Our hobby is becoming more and more accessible thanks to these street legal track day tires.
BFGoodrich g-Force Rival Review
by Michael Allen
Back around 2000, when I first became involved in track days, we had few options for tires and many of us tended to use slicks which could not be driven to and from the track. This led to a host of obstacles just in getting the tires back and forth and mounted and un-mounted. Today, there are a host of tire options available which are so much more convenient and make the hobby more accessible to people as they are now able to drive to events on track tires. The BF Goodrich g-Force Rival has risen to the top of the heap and is highly regarded as the leader of its category of tires. We interviewed Motorsports Marketing Manager Peter Calhoun and Product Category Manager/BFG Ultra High Performance, Dirk McDonald, about BFGoodrich’s g-Force rival and here is what we learned.
Q. What prompted BFGoodrich to enter the market with a street legal track day tire?
A. The extreme high performance tire category caters to a very specific and demanding consumer who becomes an advocate and ambassador for your brand across a multitude of product categories. They are seen as experts amongst their family, friends, and colleagues when they seek automotive service advice including replacement tires.
BFGoodrich was at the forefront of performance radial tire development in the early 1970s and this continued throughout the 80s and 90s with the first generation R1 and KD. Today’s g-Force R1 and g-Force Rival are the latest tires to showcase BFGoodrich’s performance heritage.
Q. Describe the testing process involved in this tire’s development.
A. The development process includes comprehensive testing designed to validate that the Rival meets strict internal performance levels while also satisfying all regulatory requirements. In addition to internal testing, BFGoodrich enlisted the aid of our Brand Ambassadors in order to prove the tire’s performances in a “real-world” environment using actual competitor’s vehicles on local tracks.
Q. Tell us about the “Silica infused competition compound.”
A. Given BFGoodrich’s performance heritage, we’ve learned a thing or two about traction, both on and off-road. For the g-Force Rival, we wanted the best possible dry traction for weekend enthusiasts while still allowing them to drive back and forth to the track with confidence. Our silica-infused compound provides the best compromise for those two situations.
Q. Tell us about “g-Control” and the special sidewall properties of the tire.
A. g-Control refers to our method for stiffening the sidewall without detracting significantly from overall ride comfort. It allows the Rival to be incredibly responsive to steering inputs and lateral maneuvers during at-the-limit driving while not overly sacrificing normal daily driving comfort.
Q. Is the tire warranty still honored even if used during track day events?
A. The BFGoodrich warranty is not a mileage warranty and may be found online or by clicking the link below.
(This document includes the following statement: “DOT-approved competition tires are excluded from any mileage warranty.” Ed.)
Q. Is the tire best used only on tracks or can it be used as an everyday tire as well?
A. This is the choice of the end user but as with any tire it will be a compromise. Dry performance versus wet versus wear versus fuel mileage, etc. all come into play. For a more well-rounded everyday performance tire, consideration should be given to the g-Force Sport Comp-2.
Q. In Florida we get torrential downpours. Can the tire be driven safely home from the track through standing water on the highway?
A. Rival is designed for maximum performance in dry conditions. Caution should be exercised in standing water conditions, but this is no different than any tire during adverse weather. Caution should also be exercised during temperatures below 40°F as with any ultra high-performance tire designed for summer conditions.
Q. What are the recommended target hot pressures?
A. Assuming dry air or nitrogen is used, plan for approximately 8 PSI pressure growth from cold to hot.
Q. Are there recommendations for the care of these tires to help them last?
A. If being used as a dedicated track day tire, store fully inflated in a cool, dark place away from UV and electric motors.
Q. There are reviews online that describe delamination issues. Has this been a problem and has this been addressed?
A. We consistently monitor performance of our products and feedback from our ambassadors, engineers who are also racers, and the racing/driving community. When potential issues, arise we bring in our engineering expertise to determine if the products are being used properly in the environment they are designed to be used, conditions they are used in and tire performance. If there is something to be addressed, we do so with our specialty race shop engineering group.
Q. What is next on the horizon for the track day driver as far as street/track tire choices from BFGoodrich?
A. BFGoodrich continues to monitor the competitive landscape and uses our motorsport engagements to continually learn for future product enhancements.
This is a tire which certainly performs at the track and will get you to and from track day events with minimal hassle. No more wrapping up your track tires in big garbage bags and cramming them in to every available space inside the car. No more hauling tire changing equipment in the remaining space. No more begging your poor slob trailering buddies with SUVs to bring your tires for you. No more paying expensive track support companies to bring you tires and mount em up for you. I used to pay $100 per event for the privilege of using Hoosier slicks. Now we drive on the track all weekend and then just slip in the driver’s seat and off we go. Our hobby is becoming more and more accessible thanks to these street legal track day tires.
Watch this video from BFGoodrich: