Posted By TS on 02 Mar 2014 02:11 PM
I talked with SCCA and although Toyo wasn't happy with the tread wear change, they cut the program due to budget cuts.
That's interesting news regarding Toyo as they cut funding for SCCA Solo and Road Race, but certainly have a healthy Contingency Awards Program over at NASA Time Trials and Road Race. Here's the link: http://www.nasaproracing.com/contingency.
Perhaps they believe they get a better return on their investment at NASA?
It's not exactly that simple. First of all, the Toyo NASA contingency program is only for their various R-comp models. It's easier to justify an R-comp contingency program because you're entire sales plan revolves around getting racers to buy your tire. Rarely does a street tire's overall market success depend on having autocrossers buy the tire.
That said, it's true that sometimes a contingency program is used in an attempt to bring credibility to a particular brand or model. Once that credibility has been established, however, the program value to the company diminishes. At this point the R1R has been well established as great choice for certain applications and will likely continue to be used by many competitors even though the contingency is gone. Any resulting lost sales are likely to be barely perceptible in the greater scheme of things.
Secondly, NASA's classing recognizes the differences in the performance potential of various R-comp tires. A company like Toyo, who's R-comp tires aren't as aggressive as say Hoosier's, can still be a viable competitive option because their tires aren't assessed as many "prep points." For example, in NASA Time Trials, a Hoosier A6 is 13 points, a Hoosier R6 or Kumho V710 is 10 points, a Toyo RR is 9 points, and a Toyo R888 or RA1 is only 7 points. You could see why they would be more likely to put a contingency program there than say SCCA Solo for SP/SM/Stock where nobody would use their R-comps anyway.