinP10
JustinP10link
Friday, December 30, 2011 10:38 AM
That's good info to know. I have a few sets of lightly used take-off hoosiers and NT01's that I'll burn up while getting everything dialed in. Thanks!

While the car is new to me, I've owned/driven a couple very similar cars. Basically the biggest change is this is a dedicated track car vs the other cars being street cars that see a lot of track use. Stiffer chassis, lighter weight, higher spring rates, etc.. I figure I'll be pretty close to start, given the amount of experience with the other cars.

As for the second question...

Not 100% complete yet, but guessing it'll end up around 2400lbs, 15x7's w/ 225/45/15 tires, starting with 12k / 10k springs and somewhere between -2.5 to -3° degrees front and rear.
JustinP10
JustinP10link
Friday, December 30, 2011 10:42 AM
to compare. My last G20 was around 2850lbs, 15x7's w/ 205/50/15's, had 340/280lb springs and ran around 2-2.25° camber.
My B14 SE-R I tracked much more and that was around 2700lbs, 15x7's w/ 225/45/15's, had 400lb front/500lb rear springs, and camber was about -3° front and -1.5° or so rear.
HAR
HARlink
Friday, December 30, 2011 11:01 AM
@ JustinP10: Perfect, use your NT01's to get everything sorted, then the Hoosiers to start finding the limits and then use the RS's as your "laying down the laps" TT tires.

Definately follow the directions regarding heat cycling for optimum performance.

After they are properly heat cycled they will be capable of giving you repeated consistent "flying laps" after a single warm up lap.

The Goodyears will also work substantially better than the Hoosiers at the limited amount of camber available as they are designed to work with about a degree less than most other tires in the same category.

Use a pyrometer to get optimum camber but I'm thinking it will most likely be about -3 in front and about -2.5 in rear. Double check that with Mr. Rockwood:)

A last note a 7.5" or 8" rim would be better overall but a 7" will work.
Mako
Makolink
Sunday, January 01, 2012 9:40 PM
I thought Goodyear was going to dis-continue this tire ? We're using them on our SCCA ITA Miata
HAR
HARlink
Monday, January 02, 2012 5:56 AM
@ Mako: Not to our current understanding in relation at least to the tire sizes we run.

I do know that the SCCA announced back in August that Hoosier would be the Spec Miata National tire for 2012.

I do not know how that effects ITA? I would suggest contacting the SCCA and your Goodyear distributor for further information/clarification.
Mako
Makolink
Monday, January 02, 2012 6:10 AM
Thanks ... seems after initial tests that folks didn't really pick up on the RS's for Auto Cross ... their experience was that the RS might be slightly stickier then the A6 Hoosier, but that the sidewalls were a bit softer? Hoosier sidewalls are certainly softer then 710's, which aren't as popular now with the Solo crowd.

I wonder if the Spec Miata's will use the R6 ... which doesn't seem to be that popular ... while "everyone" loves the RA1's ... at least the old ones. Not sure if it's true that the re-issued RA1's use the un-popular 888 compound?
Mako
Makolink
Monday, January 02, 2012 6:12 AM
hmmm ... will Spec Miata have a separate rain tire? Where as the RA1's were decent in the wet, not sure about R6's? A6's are fine until you have standing water.
HAR
HARlink
Monday, January 02, 2012 6:27 AM
@ Mako: Your welcome. Here is a bit more info directly from the SCCA Site:

http://www.scca.com/news/index.cfm?cid=46259

According to this, yes SM will have a seperate rain tire.

Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 6:47 AM
@ Justin: since your springs are almost exactly the same as ours (we're running 700F/600R), 3* of camber with the Goodyears seems to work just fine. With the Nittos, I'd got to 3.5*.

As for engine updates, working on that article now. Give me a week or two, you may see it... ;-p
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