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Old 04-15-2008, 10:53 AM   #1
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Tire recommendations for stock 16" wheels for autocross

Hello all, I've searched under every term I could think of (ie stock, 16", 16x6, etc) to try and find a decent tire to run on my car for autocross this year. i have an '03 SVT and I also have an extra set of stock 16" ZX3 wheels that I want to use for racing. The stock size for that wheel is 205-50-16 and I can't find any tire in that size that is good for autocrossing. I've done a decent amount of searching on the tire rack, discout tire, etc. I planned to run the Azenis RT-615 but they only have a 205-40-16. I want to run our new street tire index class (STI) this year.

My car is 100% stock BTW. I don't care if switching to a smaller size wheel knocks me out of the stock class as I don't have the funds to buy a dedicated set of 17" wheels plus tires right now.


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Old 04-15-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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Check around other sites for RT-615's that is undoubtedly the best tire for the money

the Dunlop Direzza Z1 is supposedly good this year, you may want to check it out

and of course you could go with the fan favorite, BFG G-Force Sport, a lot cheaper than others but you get near the same performance out of em.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Welcome to pain.

I pondered the same problem. Turns out there's not a real good solution for running Azenis on your 16x6" wheels. It is possible to squeeze some on, but they are 225/50. In short, you will look like a tractor... don't imagine it's very safe although the size chart says it works on 6" at the smallest, and you will scrub like hell. I don't know if the Dunlops will fit, either. 205/50 is a pretty funky size, so good luck finding anything. I ran (old) G-Force sports and I wasn't very impressed with them at all. My old Nitto Neo-gens seemed to do better, but they are 10mm wider so it's not exactly a controlled result. Best way to solve your problem is probably to see if you can find some 16x7's because you can't fit steel 15's on your SVT.
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Old 04-15-2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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Dunlop makes a 205/50-16 for the Z1...its 24.1" (close to OE diameter)
The RT615 Falkens also come in a 215/45-16...its 23.5"
The B-Stone RE01 is a 205/45-16...and is about 23.2"

The shorter tires will give better gearing. The Dunlop and the B-Stone will out-grip the Falken. The Falken is cheap, the Z1 a bit more. Pick your poison...they'll work OK.

Because the Focus, especially the SVT, likes the shorter tire for gearing, I suspect the B-Stone would be fastest.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses thus far! I see that Falken makes a 205-40-16 too, I know it'd be a good bit shorter which would help with gearing as mentioned above. Do you all think its better to go with the 205 or the 215 on a 6" wheel? I was always under the impression that a stretched tire is better than a bulging tire when it comes to handling, and I'm not sure if the 215 would bulge or not on the 6" wheel.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto-X-ZTS View Post
Dunlop makes a 205/50-16 for the Z1...its 24.1" (close to OE diameter)
The RT615 Falkens also come in a 215/45-16...its 23.5"
The B-Stone RE01 is a 205/45-16...and is about 23.2"

The shorter tires will give better gearing. The Dunlop and the B-Stone will out-grip the Falken. The Falken is cheap, the Z1 a bit more. Pick your poison...they'll work OK.

Because the Focus, especially the SVT, likes the shorter tire for gearing, I suspect the B-Stone would be fastest.
Ditto'd and +1 on all counts. The Z1 is looking like a very fast new tire; it supposedly has both a compound nearly as grippy as the Yoko Advan Neova, which are $$$.$$, and a much more rigid structure than the 'stones, which is a benefit for camber-challenged, nose heavy cars like ours. The RT-615 is a standby, and the 215/45 would be a great way to go. So would the stone, which may be less of a pinch on the 6" rim, and so would be Z1, though those are said to run super-wide for their called size.

No real bad way to go with those, just understand you're not buying a long wearing street tire. The BFG G-force Sport, or maybe a General Exclaim UHP or similar tire might be a better call if you don't plan on quite as much dedication. It can also be better to learn to be fast with a less grippy setup, you won't waste a stickier setup later that way.

EDIT: on tire size, I've long read that while pinching a wide tire is NOT optimal, at day's end the wider tire is almost ALWAYS faster. If you have unlimited realestate, then a square or slight stretched fit should be quicker. Since you dont have that in stock class, the widest tire will, all other thing being equal, be faster.
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Might be late but I'm using Hankook Ventus Rs2 in a 205-50-16. I'm still a novice and they do fork fine for me. edgracing still has them for $85/ea. They have 7 tires in the 205-50 size. 2 tires on there are in the low 200 treadwear rating.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:10 PM   #8
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but instinct tells me I'd feel a lot safer on a pinched tire than a stretched tire. I'd worry about high lateral forces on something where the beads aren't optimally engaged.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
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I've been very happy with the 205-40-16 RT-615's. I ran 10 auto-xs and 1 track day plus several thousand street miles on them.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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I was sold on the Dunlop Z1 Star Spec this past weekend. I worked grid and then poked my nose around between runs at the Philly event. And the one thing I heard from who ever was running StarSpecs was, "I keep giving them more, and they keep on taking it!" And it was a really fast course. I'm pretty sure they only tire faster were a couple of civic's running shaved RE-01's!

TireRack is offering one hell of a deal right now, com'on rebate!!
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