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Tire Tech - Width and you
When it comes to any auto sport, tires are the first thing you should look at and be something you are constantly tinkering with. Formula D has tire width restrictions based on vehicle weight. Here is a link to the current FD tire regulations: http://www.speedhunters.com/2012/04/the-101-exploring-formula-drift-tire...
Simply put, the heavier the car, the more tire you are allowed to run. To explain why, think of a 500whp car. Think 500whp in an AE86 Corolla vs a brand new Chevy Camaro. Same engine, different cars. Given the same tires, in a rolling drag match, the Corolla will go faster. In order to keep up, the Camaro can upsize tires to match its increased weight.
This is essentially what Formula D is doing. In theory, you can have 2,000whp but 245s will only propel you so far. A lighter car, can maintain more speed and angle through a corner than a heavier car with the same power and tire sizes. For this reason, FD mandates maximum tire width per weight. With ever 2,200 lb car with 235 width tires, 500whp cars should be able to keep up with 800whp cars.
Also remember that these weights are with the driver in car and RTR (ready to rock).
What does this mean for us regular guys?
To start with, amateur competitions wind up coming down to who has the biggest tires and the power to spin them. At least those with no tire regulations. So in that instance, it is in your best interest to run the wides tires you can reliably spin.
For the rest of us grassroots guys, it means that you need to pay attention to your tire widths. Too narrow and you sacrifice speed. Too wide and you'll lack the power to spin the wheels. Ideally, you want to run the widest tires your car can keep spinning. That will depend on whp rating and driver ability. My advice is to either start with what similar setups can do, or to start small and work your way up. Stop when you can't keep the tires spinning and maintain a drift reliably. If you want to compete at the low level, you can effectively "cheat" by running wider tires than the other guy.