It has, well, been a while since I logged in
Tire Pressures : I'll note Crows Landing is rougher on tires (VERY abrasive concrete) than anywhere else I've run. That includes Lincoln. Our other "main" local site is Marina CA airport...also concrete but a lot easier on tires.
That said, try the lower pressures. I've experimented around a bit, and keep coming back to 35-36 in front and 37-38 in back. You're giving up a good bit of contact patch at mid/high 40s (as shown by your sidewall wear above). Arrrows on sidewall : note all those REALLY indicate are where the tire tread depth indicators are radially
. So even if you run "past" them a tiny bit, that is OK.
Setup : Off-The-Shelf Koni singles all around, Base Fiesta (22mm) bar up front. In other words, nothing exotic. I've tried 3 different front bars so far (stock, this, Eibach) and found this as the "between" one on size is the best compromise between transition (bigger is better) and power out of corners (stock is better than the other 2). Also (very) briefly ran the stock front bar with the Eibach rear...yeah, don't do that. All it did was make it dog-leg worse
Also played around some with 17s. I don't think it makes a huge difference on the clock either way, but the 17s do (as expected) feel crisper. True for both 205/45R17 and 215/45R17. Took a few runs with 245/40R17s...yeah, don't do that (mushy response city, and rubbed badly)
. Nationals setup last year was 215/45R17 front and 205/50R16 rear, I expect to go on all 17s this year with 205/45R17 rear and "figure it out" between the 205 and 215s on the front.
One other note on RE71R wear...I do pretty religiously rotate them and flip them (+1 for co-owning a tire mounting machine
) . What I'm finding is that while LATERAL grip is good pretty much to the cords, LONGITUDINAL grip (more noticable in acceleration, but some in braking) does appear to "go off" after a while. I'm not sure I'd give an exact run number they go off, but in the 50-75 run range sounds reasonably close. Lincoln plan is to get a set on the car a few weeks before, run a weekend out here at Crows to scrub them in, then take those to Lincoln.