End of the 2022 Season (and a quick tire review)

Another autocross season in the book.

Thanks to everyone who let me co-drive / drive their car this season! This was my first year hopping from one car to another aside from a couple runs at the Test and Tunes, and I really enjoyed the opportunities to learn different cars. After all, I really don’t know much about how to drive other than Miata and I still feel the same way, but driving something completely different sure will be helpful for me in the future.

Also thanks to those who drove my car this year and gave me feedbacks! and hope you all enjoyed the car even though she was not on the best shoes….

This year started rough, with my tire selections. I placed a tire order well before the season started, but with the tire shortage, I could not receive my first choice Yokohama A052, and after switched my order to Bridgestone RE71RS as my second option, that also got delayed, backordered and eventually cancelled. We ended up with Falken RT660.

RT660 is 200TW Summer tires and I have heard reviews from some liking the tires, but for me (and others who were in Tofu this year) did not work very well. Tofu (2019 Mazda Miata, SCCA Solo C-Street Prepped) was on Yokes (Yokohama) last season, and worked out very well. Car felt balanced, and very neutral, and was fast. This season on Falken, though I did not drive very many, car did not feel right… overall less grip is one thing, but worst part was they changed the handling characteristics completely. Car felt very pushy around tight turn and the sweeper, both under braking or accelerating, and we just couldn’t get the car to rotate. Keeping the rear a little higher pressure did help rotate the car, but then car start feeling snappy and overall, made the limit of the car very low.

Fast forward to the end of the season T&T, I got to test those 3 tires back to back on the same car. A-season old Falkens that we could’t get it to work for us, 2 years old Yokes from last year, and a borrowed set of the brand new Bridgestone RE71RS. Due to the timer issues, I do not have the actual times to back this up, but KNOW Falkens were the slowest, and did not feel very good neither around corner or through the slalom. compare to other two, it was almost like driving on all season tires… Probably the fastest was Bridgestones, but 2 years old Yokes felt the best. I think Yokes were a little more forgiving, and it does communicate better with me. With its age, it suffered a bit on slalom, but even then I could feel the tires’s limit and when go over a bit, I could catch without loosing too much time. Bridgestones had more grip overall, but very close to Yokes, and I felt the tires were a bit more edgy. Bridgestone’s limit of the grip comes with less warning, and when it looses, the performance drops down very fast.

Considering the age of the Yokes, I believe the Yokes would be faster than the Bridgestones, and the National’s results back it up. Also my first set of yokes from 2 years ago lasted a whole season. If you know Tofu, you know how much she gets driven… Unlike what I heard online, Yokes last very long on Tofu on Trader’s World parking lot (smooth asphalt)
Please note I am only speaking of those tires on C-Street trim Miata. The heavier cars, or different drivetrain type will make huge difference in tire’s performance and also the surface will affect the tire life as well.

Conclusion… This year was great, but will be better next year, as I WILL order Yokes for the next year… 😉

On a side note, poor Tofu’s engine mount/bracket gave out at the end of the event day… was told it is an easy fix, and also not too expensive, and it couldn’t be any better time than yesterday at the end of the event. I have whole winter to get her fixed up!

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