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I've been snooping, around lately, and trying a lot of different things. One thing i havn't really gotten a great answer on, is what is the rule of thumb? running Harder tires with softer suspension setup, or softer tires, and harder suspension setup.

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You can't get a good answer because there is no rule of thumb on that. It depends on what your car is doing at a given track on a given day.

here's how I generally attack things on set up. Show up at the track with your best guess for tires and chassis set-up. If your car feels off the pace then adjust tires until you find a combo that feels the best. While you're doing this just leave the chassis pretty much alone. Once you have a tire combo that feels decent then start working on the chassis to fine tune your set up. The right tires are usually 80% of the battle though, assuming the chassis set up is reasonably in the ballpark.
 

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You could also have a setup with hard tires and a stiff suspension as well as soft tires and a soft suspension.

The stiffness of the suspension affects how the car reacts to bumps in the track, supports the car's weight while cornering and dictates how much weight and how quickly the weight transfers from side to side and from front to rear. The tires however have to make the most of the weight that's tranfered on to them.

Which brings up other questions...
 
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