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Bert 12/24/17 08:10 AM

Tires for Track Days
 
So my old tires won't pass Massachusetts safety inspection any more, time for some new ones (too bad they won't pass because I was hoping to get another track day or two out of them)

I do track days at my two local tracks (Thompson CT and Palmer MA) though I might spread out to some of the other tracks that are not too far away. No autocross yet, thought I might try it this year.

I am looking at Bridgestone RE-71R because they seem to be the defacto standard "best" street legal tire for track use. They are a bit pricey, so I am open to alternatives if they are "close."

I have a dilemma between 275-35/19 and 265-40/19 sizes. I have 19x9.5" wheels. Obviously the 275's are a bit wider, but might be a tad wide for the wheels. The 265's are attractive because they are about $50 less /each and they have a little more sidewall for a slightly taller overall diameter (27.4" versus 26.6") I think the slightly taller effective gearing would be a good thing for most sections of the tracks I run.

Thoughts / suggestions? discuss . . .

thanks in advance

EF1 12/24/17 09:46 AM

I would be curious to hear impressions of the RE-71R as well. I have been running the 275-40/19 Bridgestone S04 pole positions on my stock 19 x 9" brembo wheels and found the limit of my tires at my last track event. The 9" wheels are the narrowest recommended wheel for the 275-40/19's and I do get some sidewall roll on this size wheel.

I have 355 gearing and did notice a loss of about 200 rpm for a given speed when I switched from the stock 255-40/19 Pirelli's, which were about 3/4" shorter.

shaneyusa 12/24/17 10:00 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert (Post 7023448)
So my old tires won't pass Massachusetts safety inspection any more, time for some new ones (too bad they won't pass because I was hoping to get another track day or two out of them)

I do track days at my two local tracks (Thompson CT and Palmer MA) though I might spread out to some of the other tracks that are not too far away. No autocross yet, thought I might try it this year.

I am looking at Bridgestone RE-71R because they seem to be the defacto standard "best" street legal tire for track use. They are a bit pricey, so I am open to alternatives if they are "close."

I have a dilemma between 275-35/19 and 265-40/19 sizes. I have 19x9.5" wheels. Obviously the 275's are a bit wider, but might be a tad wide for the wheels. The 265's are attractive because they are about $50 less /each and they have a little more sidewall for a slightly taller overall diameter (27.4" versus 26.6") I think the slightly taller effective gearing would be a good thing for most sections of the tracks I run.

Thoughts / suggestions? discuss . . .

thanks in advance


Roush used 9.5"x20" rims on my 14 and have 275/35R20 all around. Work just fine, and no funky appearance and fit in the fenders with no rub. Not sure of the offset, but the tires do fit the rims very nicely. These are Cooper Xeon RS3-S. They have been great tires, very sticky. But I have not tracked. I have about 16k miles on them and they will make another summer before I need to replace. These are under $200 each if you look around, or $282.99 from Roush. I think you would like them.

Thought these pics might give you an idea of looks and tread. I am pretty sure they come in the size you are looking for.

5.M0NSTER 12/24/17 11:15 PM

I have ran the following tires at the track:
1) Pirelli PZeros in 255/40-19
2) Bridgestone Potenza S04 275/40-19
3) Hankook Ventus R-S3 275/35-19 (current setup)
(4*) Pirelli Trofeo R in 305/30-19 (mind bending tire)

Each has been better than the one before. The jump from (2) to (3) was a huge difference in grip at the limits. Max Performance tires can work at the track, and there are some good values out there. But I must admit, it's difficult to go back after experiencing what Extreme Performance category of tire has to offer.

With that said, in Max Performance I would recommend (in no particular order):
Bridgestone Potenza S04
Sumitomo HTR ZIII
Pilot SS
Eagle F1

In Extreme Performance I would recommend (in no particular order):
Hankook Ventus R-S4
Dirreza Star Spec
Potenza RE-71

With the RE-71 be aware that on heavier cars like ours your best lap will be lap 2 or 3. After they get warm they will start getting more slippery. Still quick, but you'll have to be more on top of it.

Now as for size I have been an advocate of taller tires ... before I got a CAI and tune which raised my redline to 7200 RPM. With that little mod the top speed in each gear is about the same, or even slightly higher than before (on tires which are 26.7"), and I can use the benefit of lighter tire with a lower aspect ratio. 275/35-19 has a lot of choices. I'd love to do 285/35-19 as well, but the selection in that size is not as good, and that's starting to push it on 9.5" rims.

5.M0NSTER 12/25/17 09:53 PM

4 Attachment(s)
And just for good measure here are some pictures of the tires I've run. In order:
S04
S04 VS Pirelli
Hankook

I don't have a picture of the Trofeo since it wasn't my car or tire :grin:

Bert 12/26/17 09:04 AM

Thanks for all the input so far guys . . .

My current (old) tires are the Bridgestone S04 275-35/19 and I guess they were pretty good but I found them to get greasy / slippery when hot. Then again an instructor did beat my best lap by 4 seconds at Palmer in my car (on the same tires) and he seemed to be more comfortable with that when hot. At one event I found I was pretty well matched by a VW GTI (which surprised me but that's a different story) and he followed me around for a couple laps, then came over and looked at my tires after and said "slip sliding away on those tires, eh? yep I have the same ones and they suck when they're hot" . . . 5.MONSTER I know your experience is a bit different with them . . . but anyway I am looking for something that is a step up from those.

I am running them on 9.5" wide wheels and they look good to me, 9.5 is the measuring wheel width for that size, but I have been told it is better for steering on the track to go with a wheel that is on the wide end of the range for the tire.

It sounds like the RE-71's might be similar when they get hot, but probably not as much?

I wish I had grabbed a set of those R-S3's when they were on close-out! That was a deal . . .

About the size -- do you think I would lose much by going from 275 to 265 on the width?

5.M0NSTER 12/26/17 03:13 PM

Hey Bert, in my opinion every little bit or rubber contact counts. The difference between the Pirelli 255 and S04 275 was quite noticeable to me, and I would figure that a slightly stickier tire in 265 will be about even to slightly lesser tire in 275.

If you like the taller tire, you could consider 275/40-19. There are some good choices in the max performance category.

On the other hand there is a really good selection of extreme performance in 275/35-19, and if you want to chip away at your PB lap times I think they are the way to go. They are about $70 a tire more expensive, but the way I look at it is I can get 2 seasons out of those tires, so it's easier to amortize. If I were to buy right now I'd get either the RE-71R or R-S4.

That closeout sale was when I got my R-S3s. It was something like $140/tire. That was an amazing deal. I will be keeping my eyes open for similar closeouts for sure.

PJRManagement 12/27/17 06:32 PM

For 9.5", you can go 275/35. And I do think they will perform slightly better than 265/40. As for tire choice, there are many. I do 3-4 track days per year, and I don't switch out wheels/tires from street to track. Most instructors will tell you not to, also. Why? Because you will become a better track-day driver on street tires, where you, the driver have to work harder. Extreme performance tires, R-compound tires, these are amazing at the track, and very fast, but they shoulder the brunt of the hard work for you. I prefer a max performance summer tire, for street and track, and I have to pay attention and be my best on the track. Also, 99.9% of your driving is on the street...keep that in mind, too. Good luck! Let us know how you make out!

5.M0NSTER 12/27/17 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJRManagement (Post 7023578)
For 9.5", you can go 275/35. And I do think they will perform slightly better than 265/40. As for tire choice, there are many. I do 3-4 track days per year, and I don't switch out wheels/tires from street to track. Most instructors will tell you not to, also. Why? Because you will become a better track-day driver on street tires, where you, the driver have to work harder. Extreme performance tires, R-compound tires, these are amazing at the track, and very fast, but they shoulder the brunt of the hard work for you. I prefer a max performance summer tire, for street and track, and I have to pay attention and be my best on the track. Also, 99.9% of your driving is on the street...keep that in mind, too. Good luck! Let us know how you make out!

Pete, long time no talk! Hope all is well bud!

I would like to respectfully disagree. You are on to something. Since you're always on Max Performance summer times and track them, you know exactly where the limits are in every day street situations. That is true.

Extreme performance tires will buy you 1-2s per lap at the tracks you frequent, and slicks will get you another 1.5-2s on top of that. You can not get these type of numbers if you try harder on max summer tires. So you can still push and reach and be a better driver, but with these more track oriented tires you now have seconds per lap to show for it, instead of fractions.

Is it worth the $70-100 per tire price tag? Hmm, debatable. Everyone gets to be the judge on this one. :grin:

Bert 12/28/17 04:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJRManagement (Post 7023578)
. . .. I do 3-4 track days per year, and I don't switch out wheels/tires from street to track. . . . Because you will become a better track-day driver on street tires, where you, the driver have to work harder. E . . . I prefer a max performance summer tire, for street and track, and I have to pay attention and be my best on the track. . . .

Yeah I am familiar with that logic and that is why I bought the Bridgestone S04's that I have now. But I just don't like the way they get greasy when not . . . or maybe I just need to get used to that sliding feeling. I also have a problem with my Advance Track coming on by itself, which in combination with the hot max performance tires, has spun me a couple times. Maybe better driver skills could have controlled that, but I am not sure.

Which reminds me I need to get after that Advance Track problem, cannot cure it with better tires.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER (Post 7023582)
. . .. Since you're always on Max Performance summer times and track them, you know exactly where the limits are in every day street situations. That is true.

Extreme performance tires will buy you 1-2s per lap at the tracks you frequent, . . . you can still push and reach and be a better driver, but with these more track oriented tires you now have seconds per lap to show for it, instead of fractions. . . . .

I don't think Pete was talking about knowing the limits on the street since you will likely never get there, except maybe in an accident avoidance situation and then all bets are off.

The instructor who drove my car showed me that there are some seconds there with the old tires by driving closer to the limit; but it was pretty hairy, I am not confident that I could recover if I went over the limit at those speeds. So yeah I know I "should" improve my skills, but I was kinda thinking that the better tires would get me another second or two without having to be over the edge like that.

Also reminds me that it's probably time for some safety equipment upgrades too . . . different topic

PJRManagement 12/29/17 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER (Post 7023582)
Pete, long time no talk! Hope all is well bud!

I would like to respectfully disagree. You are on to something. Since you're always on Max Performance summer times and track them, you know exactly where the limits are in every day street situations. That is true.

Extreme performance tires will buy you 1-2s per lap at the tracks you frequent, and slicks will get you another 1.5-2s on top of that. You can not get these type of numbers if you try harder on max summer tires. So you can still push and reach and be a better driver, but with these more track oriented tires you now have seconds per lap to show for it, instead of fractions.

Is it worth the $70-100 per tire price tag? Hmm, debatable. Everyone gets to be the judge on this one. :grin:

---Hey! How are you! I like the profile pic! All good here, love my new wheels/tires. So...back to the thread. I think we actually agree. My point was not about lap times. No question...an Extreme Performance or R-Compound tire will be several seconds per lap faster than a Summer Max Performance tire...all other things being equal. I'm saying that for the regular guy track rat like me (only 3-4 track days per year), meaning 99.9% of driving is on the street, why pay $ for dedicated track wheels/tires? I prefer a great set of wheels/tires that can do both, well. But...will not be as fast on the track as better track-oriented rubber, for sure. Also, I like that a real street tire is more difficult to drive fast on the track, and really makes the driver focus to improve. Also, I really never drive fast on the street...my bright red beauty is a cop-magnet. I save it for the track.

Bert 12/30/17 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJRManagement (Post 7023644)
. . . love my new wheels/tires. . . . . why pay $ for dedicated track wheels/tires? I prefer a great set of wheels/tires that can do both, well. But...will not be as fast on the track as better track-oriented rubber, for sure. Also, I like that a real street tire is more difficult to drive fast on the track, and really makes the driver focus to improve. . . . . .

I see your sizes in your signature (which are quite beefy) but not the rubber -- what new tires do you have; and do you feel like they get greasy when good and hot? (after about 4-5 laps or so)

I definitely do not want to spend the money for dedicated track wheels/tires either. But I don't see any problem with using the RE-71R's on the street; do you?

5.M0NSTER 12/30/17 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PJRManagement (Post 7023644)
---Hey! How are you! I like the profile pic! All good here, love my new wheels/tires. So...back to the thread. I think we actually agree. My point was not about lap times. No question...an Extreme Performance or R-Compound tire will be several seconds per lap faster than a Summer Max Performance tire...all other things being equal. I'm saying that for the regular guy track rat like me (only 3-4 track days per year), meaning 99.9% of driving is on the street, why pay $ for dedicated track wheels/tires? I prefer a great set of wheels/tires that can do both, well. But...will not be as fast on the track as better track-oriented rubber, for sure. Also, I like that a real street tire is more difficult to drive fast on the track, and really makes the driver focus to improve. Also, I really never drive fast on the street...my bright red beauty is a cop-magnet. I save it for the track.

Hey Pete, glad to hear you're loving your new setup. Your car looks cool as hell with those wheels too. I'm jealous, been wanting those exact wheel also.

So I also think we agree for the most part, but remember you're talking to a guy with dedicated set of track only wheels and tires :grin:.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert (Post 7023658)
I see your sizes in your signature (which are quite beefy) but not the rubber -- what new tires do you have; and do you feel like they get greasy when good and hot? (after about 4-5 laps or so)

I definitely do not want to spend the money for dedicated track wheels/tires either. But I don't see any problem with using the RE-71R's on the street; do you?

How many miles do you drive each year? I would say be ready to get about 8k-10k miles out of daily driven RE-71s with 3-4 track days. That may mean new rubber every year.

This is why I have a separate set of wheels/tires just for track day. It allows me to extend the life of those $300 tires to 2 seasons :heh:. Initial investment was a bit painful, and changing them out along with brake pads is a bit of a pain too. But tires and pads can last 2 seasons.

PJRManagement 12/31/17 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert (Post 7023658)
I see your sizes in your signature (which are quite beefy) but not the rubber -- what new tires do you have; and do you feel like they get greasy when good and hot? (after about 4-5 laps or so)

I definitely do not want to spend the money for dedicated track wheels/tires either. But I don't see any problem with using the RE-71R's on the street; do you?

---
My tires are Nitto NT 555 G2 (came as a wheel/tire package). Overall a very good tire, IMO, good price, too. Excellent livability on the street. Plenty of usable grip on the track. Tread wear rating of 320. Needs 1/2 lap to get warm on the track, and don't start to break away until 5-6 laps. The RE-71Rs have a wear rating of 200, they will be superior to my Nittos on the track.

EF1 12/31/17 08:59 AM

Something else to consider with Extreme Performance Tires such as the RE-71 is the temperatures that you plan to drive and store the car in. Extreme performance tires are not supposed to be mounted, driven, inflated, or stored with the weight of a car on them in temperatures near or below freezing. You risk cracking the rubber compound rendering them unusable.

5.M0NSTER 1/1/18 04:45 PM

Hey Bert, not sure if you decided anything, but there is a sale on Nexen N Fera's on tire rack right now. $215 for 275/35-19.

Probably not the best tire in the class, but it costs less than good Max Performance Summers right now so might be worth a shot. Just FYI.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes

Bert 1/2/18 05:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER (Post 7023749)
Hey Bert, not sure if you decided anything, but there is a sale on Nexen N Fera's on tire rack right now. $215 for 275/35-19.
. . . .

Thanks! I took a quick look and it looks like they only have two???? Or maybe the system thinks I only want two for some reason. Maybe I'll give them a call later.

EDIT / UPDATE: well I called . . . and yep, they really have only two in the entire company. Too bad, would have been worth a gamble, but I need 4!

Bert 1/2/18 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EF1 (Post 7023699)
Something else to consider with Extreme Performance Tires such as the RE-71 is the temperatures that you plan to drive and store the car in. Extreme performance tires are not supposed to be mounted, driven, inflated, or stored with the weight of a car on them in temperatures near or below freezing. You risk cracking the rubber compound rendering them unusable.

Thanks for that . . . yeah I have seen that in the descriptions and always wondered if it was for real. It does add a layer of complexity to the whole thing . . . but for now I have just one set of wheels/tires, they are on the car, and the car stays in the garage which (normally) does not go below freezing. This year it is so dang cold outside that it might be getting down to freezing at night, but not much below.

EF1 1/2/18 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert (Post 7023790)
Thanks! I took a quick look and it looks like they only have two???? Or maybe the system thinks I only want two for some reason. Maybe I'll give them a call later.

EDIT / UPDATE: well I called . . . and yep, they really have only two in the entire company. Too bad, would have been worth a gamble, but I need 4!

Too bad those are about gone. They put them on clearance a month or so ago. Nexen changed the rubber compound, so they clearanced the old model. I picked up a set to put on the Apex Racing wheels I bought this fall to give me a dedicated set of track wheels. I figured for the price I would give them a try. The reviews and tests that I saw were pretty good, just slightly behind the top tires in some categories. They say they turn in a little slow, but I tend to turn in too fast, so they may be about right for me. If I don't like them on the track I can always wear them out on the street.

EF1 1/2/18 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert (Post 7023814)
Thanks for that . . . yeah I have seen that in the descriptions and always wondered if it was for real. It does add a layer of complexity to the whole thing . . . but for now I have just one set of wheels/tires, they are on the car, and the car stays in the garage which (normally) does not go below freezing. This year it is so dang cold outside that it might be getting down to freezing at night, but not much below.

I don't have personal experience with them cracking, but that is the warning the manufacturers give. I don't want to put it to the test with the cost of tires these days. I do know that my Bridgestone S04's get hard and lose traction at temperatures near freezing. I have driven it a couple times on sunny cold days.


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