View Full Version : More Toyo 888/RA1 info

04-02-2009, 05:03 PM
I spent quite a bit of time on the phone today trying to wrap my brain around what is happening and why.

While I still agree that the timing sucks (but what can you do when you are working with a large multi-national company like Toyo where NASA is <1% of the business??), but I applaud Toyo and NASA National for working quickly to come up with a solution that should help everyone in the long run. This will give Toyo more time to figure out how they went wrong with the 888 and come up with a long term solution and hopefully help everyone.

This is very painful for you if you bought 888s under direction of the rules, but now that you have the option to work with the RA1 it might be a way to save $$$ this year. If you love the RA1 and hate the 888 (90% of you out there), buy a set of RA1s for your next set. Now your point of view will be different depending on your class, but it is what it is.

Look at it this way (I didn't until I got more info). You will pretty much be buying a new set of tires for nationals regardless of being on 888s or RA1s. Based on the wear life of the 888, I figure that everybody will be ready for a new set of tires for Nationals. :D Many people in other regions are starting on their 2nd set of 888s already!!!! The 888 is faster right out of the box and then quickly falls off. The front runners (i.e. those with $$$) would bring 3 sets of 888s to Nationals in order to stay at the front. If everybody is on 888s, only those with multiple sets will be going fast. :mad:

As for the change to 944 and E30, they did this in response to the constant bombardment from competitors and the class directors that the 888 sucked. Competitors complained about the 888 and Toyo responded by pulling back all the RA1s that were to be scrapped or otherwise disposed of. I honestly had no idea that so many E30 and 944 drivers were calling and writing emails as late as LAST MONTH demanding that the RA1 were allowed again.:eek:

Here is a copy of an email that Jerry K sent to a competitor that helps sum it up as well. If you still have questions, please give him a call or email him. My time on the phone certainly helped explain the whole picture.

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 1:19 PM, Jerry Kunzman <jerry@drivenasa.com> wrote:

Here is some information. Feel free to post as you like:

I do know that everyone that submitted object hard data indicated that the R888 heat cycle out faster. This, coupled with the increase in per-tire cost will hit some budgets pretty hard. Furthermore, the performance has proven to be a coin flip, right down the middle. Some may argue one way or another, but any difference is completely negligible, which confirms the hard data from back to back testing, which we did ourselves last year.

Therefore, giving people a choice of which tire they want to run should be a good thing. Those that like the R888s (and there are some) can run them. Those that like the RA-1s and/or want to save money can use them.

There is no hidden motive, no hidden agenda, no backdoor deal with Toyo. We are simply responding to a need that we see, especially during harder economic times for some.

Since there is no proof that the RA-1 tire is any faster than the R888, then it doesn稚 make sense to worry about those in CMC that want to run them. Heck, you might see bigger fields with this lower cost option.

We are, as always, trying to do the best in a no-win situation. Our decisions are not always perfect, but I can assure you they are always forthright and sincerely take into account what we feel will be the best for each series.


We have been collecting data from events early in the season and evaluating some data from last season. We came to the conclusion that the R888s were, when dialed in, about the same in performance as the RA-1s. Yet they have a higher cost and heat cycle out sooner.

We approached Toyo with the data. There wasn稚 much to say, except to ask about the viability of going back to RA-1s. This is not something that is good for Toyo, but they want our drivers to be happy. Since the RA-1 has been out of production since last Aug, most (if not all) of the molds are gone. However, there seems to be some decent amount of inventory left on the shelves.

Since we made a commitment to Toyo to use the R888; and because of limited supply of RA-1s in some sizes, we couldn稚 just discontinue the R888. Plus Toyo really wants our drivers to give it a run for the money. Therefore, we felt that the very best thing to do is to allow both tires for now as we extend the transition period until the end of the year.

There is no way to tell what the future will hold at this point. We have agreed to meet with Toyo in a few months and see how things are going. We (Toyo and NASA) can then make a determination for the future (beyond 2009).

Feel free to post this message; but only in its entirety.

Jerry Kunzman

04-02-2009, 07:18 PM
For now all 944-spec races in the Rocky Mountain and Mid West region are going to be run on the R888.

04-02-2009, 07:49 PM
This is not a 944 thread.... ;)

04-02-2009, 09:51 PM
This is not a 944 thread.... ;)

sure it is. if it weren't how would we know we are in the rocky mountains. :D

04-03-2009, 09:01 AM
Just to wrap this up (unless someone wants to call me direct), just please bear with the situation.

Due to the negative feedback that Toyo has received on the 888, they are scrambling looking to what they need to do to make the racers happy. The options for 2010 are wide open at this point!!!!