In the current climate of uncertainty that surrounds the important ‘track day’ semi-slick tyre market, Japanese manufacturer Toyo Tires has endeavoured to add a little clarity to proceedings with an unequivocal statement regarding the ongoing road legality of both its Proxes R888 and R888R products in the UK. Put simply, both products can continue be used on the highway with impunity!
The need to clarify this position comes in the wake of confusion from both end-users and retailers alike regarding the legislational changes governing semi-slick tyres. Following significant changes put into place in the UK on 1st November 2014, many so-called ‘track day’ tyres – which offer greater grip thanks to their semi-slick design – were effectively outlawed for road use. Conforming to all the new labelling requirements however, the Proxes R888 and R888R were granted full ‘E’ mark status, making them totally acceptable for British highway use and eligible to pass an MOT, subject to the usual minimum tread depth requirements.
It is widely believed that some of the confusion in motorsport circles may have arisen from the sport’s governing body, the MSA having previously earmarked the R888/R888R pairing as due for future removal from the all-important ‘List 1b’ – which denotes road legal tyres approved for competition use. As the backbone of many British Club Championships, this approval is vital. However, having noted both tyre’s conformity to the new road legislation, the MSA has since announced that it will be reinstating the tyres ‘Ib’ status in the next issue of the sport’s handbook – the ‘Blue Book’.
Commenting on this unusual situation. Toyo UK’s Motorsport and Technical Director Alan Meaker said, “It’s clear to many tyre companies that there is a huge amount of confusion in this important market. Therefore, it is important for us to put some facts back into the marketplace to reassure both retailers and end-users alike. They are, that along with a handful of other quality designs, the Toyo Proxes R888 and R888R will retain their E-marking, full road legality and MSA Blue Book eligibility. From our point of view, and thanks to the quality of our design, the new legislation hasn’t changed a thing. It’s important for consumers to check what they are buying though – as not all brands and products have been able to conform as we have. Certain other tyres, if produced after the 2014 cut-off date, may be illegal to use on the highway, or for club competition.”
For more information on Toyo products, please click to www.toyo.co.uk