Recently BFG invited our president and accomplished driver Martin Musial out to NOLA for some one on one testing of their new performance tire: http://www.onehotlap...t-thickens.html
Here is a quote from Martin on the day:
Hi guys, this is Martin Musial from AMS. I'm going to chime in here as I was at the tire release event for the BFG Rival. We were down at NOLA motorsports park and I got to drive the following cars; Subaru STi (short autocross), BMW E46 M3 (longer high speed autocross), Mazda MX-5 cup car (skid pad), Mustang FR500S (road course). each car had a twin (or triplet in some cases) fitted with the leading competitors tires. Some of the tires were Hankook RS-3's, Azenis RT-615K, Toyo R1R's. We drove the BFG Rival equipped car first and then hoped into the next car and so forth, and then finally jumping back into the BFG tire car for a final comparison. We also had some car that were equipped with the BFG R1S's (the sticky R1), which I raced on last year in SCCA and won a lot of races on.
The tire has very good turn-in and response, almost on par with the BFG R1S DOT race tire. This became very apparent on the short autocross, where response and grip are critical. The BFG Rival was worlds better than the Toyo R1R and a noticeable improvement from the Hankook RS-3's. What was very amazing was the wear at the end of the day. All tires started out fresh that morning, and after running through about 40 people (and the BFG getting 50% more runs on it than the other tires) they dismounted the fronts and put them on display. The BFG rival had very little wear, honestly I was expecting much more. The Hankook RS-3 showed some wear but the middle unsupported ribs where actually shredding. The Toyo R1R with all the unsupported tread blocks were totally destroyed, I mean they were done.
Same thing for the long autocross in the M3's (which I love driving BTW, great drivers car). The BFG rival had more grip, better response, and better recovery. I will say that at the limit they might break away a little faster than the RS-3 but they recover faster also, which is very nice if you overdrive the car.
On the skid pad they had us hold steady lines and we had a G meter in every car. The BFG rival would pull a consistent 1.14-1.16G's in the MX-5, while the DOT R compound BFG R1S would do 1.20-1.22 G's. I was expecting a bigger difference between the two, especially since the R1S is a sticky road race compound. The baseline tire was the BFG Sport comp 2, which I'm not familiar with but looks like a good high performance tire. It would pull around 1.05-1.06 g's.
The road course was a little tough comparison because we had no idea what configuration we were running and we had no track map or video to look at. We only got a lap and a half on each tire so it took me the first session on the BFG's to figure out the track. There is a nice section of high speed esses where I was able to consistently run the BFG Rival vs. the Falked 615's and again, the BFG tire had better response and better grip.
We were told that on a wet surface this tire will outperform all other non R compound street legal tires, but in standing water conditions it will have a higher tendency to hydroplane because of it's design.
A far as the R888 goes, If it were my car I would go for the Rival for an all around bad ass street/track tire. The R888 is very loud in my opinion for a daily and I'm not sure it would have much better ultimate grip than the BGF Rival. It looks like they are going for square setup sizes, but I would like to see one more size option so we don't have to run front fenders to accommodate the larger tires and maintain the same rolling diameter front to rear.