Tyres are an integral part of any motor racing competition and are one of the most talked-about items when it comes to optimising vehicle performance or creating an exciting spectacle for the fans.
A tyre manufacturer that is rapidly expanding its footprint in Australian motorsport is Hoosier. The American-owned company is different to most tyre manufacturers in that it purely produces racing tyres, rather than manufacturing products for road-going vehicles.
In Australia, the Hoosier distribution network is managed by speedway racing legend Max Dumesny and his son Mitch. In 2021, Hoosier tyres are being used within a number of AASA-sanctioned categories across multiple disciplines.
“Hoosier tyres are positioned as a premium racing product. In categories where there is an open tyre rule, such as historic racing, and events like the Winton 300 many competitors will choose Hoosier tyres because they can see a performance benefit,” Mitch Dumesny explained.
“In terms of AASA categories, we supply tyres to competitors in various circuit racing series including Thunder Sports, the Victorian Sedan Series and Stock Cars. Hoosier have also recently made a lot of improvements to their range of 18-inch radial slicks, so we’re expecting owners of sports and GT cars, in categories such as Super GT, to start using Hoosier products as well.”
While some classes permit competitors to use tyres of their choice, other categories have a control tyre formula, where all competitors must use the same tyre. One such example is the TA2 Muscle Car Series, in which Hoosier is the control tyre supplier.
“In a class with a control tyre, the priorities are a bit different – it’s less about performance and lap times, and more about entertainment and cost management,” Dumesny said.
“The TA2 cars use cross-ply tyres, which don’t handle heat as well as radials and the inherent design means they move around on the wheel rim.”
“This has the effect of making the cars more difficult to drive, which increases the propensity for mistakes, creates overtaking opportunities and makes the racing very exciting for the fans to watch.”
“It also introduces a strategic element; drivers can try and build up a lead early on, or they can be more conservative and aim to be faster in the closing laps.”
While much of Hoosier’s focus is on circuit racing, Dumesny said the brand is also extending its roots into other motorsport disciplines.
“Hoosier are starting to produce tyres for side-by-side off-road vehicles; they haven’t tapped into the Australian market just yet, but the feedback from the States is that they’re awesome. I don’t think it will be too long before we’ll see them in some of the AASA-sanctioned off-road categories.”
“Speedway is another strong market for Hoosier, as is drag racing. Because Hoosier is solely a racing tyre producer, the entire focus for the company is on research and development within the motorsport arena, which is why Hoosiers have become so well regarded within the industry.”
In the immediate future, Dumesny said his focus is on streamlining the experience for customers here in Australia.
“We’re currently preparing a brand-new website with an online store and information about our complete range of tyres – racingtyres.com.au,” he said.
“This new website will make it really easy for competitors to identify exactly which tyres they need and order them, all from the comfort of their home, office or workshop.”