Pro-Touring Podcast #35 – Our Trip to the BFGoodrich Rival Tire Debut in New Orleans!

The Mustang FR500S - our first "office" for the day at the BFGoodrich Rival tire debut!

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Feature News:

BFGoodrich Rival Tire Debut

Welcome to Episode 35 of  the Podcast! We’re simul-posting the show show here on as well as on so everyone can get their fix.

Our news segment is sponsored by the fantastic hot rod wiring supply company, Ron Francis Wiring, and we’re very appreciative that they were our FIRST EVER show sponsor, and the first sponsor to re-sign for 2013!

The big news….

Of course, the big news to share is that since our last show Larry and I were invited to attend the BFGoodrich Rival tire debut in New Orleans, held at the NOLA Motorsports Park. During our show we described the four segments of the event specifically, but the gist of it is that we were asked to evaluate the BFG tire against competing tires on subjective things like turn-in ability, recovery ability, lap consistency, and wear.

Without a doubt (and we went into great detail in in the show), the new BFG Rival is clearly aiming at becoming the tire of choice in our sport. It’s a 200 tread wear tire that meets the entrance requirements of every event we like to run, and it performs nearly as well as it’s 40-tread wear cousin tire (The BFGoodrich R1 S) in nearly every category while somehow magically having the wear characteristics of a much harder tire. After a day of autocrossing the BFG’s they showed nearly no tread wear loss, while some competing tires (Hankook Ventus R-S3 and Toyo Proxes R1R) appeared to be ready for the dumpster.

The tread pattern on the Rival has a 3 or 4 column groove depending on the tire size. Tires smaller than a 265 width (like the one pictured here) are 3 column-grooves wide. Tires larger than a 265 get an extra column.

The tread wraps around the sidewall a bit giving it an insanely accurate turn-in characteristic. Driving BMW M3’s in the autocross with the Rival tire was almost like driving in a video game – you simply pointed the the nose of the car where you wanted and it went, allowing you to steer with throttle all of the way through the corner.

Our pal Kyle Tucker from Detroit Speed (who is an amazing semi-pro driver in his own right) actually clobbered cones on his first show with the tire, simply because he was so used to waiting for turn-in to happen.

In addition, the Rival tire has seat-of-the-pants characteristic of adding spring rate to a car, in some cases eliminating body roll during hard cornering and keeping the rear end stuck to the pavement.

Again, during the BMW autocross this couldn’t have been more evident. On the Rival tire the M3 could be pushed hard through a 120 degree corner and feel fairly flat, easily allowing power to be added through the corner and giving a fast exit.

My favorite event of the day - the BMW M3 autocross. it showcased the Rival like no other event, in my opinion...and now I want one....

On the competing tire (a Hankook Ventus R-S3), the car would roll, inducing the driver to feed in more throttle to correct, and hang the tail of the car out Duke-boy style (which is really fun, but not all that fast).

Lastly, a big advantage with the Rival tire is that it’s not uni-directional, meaning it’s no longer a Left-hand or Right-hand side tire.

This is a huge advantage for those that have had to wait for left or right hand tire product runs to be completed….and a relief to those that just gave up and threw their tires on backwards to get on the track.

In the end….

When it’s all said and done, our trip to New Orleans can only be summed up as AWESOME. The tire we were there to test was incredible, and we got to spend 24 hours with our friends goofing around, eating great food, and touring a fantastic city. I only wish I could do it again tomorrow….but I’ll definitely be ordering up a set of Rivals for my Chevelle! I also learned a cool trick during the event as well: “A squealing tire is a happy tire, but a screaming tire…not so much.”

Bill Howell and Bill Goldberg wait their turn to run the MX-5 on the skidpad.

Tire Specs:BFGoodrich Rival

  1. 200 Treadwear rating
  2. Extreme Tread Edge design brings tread compound farther down the shoulder for increased grip in hard cornering and predictable feedback.
  3. Consistent grip Silica-infused competition compound delivers better grip from start to finish.
  4. Rival will initially launch in 15 sizes with rim dimensions from 15-20 inches and 205-335 section
  5. The product will be available through with pre-orders beginning on Feb. 1

People that attended that you might know:

Larry Callahan
Robert Kibbe
Bill Howell
Brian Finch
Mark Stielow
Bill Goldberg
Jimi Day

A few of the instructors:

Kyle Tucker
Terry Earwood
Andrew Comrie-Picard or better known as ACP
Jason Childress
Dan McKeever

The Cars and Their Tires:

Road course – Mustang FR500S

BFGoodrich Rival
Falken RT-615K

Autocross – Large – BMW M3

BFGoodrich Rival
Hankook Ventus R-S3

Skidpad – Mazda MX-5 Cup

BFGoodrich G-Force Sport Comp-2
BFGoodrich G-Force Rival
BFGoodrich G-Force R1 S

Autocross – Small – Subaru Impreza WRX STi

BFGoodrich G-Force Rival
Hankook Ventus R-S3
Toyo Proxes R1R



Listen and Win $750 from COMP!

The Prize Segment sponsored by the COMP Performance Group is back, and it’s back BIG!  The next award winner will be selected on MARCH 1, 2013!

Entrants can enter to win a HUGE $750 gift certificate that will be awarded quarterly, and there are two ways to enter:

  1. Go to and fill out the details there to enter the contest. Be sure to use the links in the contest to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and your own websites. For everyone that joins the contest because of your referral, YOU GET MORE ENTRIES!
  2. Answer the bonus question given out every other podcast show. E-mail your answer to bonus@pro-touring for an additional 20 points!

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