With qualifying well under way at the Cactus Classic, it seems that there is some big drama swirling among the drivers. Tires are always a hot topic at any event since they are probably the single most important item that affects the way a car handles. The officially posted rule is for “no saucing” allowed. This usually means that no chemicals can be added to the tire in order to gain an edge. Now this may seem fairly standard and usually respected by most, but something is obviously breaking down. In a typical event of this size, steps are usually put in place to help police rules like this, but the Cactus Classic only has very minimal enforcement.
Compounding the problem is a gray area related to how racers are allowed to clean the built up mud on tires after a run. Water is allowed, but it seems stuff like Simple Green, Windex and even motor spray can be applied to help aid in the process, all with the perceived approval of the race officials. Seeing that the issue is becoming a runaway problem, some measures like “dry tires” are quickly being implemented as racers go through technical inspection. This is helping to rectify the situation, but is far from a solution. Rumors that Liquid Wrench, WD40 and even diesel fuel are being applied to tires are are spreading through the pits, and first hand accounts of some drivers coming off the track with clean tires while their rivals have caked-on mud only seems to fuel the controversy. For now, we will just have to hold our breath and see how things shake out.