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Hoosier Tire has not been around Australian rallying for long, and like their predecessors, have thrown themselves straight into the Australian Rally Championship.

At the ARC test day, RallySport Magazine’s Luke Whitten sat down with Business Development Manager, Mitch Dumesny, to talk about the tyres and their Australian ventures.

RSM: As most of our readers would know, Hoosier’s just been signed as the ARC control tyre for 2020 and beyond. First of all, what were the reasons to throw yourselves into do such a thing from the brand’s point of view?

MD: Hoosier’s been gaining a lot of ground in the United States with their rallying and everyone’s really liking the product over there, so I put the business opportunity through to Hoosier in the US. I said: 'Look guys, rallying is very big in Australia, we have a lot of connections in Europe and worldwide and I think it could be a really good thing for us globally.’

Dumesny talks to the ARC media team.

I also mentioned what we can do to help support Motorsport Australia and together we came together with a proposal that was successful.

RSM: In terms of feedback from competitors, obviously today’s only the first day that they’ve driven on them, but how have they found them?

MD: For most guys it’s their first day on the tyres, but there’s also some people that have tested them in the past.

I know Justin Dowel has driven on them quite a few times and I know the Bates boys (Harry and Lewis) have had a couple of sets previously and to be honest, everyone seems really happy with them.

This place (Bagshot), from what I’ve heard, is renowned for really chewing through tyres.

We’ve seen a bit of wear on some cars, and on others not much at all. All in all, everyone seems really happy with it.

The feedback I’ve found in rallying is ‘if a tyre doesn’t wear, then it doesn’t work’, and it’s kind of something that happens in any form of motorsport, even speedway. You want to see it (the tyre) graining up, and want to see it working the compound.

Young star, Troy Dowel tests out the new Hoosier tyres. Photo: Luke Whitten

Everyone’s had good feedback so far and hopefully the tyre sales translate into the various state series as well, and in time, hopefully we can support competitors further.

RSM: In terms of a price point, particularly for a control tyre, it can be a contentious issue. The Hoosier product - what’s the price that you’ve put out there to competitors?

MD: So, at the moment with the way the dollar is, the 205s are $355 per tyre, the 195s are $339, and the 185s are $319 (all 15 inch). The 185 and 165 13s are $255 and $239 respectively.

The way it’s structured is that it’s dependent on the exchange rate. At the moment we’re really not doing that well in the Australian dollar to US dollar exchange - that’s a big basis behind the higher cost.

If it goes the other way, and the dollar got back to up around the 85 cent mark (versus the US dollar), the pricing would be very similar to an MRF pricing, but it just all depends on what that rate is.

In saying that, some will say ‘oh, they’re so expensive’. I know people will want to say ‘oh, it’s an ARC tax’, and all the rest of it, but I urge people to jump online, have a look at Tire Rack or any of the places over in the United States. I know for a fact that you couldn’t get them in cheaper.

If you look at what they’re selling for over there, before you even try and pay for the freight (to Australia) you’re looking at $400 a tyre, so that just gives people an idea on the fact that, you know, we’re not doing this as a money making exercise.

We’ll be lucky to break even at the end of each season.

It’s a matter of we’ve got a really good product, we want to get it out there and give the competitors the best opportunity they can to enjoy their rallying and have as much fun as possible.

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