Nik Kalis and Toby Long battle for the Type 6 top spot on daily-driven Toyo Tires Proxes R888Rs.
For those of you not familiar with supersprints (sometimes referred to as lap dashes or time attack), this common format removes the hazards of door-to-door racing and allows drivers to clinically perfect their technique in pursuit of the perfect timed lap. As the most accessible form of motorsport in Australia, skill level at the average supersprint ranges from beginners looking to find the limits of their street cars right up to seasoned veterans trying to shave fractions off their P.B.
Nik Kalis and Toby Long have been campaigning variants of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution platform for years and most certainly fall into the latter category, with their street-driven, E85-fed Evo Xs regularly leading Type 6B of the CAMS NSW Supersprint Championship. We keep an eye out for photos under Wakefield Park Raceway’s new Toyo Tires archway and often contact users who tag the Toyo Tyres Australia Facebook page, so we couldn’t resist reaching out to this devilishly-fast duo to hear their impression of the Proxes R888R.
“Conditions were great at Wakefield Park for Round 2,” Toby says. “I clocked a 1:05.8 on my second timed lap and Nik eased into things with his new suspension setup, sitting about a second behind. By the last session, I’d clocked a 1:05.4302 with Nik only 1/20th of a second off and we were leading our class with the fastest road registered cars on the day. We both went on the attack, calculating our track position, tyre temps and pushing for that one perfect lap. I couldn’t better my time but Nik blitzed his P.B. for the day with a 1:05.4298, putting him 4/1000th of a second in front of me to take the win. It was smiles all round though as the CAMS NSW Supersprint Championship rounds to the nearest 1/100th, resulting in a draw for first place in class.”
“I’ve gone a second quicker on soft tyres,” Toby continues, “but you’ll ruin tyres like that driving to and from the track, unlike the Proxes R888Rs that actually haven’t been off the car since they went on before Round 1! This is my daily driver and I love being able to arrive and drive without the stress of wheel swaps and 80 wheel nut rotations each track day. The car definitely has a 1:04 in it at Wakefield on the Proxes R888Rs with different track temps, colder intake temps, more boost in it, whatever, we will get there.”
Aimed at motorsport enthusiasts seeking consistency and bang-for-buck from an R-spec tyre, the Proxes R888R is characterised by its user-friendly performance characteristics, allowing novices and experts alike to focus on self-improvement. Quick warm-up and relatively long life has seen APRA competitors praising the Proxes R888R as a season-long control tyre, but weekend warriors like Toby and Nik are proving that this same value for money makes the Proxes R888R the perfect motorsport tyre to bridge the gap between street and track use.
“You’ve gotta love coming first in class and then driving the same car on the same wheels and tyres to work the next day,” adds Nik. “They’re not the quickest R-spec but they’re great to leave on for street duties. The new Proxes R888R pattern looks fat too! They’re very predictable and the improved sidewall stiffness over the Proxes R888 really made the steering more direct, plus I was able to match my Sydney Motorsport Park Evo X P.B. of 1:43.448 when I came first in class at Round 1, which was impressive on a hot day.”