New Maxxis Tire for Track Days

As track day junkies, we’re always excited to scope out new options for major consumables. Run enough laps, and you burn through tires quickly–especially if you opt for the stickiest rubber so you can hang with the big boys on track. For about the last year, Maxxis has been quietly making the RC-1 Victra in a few choice sizes, and early adopters have had good things to say. Time for us to see for ourselves.

As the pictures show, the Victra is purpose-built for dry-weather track use, with only a hint of tread pattern designed to earn DOT approvals. When it comes to dedicated R-comp track tires, the RC-1 will set you back the least–less even than the previous budget leader, Nitto’s very popular NT01.

You can buy a 205/50ZR15 Maxxis RC-1 Victra directly from the manufacturer for about $140 each–and that’s with free standard shipping. The Nitto will cost about $4 more each from Discount Tire Direct. The Maxxis is also available in wider 15s–like 225/45ZR15 and 245/40ZR15–as well as 17- and 18-inch diameters.

On delivery, we noted the 205/50ZR15 Maxxis to be on the narrow side, stretching the tape to 8.3 inches where similar tires from Toyo and Hoosier have 8.5- and 8.7-inch sections, respectively.

We mounted the Maxxis tires on 15x8-inch 6UL wheels from 949 Racing in the front and 15x7s in the rear, setting the pressures to run hot laps at between 34 and 38 psi. The setup info came from Emilio Cervantes at 949 Racing; he organizes the West Coast’s SuperMiata race series, where the Victra is the spec tire. Jeremiah at Automotive Specialties, who did the mounting, noted that the sidewalls were particularly stiff–always a good sign.

Our test day saw us at Harris Hill Raceway in San Marcos, Texas, on an overcast day with mid-90s temperatures. The One Lap CRX was in autocross trim, having just returned from an SCCA ProSolo, so it was heavier than usual. Running some baseline sessions on a set of 205/50R15 Yokohama AD08R street tires netted consistent laps right at 1:25.1.

While scrubbing in the Victras, we immediately noticed the amazing steering response: super linear and precise. As speeds increased, carving to an apex became child’s play. In fact, a couple of times we ditch-hooked the track’s inside concrete patches until we got used to the responsiveness.

Forward bite is another strong suit of the Victra, and combined with the linear steering it made quick work of putting down all of our nose-heavy front-driver’s 300 horses. All the while, the tires are talking–a lot, like teenagers with their first cell phones. As with most street tires, these unleash an initial squeal as you generate slip angle, transitioning to a major howl as you press beyond the limits.

On this rather warm day, only the first lap of each session would be a flyer. Subsequent laps were close, but the tire soon lost its ability to multitask, meaning it became a little less interested in trail-braking and putting down the power at corner exit. The tire was also edgier in corners, making consistent laps at the limit more of a challenge. In the end, our quickest lap was a 1:24.7, but data log comparisons showed a few more tenths were available with more familiarity on the tire.

By the end of our outing, the Victra had displayed some promising characteristics. It delivers a typical R-comp’s ability to multitask during corner entry and exit. Mid-corner grip is similar to the best extreme-performance summer street tires, as is audible feedback. The tire loses performance if pushed too hard in warm weather, but it does recover when allowed to cool back down.

Given all this–and the fact that the tire exhibited very minimal wear–we see the Maxxis RC-1 Victra as a combination of the very best street-tire compound glued around a solid R-comp carcass. That’s good news for track day folks on a budget looking to hone their skills without breaking the bank.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/14 10:12 a.m.

How do you rate the grip level compared to the NT-01 and Toyo RR?

wbjones UltimaDork
11/20/14 4:08 p.m.

I'll follow Keith and ask how you'd rate the grip when compared to Hankook Z 214 C71's ?


wlkelley3 SuperDork
11/20/14 9:24 p.m.

Looks like I'm going to have to break down and upgrade to 15" on my 99 Miata. All the better tires don't come in 14" anymore.

Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman New Reader
4/20/15 1:56 p.m.

I would think NT01's are more than 0.4 seconds faster than the Yokohama AD08R, so this is a bit concerning. Hopefully the only variable wasn't the tires...

Lof8 Reader
4/20/15 2:09 p.m.

Anyone else have some experience with these? I'd be interested to read some more reviews.

Duke MegaDork
4/20/15 2:13 p.m.

In reply to wbjones:

The C71 is the autocross compound, so I would assume they are not as grippy, not as fast to warm up, as that. I believe the C51 is the track compound. I could easily be mistaken, however.

Jaynen Dork
4/20/15 3:02 p.m.

I've got these on my miata. I will let you know how they autocross after may 9th but I know a few guys using them. The consensus was they are better than NT01s when more heat is involved

wbjones MegaDork
4/20/15 6:42 p.m.
Duke wrote: In reply to wbjones: The C71 is the autocross compound, so I would assume they are not as grippy, not as fast to warm up, as that. I believe the C51 is the track compound. **I could easily be mistaken, however.**

you are correct … but just as Civic, Miata, and CRX drivers can run Hoosier A6's on the track, so can the C71 compound be so used

alas, they don't come in my size

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