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The ‘Undetectable’ Tyre Softener That YOU Should Know About!


The manufacturers make a bold promise that their product is undetectable, and when that product is tyre softener you can understand why governing bodies of karting around the world have been secretly scrambling to get to grips with how they do it.  GR700 MaxiGrip by Lexoil can apparently go undetected through tyre sniffer systems because of its unique properties.

maxigripIt’s the product the governing bodies would probably rather you didn’t know about

Its aim is to generate heat quickly in the tyres as soon as there is friction. It is a surface coating formula that is not penetrative thus by the end of the race any traces of the product are gone. For stewards and officials who haven’t got a system to detect it, this is an absolute nightmare! The advantages for drivers who choose to cheat the system are massive, and if GR700 continues to prove to be undetectable by most current standards the risk is virtually zero. It is a body blow to those who choose to race fairly in classes where these products are outlawed.

As we understand it there are laboratory tests under way to get to the bottom of how to detect the product in the UK, but how widespread this problem is around the world, it is not known. It is clear that clubs and championships without parc ferme tyres may have to issue a major re-think. One solution is testing tyres before the race, but time constraints can be an issue there.

We will continue to follow the story as it develops.




22 thoughts on “The ‘Undetectable’ Tyre Softener That YOU Should Know About!

  1. Dave

    Great idea putting it on here now people who didn’t know about it will buy it. I’m sure there was a minority that used it which will Now increase thanks to this! Well done!

  2. Karting1 Post author

    It is our responsibility to highlight and bring attention to issues within the karting scene. It is not our responsibility to censor or hide things we see as dangerous.

    If people will buy the product on the basis of this article, and then go and use it in classes where it is outlawed then that demonstrates an even greater issue within karting. We have spent many years in karting being very secretive about the techniques those who do not wish to race fully within the regulations use. That has failed to halt people that choose to ‘cheat’. Maybe it is time to be more out in the open and more public about such problems.

    I know if I was racing, and there was a product on the market that drivers might be using to gain an advantage I would want to know rather than being kept in the dark. That way I can make the correct decisions going forward and pressure the right people.

  3. Trent

    Any system to detect the chemicals wouldn’t be necessary. If the substance used is to soften the tyre, a simple durometer to measure how hard the compound is should do the trick. Just have a number based off of a hot tyre set and if it is significantly lower, it is likely there is a softener being used.

  4. Dave

    Sorry but I have to disagree, I think it was a minority that knew about this, and having printed the make and model/code of the product was simply not required in your article. This just adds to the temptation of those who believe others are cheating and they have to join in to be competitive. We saw this when clutch slipping became well documented, all of a sudden different greased were stocked trackside at race circuits and the situation became a joke. Now it is better policed at pre and post race checks but at club level parc ferme tyres is a step too far and this would be the only way to combat the product u mention. I for one would welcome the removal of this article before more harm than good is done. But this is my opinion.

  5. Bradley Sargeant

    Why the hell would you be advertising this on your website!!!??? I completely disagree with your reasoning! All this is going to do is create paranoia in the paddock that people are using which will lead to people using it. It is completely irresponsible to be highlighting it on your site as all it can possible do is lead to an increase in its use! The only people you should be highlighting it to is the MSA and scrutineers and work on trying to find a way to check this sort of thing, like dummy grid checks for example…

  6. Karting1 Post author

    Unless the karting public is made aware of such products where exactly is the demand going to come from for greater scrutiny? Karting is a demand led industry and if competitors are not fully up-to-date with the products people are using to gain an unfair advantage, how are they going to pressure those who issue the licences and organise the races to change things?

    Unless regulatory bodies have a market which demands higher and higher standards for scrutiny why would they invest in improving the situation? While the MSA/ABkC are continually working on detecting such products, only an increased demand for higher standards will we see greater improvements.

    I also don’t think the karting public needs to be protected from all this. We are all grown up, we are not children who need to be protected. One only has to type ‘undetectable tyre softener’ into google to find an array of products on the market that promise similar results.

    Censoring these products only favours those who have the ‘inside information’ and can gain an unfair advantage. The longer these products remain secret the longer they can use them, without question. An open, and adult debate on such products is surely a good things. Hiding things behind closed doors is not the way forward in our opinion.

  7. Dave griffin

    Completely agree Bradley, I’m not sure what the reason of advertising this product is. I still don’t understand why product name and manufacturer were required? What exactly are u trying to achieve? Parc ferme tyres at club events? Hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of tyre sniffers or expensive lab tests at club meets? S1 and stars have parc ferme so they are as safe to this as they can be. It’s stupid blatant advertisement of products like this that causes big issues at meetings u even put its the stuff the msa don’t want u to know about and then say its risk free! U might as well give out the website details of where to get it. I’m sorry this website has just gone very downhill in my estimation. U have my details feel free to contact me mr editor.

  8. Diana

    complete agreement with Karting1. Your site is so good for me because here, in Spain, we don`t have site like this with various karting information.

  9. Karting1 Post author

    Club racers should not be kept in the dark. This attitude has done very little to deter people who wish to bend the rules, so a change of direction may be needed.

    Club racers are not children who need to be protected. If we don’t have an open and honest debate about these products then where exactly is the demand going to come from for a solution to be found? It wasn’t until KF exposed the issue with clutch slip were emergency measures forced into place.

    If this product is being used around the world, and club racers have absolutely no idea why they are being beaten, isn’t it better-off they know why rather than race clueless? Secrecy only helps those who wish to break the rules because it allows them the chance to gain an unfair advantage where others fear to tread. Let’s shine a light upon it, and stop being so scared to name a product that really is freely available on the market place anyway.

  10. Dave griffin

    So come on mr expert what exactly would u like to be done! Its pathetic just admit u were wrong to name the product and remove either the brand and name or article completely. I have witnessed exactly what product like these achieve first hand urs ago at the British champs – Jon lancasters then mechanic purposely dosed a set of wets in jica and let a mId to rear pack driver use the tyres for a fri practice session he then was able to match the front runners pace. His mechanic proceeded to drill all four tyres and bin them it was an expensive demonstration but it proved a valid point. And at the time pushed the s1 into parc ferme wet tyres. If a front runner had used this product he would of diss appeared at great speed. This would be seen easily and probably everyone would cOmplain,however if a back of the grid kid uses it and all of a sudden is racing at the front some may be none the wiser. How on earth do u expect the clubs in the current climate to be able to combat it? Parc ferme tyres? Sniffers for something claimed to be un detectable? Tyre tests – how?
    I still maintain ur article is doing more harm than good in advertising the product but then again hmm?

  11. Karting1 Post author

    So this mechanic openly demonstrated the benefits of using tyre softener, which you have now made public as well (Actually it’s not as simple as put on the softener and go quicker, but that’s a story for another day). But in the end a beneficial and positive result for the competitor was created.

    Dave I am not sure what the point you are trying to make. We know that these products are probably in use, but it’s better that drivers who do race fairly should not know because clubs might not be able to handle it? How is it fair on drivers who race fairly, and on a budget, to not be fully aware of the current situation? Ignorance is bliss? Why should we keep them in the dark? It was only until excessive clutch slipping was in the public domain that hundreds of karters started watching others with greater scrutiny and that led to real solutions.

    If I was spending a large amount of income racing at club level and knew that people were deliberately withholding information as to why I may not be getting the results I deserve on track I would be absolutely furious. I am sure those who use these products might not be so comfortable now knowing that they are in the public domain and face greater scrutiny. If you don’t name the product and make it public it’s no better than hearsay.

    If we move on to solutions then that’s the next level of debate and something we will do something on.

  12. Dave griffin

    The mechanic at the time had told everyone on the grid what his intentions were. In fact it was well known in the paddock! He had Purposely treated the set prior to the weekend and although it was an expensive demonstration the point was well put across and something at s1 level was done. He drilled them in fact in full view at end of the practice in front of scruteneering as I recall. I still maintain the number of people was probably in the minority but potentially now that could be reversed. I agree with outing the situation but don’t agree with naming it. But as always thats my opinion.

  13. cjw

    I have to agree with all the comments on here re removing your article!!
    Highlighting to all now will put even more pressure on clubs to try and finance a solution to keep meetings fair, do NOT for one minute think the MSA/ABkC will act, irresponsible whichever way you try and defend it!

  14. Karting1 Post author

    We feel this should not be swept under the carpet. Allowing those who use such product to go under the radar because the clubs can’t finance a solution isn’t a reason to remove the article. If anything that’s the reason TO publish this information. It is rather serious if we have 100s of drivers racing every weekend, spending thousands, without them knowing the ‘system’ could be so easily cheated.

    If we pretend there isn’t a problem or be too touchy feely then those who choose to use such products will keep getting away with it.

    We believe competitors should be given all the information, that way they can make the informed decision to how they pressure groups or clubs.

    This product is readily available on the internet, and anyone who is inclined to use such a product will probably already know about it. We wholly disagree the complaint that this is irresponsible. It is in our opinion irresponsible to hide the truth from competitors around the globe.

  15. random_bandit_01

    absolutely agree with this article. it’s unfair to all of us who race to be cheated, in effect, of a good race, by people who think they can get away with it. certainly this kind of thing needs to be stamped out as it ruins the sport for everyone otherwise (well except the blatant cheats who do this kind of thing).
    i think it’s good that it’s been identified, like the clutch slipping issue. now we have an issue that is visible, let’s try and resolve it rather than arguing about it… i’m sure the majority of us would prefer to race against honest drivers and teams rather than ones who don’t play fair

  16. Alex

    I agree with random_bandit_01 and applaud Karting 1 for bringing this product to our attention. Just from looking at the lap times on Karting.co.uk you can see who is using this. At the start of the race they put in two or three incredibly quick times: 1 or 2 seconds faster than any other driver but by the end of their race they are lapping at close to normal times.
    This data constitutes ‘forensic evidence’ and as it is available immediately a race is finished; why don’t these people get excluded.
    Everyone understands that no-one is legally able to be so much faster so early in a race. The clever cheats will only go as fast as they need to and avoid detection but it would still be an effective way of policing the use of tyre softeners without any of the expense involved in trying to detect it chemically just before a race. Karting1 say it isn’t penetrative and that’s probably why it can’t be detected at the end of race.
    Well done to Karting1 for exposing this aerosol product and we can all keep a look out for anyone using it!
    Let’s hope the intelligent ‘forensic evidence ‘ approach can quickly eliminate it’s use.

  17. JRobinson

    This product is used here in the States and I have also used it in Australia. It makes a well used tyre into a qualifier! Scrutineers couldn’t detect it and so couldn’t ban it but instead made it legal to use. Most folks were horrified at the time but it was really a smart decision. If you can’t ban it and can’t detect it – make it legal. We can use Rotax tyres for 3 or 4 races with GR 700 and for five of even six laps, they are faster than new tyres. GR 700 costs a third the price of one set of new tyres and the treated tyres are better in every way. One aerosol can treat up to 4 sets of tyres. When something this good comes along that is both better and cheaper, why would anyone want to ban it? Shock Horror, I hear but think about it. Cheaper and faster for longer – where is the downside. Good job Karting1 for shining a light on this issue. To all those enthusiastic amateurs who hope to un-invent something that is both competitive and cost effective and readily available – I say get real!

  18. Pete

    I think this is a good thing that this has been bought to everyones attention. There are only 2 potential outcomes from this article (1) everyone starts using it (preferably legally as J Robinson says) or (2) a method/detector is bought into place to deal with this. Either way this article results in FAIR RACING in the long run which by the sounds of it isn’t the case at the moment. It is not fair that people ‘in the know’ could be finding more tenths than they were already finding! In terms of club racing there is obviously a cost issue in terms of detectors (if indeed an ‘all singing all dancing’ detector can be built to deal with this product), however, perhaps the way round this is for the MSA to have 1 single central ‘all singing all dancing’ detector. Clubs could then require that selected tyres are left with them to be sent off to be tested. I’m sure the MSA can afford it and would be happy to do this to ensure fair racing. However, at the moment things are obviously in a state of limbo and need to be addressed quickly.

  19. KZRacer

    I’m sorry but this has been going on for years! Surely none of you think is a new ‘trick’ people are using to get the advantage, people have been finding ways to cheat at all levels of karting since it began, and tyre softener has been high up the list. I think this article fuels people’s paranoia and will no doubt become – ‘the reason this guy keeps beating me’….I do agree with the fact that things should be talked about and out in the open, but from what I’ve heard this product has been around for at least 2 years? The trouble with tyre detectors are that they don’t seem to be used often enough. For example at the shenny club meetings the detector will occasionally be used on the odd kart before a race, maybe every 3 rounds or so, but no real effort.
    I actually agree with JRobinson, if this is really becoming a problem then from what he has explained, the benefits of making this product legal far outweigh the despair of drivers when they are beaten by a cheat.

  20. thekartman

    i would say most of the ones complaining about reveling the name of the product are the ones that are already using it.

  21. Brakerider

    Why bother with the agro and expense of tyre testing for these products. I’ve competed in other forms of motorsport where tyre softners and the like are allowed and i can tell you all they do is wreck the life of your tyre. The benefits are minimal.

    Unless you’re racing rc cars on carpet and even then you have to be a world class driver to get away at the start of a race so when the glue runs out you’re not exposed to the chasing pack.

    So remove parc ferme, tyre controlling and allow people to buys their sprays and glue, it’s all on show then and no hiding in the awning.

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