Every now and then, we end up with a new product that becomes a must have or must try out. This year it’s the Zestino Gredge Drift Tyre that has made it’s way to the USA from Japan.
Many great drivers have been getting excited about, and enjoying this tire in Japan, Europe and all over Asia. It is the fastest growing tyre on the market today. The results are becoming podium finishes and lots of exposure on a global scale. This has sparked our interest and we had to get more info on this tyre.
We spoke with Ernie Gonzalez who is the first Drifter in the United States to be sponsored by Zestino Tyres and this is what he had to say while smiling from ear to ear.
EverythingDrift: So can you tell us more about the tire and what can we compare it to that is known on the market today?
Ernie: That is a question I get asked daily. I guess the best way I can answer that is by telling you how it became the tire that it is now. So picture this; You and 12 of your friends Drift on different tire brands. Each of you writes down on a piece of paper what you like and dislike the most about that tire. Then you all put those papers together and approach a tire company that is well known for building great UHP tires for different brand labels. In 2012 the project started and by the end of 2014 it was sent out to other parts of the world for testing. (not the USA lol) After receiving great feedback, the tire was launched a few months later. Since the launch, Zestino has added two additional compounds, which gives us options of 140tw, 180tw, 240tw, and a 280tw, which will be released by end of this year. So to answer your question, there is nothing on the market today that you can compare it to. This is not a UHP tire that already existed and had the compound or tread pattern changed a bit in order to deliver better performance in one specific area.
“This is a tyre built for Drifting”
ED: So how do you like them, and are they living up to what you expected?
Ernie: I love them. I come from the tire industry, as you know. I have been involved in all aspects of it over the last 23 years. I know the importance of wanting to be competitive at a pro-am event chasing the podium or trying to win a team tandem comp.
I have learned that the tire is the most important part of Drifting. Sure you can slide on just about any tire, but if you put enough money into your car to have the power and suspension dialed in to be competitive, but use “what ever tire you can afford” you might as well just be lighting the money on fire after you load your car up on the trailer.
Your talents can only get you so far and then it is up to the car and tire to get you to the podium.
I have tried just about every brand out there. I would get sweet deals below wholesale prices so it wasn’t like I was paying full retail for them. I can honestly tell you that this tire is one you have to try for yourself. Buy a pair for your steers and go ham. Try a couple different compounds in the rear based on your power level and skill and watch the magic happen. I suck at Drifting and Zestino makes me look like I was born sideways.
ED: So how did you end up getting sponsored by Zestino?
Ernie: The whole sponsorship came about through social media info from a friend. I reached out to them with pictures of my car. Once I was approved and tires were sent over, I then asked, where I could send people that are interested in buying Zestino tyres. This is where the problem was, and after they explained the process, I understood why they were not available in the USA yet. There are lots of fees involved with importing any product associated with ADD, CVD taxes and other amazing fees from customs that are added that discourage people attempting to import. We pay more fees and taxes than any other country and it just blows my mind. But I do understand their reasons behind it. So after long hours, and weeks of no sleep because of the time difference, we were offered an awesome opportunity to become the West Coast Distributor for Zestino.
One of the biggest things that I am very proud of is that we were able to decline any sort of marketing dollars from the parent company in exchange to have the freedom to market the way we see fit.
You guys know where my heart is at when it comes to Drifting. I love it all, there is no difference to me. But I have spent my time helping grassroots since the days of DTC in Long Beach. I have seen many drivers move to pro and others who have stayed at pro-am level. I love watching the pro-am guys run and always remind them “Don’t be in a rush, kick it here a few years until you are the champion 3-4 years in a row, then you will be ready, but if you can not podium over the current champion or the man who everyone wants to beat yet, then you are not ready.”
ED: Do you have any way to help get drivers these tires into their hands, or more like under their drift machines?
Ernie: Ah, yes! This is where we created the driver programs for all racers, not just drifting. (Who wants to pay retail?) I love grassroots and that is our primary focus. To deliver a great deal for the drivers without any corporate drama or BS involved.
We ALL have a great opportunity here. You, me, and them. we have been trusted with a brand that we can build and keep to ourselves. A tire designed by Drifters, Sold by Drifters for Drifters. How sweet is that???
How big we make this will be up to all that support it. We can have our own events, our own tracks and so on. It is all up to us. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime. If you don’t know my heart, get to know it. So you can see my vision.
You can submit your driver proposals to marketing@Zestinotyreusa.com If you do not have a driver proposal ask someone to help you create one. It does not make sense to pay full retail when we can all enjoy this sweet opportunity to slide on a superior tire made just for us. (Share the love)
You can visit our website for sizes and compound information. www.zestinotyreusa.com
For more info on the tire check out the info below.
Tire feedback: Zestino Gredge 07RS/07RR/07R
1) Researched and developed together with Japan Engineers, the technology is from Japan. 2) The main material is from Germany, the rubber is from Malaysia. 3) Excellent performance of abrasion and durability, traction, and smoking. 4) Warm up tires by itself. It can be up to 70℃ in the first lap. The tread design can also spread heat evenly, no partial high temperature. 5) Reinforced sidewall, with 2+2+2 structure. The tire can be fixed on rim firmly. On tread, two plys of polyester, two plys of steel wire, and two ply of nylon. On sidewall, two plys of polyester. 6) The wider tread width can support higher traction and grip performance. 7) The spokesman Tetsuya Hibino is the famous Japan driver, ranking No.4 around the world. In 2015 D1GP, he successfully get Top 2 with Zestino tires. Zestino tires has been exported to Europe, Oceania, North America, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and so on. Also received high comment from end-users. 二：Overall ranking of drift tire in Japan
1) The best combination of price and quality, with high cost performance. 2) High abrasion and durability. With the same speed and same conditions, Zestino Gredge 07RS can consist of 10laps, Federal RSR and Achilles 123S can consist of 3 laps. 3) The durable traction. At the same time, Zestino driver and Bridgestone driver feel the good traction and acceleration. But Zestino last longer. 4) Zestino is with NO.1 control performance and reliable reaction all the time. It is even better than Bridgestone, when the speed is over 150km/h.