After several hours of forum reading, I’ve learned a ton on stock prep and tires for next weekend. I’m going with a taller ratio (60 compared to a stock 55) and stock width (215) snow tire. Firestone Winterforce W2's were jeered to have paper thin sidewalls, and I should generally avoid anything made for icy conditions.
SCCA rules allow changing the size of the tire as long as there is no interference or rubbing. Several TC forums show owners running 215/60's with no issue. There even is a guy rocking General Grabber II’s on his stock TC (shout out to Voyager).
Any suggestions, opinions, experiences from you all would be great! Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:
Sumimoto Ice Edge
Cheapest tire I could find. I like the looks of the tread design too. Not sure on the sidewall strength though. I’m assuming pretty weak. Will stay considered due to the price.
Toyo Observe GSI-5
Another appealing tread design. Biggest flaw here is the SL load rating. The standard rating on the TC is XL, and I’m sure it could use all the support it can get. The reviews are all great though.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 (try spelling that 10 times)
This is a very popular tire for rallycross. They usually loathed as being very expensive though, but this was one of the cheapest tires I’ve found. This is a very strong front runner. Visually, the tread design doesn’t look too appealing, almost like it’s made for ice than snow. But the reviews everywhere rave it.
Mastercraft Glacier Trex
The tread design looks rugged here, and I like the groove spacing all through it. Load range was at a B too, so not the best here. Reviews were good, but not the best here.
General Altimax Arctic 12
Another popular tire in the scene. Rugged treads and strong sidewall make this a strong contender against the Nokian.
Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme S
Any product that alters the spelling of “extreme” has to be good...right? Reviews show that this is a popular choice for premium vehicles like Porsche and BMW. The huge grooves are great. This is the priciest option, but checks all the boxes.
My ranking would be: