Ultimate track tire guide | 200tw, 100tw, street-legal track and R-comps

Andy
By Andy Hollis
Nov 9, 2022 | Tire Test, tires, 200tw, 100tw | Posted in Buyer's Guides , Features | From the Aug. 2021 issue | Never miss an article

[Editor’s note: While this guide first appeared in our August 2021 issue, updates will made as new tires enter our market.]

The biggest variable in performance? Tires.

But which ones are the perfect match? It depends on the car choice, setup, rules, venue, weather and driving style. Budget and longevity can also influence this decision.

We’re here to help with a synopsis of available options, culled from all our years of tire testing. If you can’t find shoes that fit here, they probably don’t exist.

All the tires listed here are DOT-approved, which means they can legally be driven on the street—even if that’s not a great idea. (We’re looking at you, Hoosier.)

While today’s market concentrates on the 200tw Extreme Performance category that’s so prevalent in autocross, time trials and endurance racing, we branched out to include faster tires that aren’t limited by that UTQG figure. To make this guide easy to follow, we’ve grouped tires by their intended mission. Happy shopping.

Super 200s

These are fast tires for autocross and single-lap time trials that meet the 200tw ratings. All are capable of a fairly similar single-lap time trial or autocross pace, though each goes about it in different ways.

Yokohama Advan A052

We list this one first since it’s the reigning king of the Super 200s, but it comes with caveats. To perform optimally, it needs lots of camber and wheel width. It also benefits from shallower tread depth to help mitigate its tendency to quickly overheat when pressed hard. And finally, it’s expensive and only available in select sizes. But if your application meets those requirements, and your driving skill allows you to lay down that one perfect lap, then this is your droid. A note about that heat intolerance: This tire doesn’t need any heat to activate—first turn, it sticks. It’s even good in the wet, so long as there’s no significant standing water to cause hydroplaning.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS (Added August 2022)

After a hiatus, Bridgestone returns to the American 200tw arena with its Potenza RE-71RS. Sizes are starting to land. Our initial test found a tire that’s very quick out of the box while providing strong grip and feedback–it’s up there at the pointy end of the field. That first test compared the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS against the Falken Azenis RT660 on track and against the Yokohama Advan A052 around the cones.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R

For many, this was the go-to alternative to the Yokohama. Super-responsive, it could dance around cones or dive to apexes with telepathic instincts. Just think about turning, and it would react. Its super-stiff sidewalls also allowed fat tires to be successfully pinched onto narrow wheels—a reality in some race classes. And while it needed a little bit of heat for the compound to work, it could deliver a number of autocross runs or road course circuits at max attack. It’s even been used to win in 8-hour endurance racing competition. Sadly, this tire is no longer in production, but many sizes still exist at retail in large enough quantity for it to remain an option for some time.

Update: As of January 2022, Tire Rack only shows 18- and 19-inch sizes in stock. In April of 2022, Bridgestone announced the replacement for the RE-71R, the RE-71RS.

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S 1.5

Before the A052 stole the show, the big battle was BFG versus Bridges- tone. The Rival needs a little more heat to work, but stays in the game even longer than the RE-71R. This is great for lapping or two-driver autocrossing, but a little tricky for cold and or wet days. And while not as crisp as the Bridgestone, the BFG allows one to drive at larger slip angles seemingly with impunity.

Falken Azenis RT660

Exit Bridgestone, enter Falken. Indeed, they look alike, and to a large degree they perform alike. The RT660 has a fairly similar responsiveness to the RE-71R, though not quite as crisp. For many, this is a good thing as the tire tends to not be as edgy, allowing for mid-corner corrections to be made. Like the Bridgestone, the Azenis compound needs just a little bit of heat to turn on, but hangs in there for many laps or runs. It’s a great choice for lapping, time trials or autocrossing. Oh, and it has some of the most favorable pricing of the bunch.

Kumho ECSTA V730

Added September 2021

We really like the new V730 as it does indeed honor the traditional Kumho characteristics for drivability, consistency and longevity. While not the quickest on single-lap pace, it is right in the mix and gives many chances at nailing great laps any time in a session–call it nearly as quick as the Falken Azenis RT660 and almost as consistent as the Hankook Ventus R-S4–so, basically, another contender.

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3

Responsiveness of the Goodyear is similar to the Rival S, but grip turns on quicker and stays active lap after lap. Note that the smaller sizes of this tire (sub-265mm section) come molded deeper and with more void, so they don’t perform quite as well. This is a great triple-threat tire: cones, laps, daily.

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect (240)

OE fitment on some of the world’s fastest sports cars, the SC2 has been a staple of the track day scene for many years. The move from the 180-treadwear rating of the old Cup 2 to this tire’s 240 rating, it should be noted, is more of a marketing change than a performance one. Think of it as a positive iteration of both grip and consistency/longevity through technology. In short, this tire is no slower than its predecessor, despite moving out of the Track Use only category. Its main attribute? Grip. Lots of it. That said, it can let go in a hurry if you ask for too much. But for most folks, it will deliver lap after lap of enjoyment.

Nankang CR-1

Nankang was able to create a worthy competitor to the Yokohama A052. While response is similarly vague, grip is outstanding. That said, it has the same trait of quickly heat-soaking when loaded hard. Perhaps its best feature is that there are some very motorsports-oriented niche sizes available, like the 245/40R15 that we recently tested.

Dunlop Direzza ZIII

The Dunlop ZIII might be an older 200tw tire, but Tire Rack still moves a lot of them. Why? Price and available sizes, as it comes in a Miata-friendly 195/50R15. This is also a good choice for dual use, with solid performance in both wet and dry conditions. We last tested it in 2018, and the Dunlop ran within a half-second of both the RE-71R and Rival S 1.5.

Toyo Proxes R1R

This tire is long in the tooth, but still a viable choice for triple duty. The R1R was once the darling of the autocross world, especially in the magical 195/50R15 sizing. Its excellent grip and tossability still delivers strong performance value in the canyons, around the cones, and hitting apexes. You might not win a national championship, but you’ll smile every time you turn the wheel.

Endurance 200s

These tires trade some speed for consistency and long life while still meeting the 200tw requirements. Running endurance races? Looking to get a full season out of a single set of 200tw tires? Might want to start the search here.

Hankook Ventus RS-4

All hail the king of grassroots endurance racing. No tire has racked up more enduro wins or led more laps than the RS-4. It’s the gold standard against which all others are measured. Wears like iron, but can still deliver a pace that’s within a second or two of the Super 200s—and do so all day long. It does need some heat to come in, but loves living in the furnace of heavy lateral loading. This also makes it ideal for weekly lapping sessions where no trophies are on the line. The only downside is that Han- kook tends to sell out of popular sizes every year in the fall, though usually replenishes stock in the spring.

Maxxis Victra VR-1

The Maxxis offered super-responsive performance. It dove down to apexes much more easily than the Hankook. It also required very little warmup, netting its best lap time on the very first circuit–and matching the Hankook’s single best. As the Maxxis heated up, though, response dropped off, the tire got a little mushy, and lap times slowed a bit. The Maxxis is a great alternative when the RS-4 is sold out, though.

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

This was BFG’s original entry into the 200tw category, but was superseded by the Rival S when Bridgestone raised the bar. With the rise of amateur endurance racing, however, BFG has put the original Rival back into production. Driving feel is a little more direct than the Hankook, but pace, consistency and longevity are all on par with the RS-4.

Falken Azenis RT-615K+

As the final installment in the decade-old 615 line, this tire blends a nice mix of dry and wet performance, with solid wear characteristics. A little loud on the street, but it’s right at home delivering lots of track laps or autocross runs. While supplanted by the RT660 in overall pace, the RT-615K+ remains a popular choice for dual-duty or endurance use.

Valino VR08GP

If you want a set of tires that will deliver a full year of use, this Valino offering makes a great option. Our test showed imperceptible wear and great handling traits, though not nearly as much grip as the others in the category. Pricing is also friendly.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

One tire to work in all conditions, one tire to rule them all. This is the one. If the ground’s not frozen, this tire will perform. Cold and damp? Got you covered. Standing water? No problem. Warm and dry? Still quick. Chosen each year by the majority of the field for the Tire Rack One Lap of America, this tire can easily put down quick laps at every venue regardless of the weather—and still do the 3800 miles of transit needed for the week without a hint of drama. Steering response is massively authoritative, although the tire can be a little edgy at the limit as it heats up in dry lapping conditions. Available in a huge variety of sizes, including many OE fitments. Its price matches its capabilities.

Continental ExtremeContact Sport

Our testing put the Conti ECS just slightly behind the Michelin PS4S in both dry and wet grip, but ahead in its ability to cut through standing water. The Conti’s steering response feels a bit vague and it doesn’t last as long as the Michelin, but it’s also priced substantially lower.

Continental ExtremeContact Force

A new, very worthy challenger for endurance racers. The Continental ExtremeContact Force posted a clear half-second average over the Hankook RS-4 and similar consistency–plus a bonus of immediate cold-tire grip. The latter could be very important on cooler race mornings. After 90-minute sessions, both the ExtremeContact Force and Hankook RS-4 exhibited similar wear characteristics–not quite a 1/32 of an inch. The new Continental does cost more than its competition, however.

Cooper RS3-R and RS3-RS

Cooper Tire supports the World Racing League and also offers two endurance—specific tires: the RS3-R (260tw intended for dry conditions) and RS3-RS (220tw for the wet). GRM test to come.

Endurance 100s

This category is a tick faster than the Endurance 200s, yet still in it for the long haul. While these tires don’t meet the 200tw requirement often found in endurance racing, they can still work for those doing lap days.

Nankang AR-1

Although it’s rated at 100tw, this one has all the traits of a solid 200tw tire. Pace is on par with most of that bunch, as is the typical output pattern of a single fast lap, followed by a number of laps at about a half-second slower pace. Feel is similar to the Goodyear SC3 or Rival S. Note that this tire benefits from a good heat cycle before delivering optimal performance.

Nitto NT01

Like the Nankang AR-1, this is another 100tw track day special that delivers on par with today’s Super-200s for single-lap pace. But it can repeat that trick lap after lap, session after session—all the way to the cords. Sizing and availability are somewhat limited, but it’s still a favorite among many track rats.

Toyo Proxes RA-1

The same parent company owns both Nitto and Toyo, with the Toyo RA-1 essentially a Nitto NT-01 with a different tread design—and a very clever one at that. When run at full-tread depth of 8/32 inch, it cuts through water with ease. Shaving to 6/32 improves dry traction and consistency. At 4/32, the lateral grooves disappear, while optimal dry performance comes at 3/32 where only two circumferential grooves remain.

Toyo Proxes R888R

Another popular tire for lapping, this one comes in a huge variety of sizes. Like the NT-01, pace is on par with the Super 200s, but consistency is the real game here. Just don’t get caught out in a storm, as the tread pattern is optimized for dry use only.

Toyo Proxes RR

This is Toyo’s ultimate expression of a DOT-legal tire optimized for competition use only. With a lightweight casing, 4/32-inch tread depth and a slick tread pattern, it wears its “Not for Highway Use” markings proudly. Even though it’s rated at only 40tw, it performs on par with the others in our Endurance 100 grouping. NASA even allows it to compete as a 100tw in their Super Touring and Time Trials classes.

Maxxis Victra RC-1 (Updated August 2022)

Maxxis has updated the compound for its Victra RC-1, with this new R2 rubber promising improved grip and longevity. Our latest testing found this new, softer compound to delay response just enough to provide a more normal and natural feel. Compared to the original version, grip is up while times are down.

Street-legal Track

This category consists of DOT-approved track and autocross tires not saddled with a 200tw rating. Tired of pointing folks by? Looking to embarrass better machinery? Bolt on a set of these and win that next track day.

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R

This one is magic, simply magic. All the great traits of its 220tw cousin, plus a compound that hooks like a major league curve baller. Braking, forward bite, lateral grip—it does it all at the highest level and continues to deliver for entire sessions, though the first lap or two are typically the quickest. As with a racing slick, you’ll need to put some significant energy into the tire before full commitment, though. But it’s a small price to pay for such a big payoff.

Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R

This one is a little fuzzy, since so many of the size offerings are OE fitments with very specific characteristics that vary from standard. We tested the generic version and found it to be on pace with the Goodyear SC3R for a single magic lap, but then a bit of a fall-off ensued. The Pirelli was also less forgiving.

R-Comps

When it comes to the modern R-comp race tire market, Hoosier currently owns it with very fast lap times and minimal con- cessions to street use—just enough to earn that DOT approval—although Goodyear recently rejoined the segment.

Hoosier R7

No buyer’s guide to motorsports tires would be complete without Hoosier. Availability in every size imaginable and a long record of success make it hard to bet against the crew from Indiana—should your rules and wallet permit. This tire is expensive and does heat-cycle out fairly quickly, but the lightning-quick response is without peer, as are the level and consistency of grip.

Hoosier A7

Want to go even faster? Here’s the top tire of all the DOT-approved R-comps. Stamped “Not for Highway Use” right there on the sidewall, this tire is optimized for one purpose only: going fast around cones or a road course. It doesn’t last long, sizing is more limited than the R7, and it will put a solid dent in your budget—but if you have the means, and your rules allow, it’s hard to bet against the A7.

Yokohama Advan A055

Yokohama has rejoined the R-comp fray with its new Advan A055. We found the tire to be very responsive with full grip right away–could be great for autocross. Recovery was a bit lazy when overdriven mid-corner, and it was a little less adept at combined loading than the Hoosier, but still quite good. Our 205/50R15 test tire seemed a bit on the narrow side, though.

Goodyear Eagle RS

We’ve had great time-trial success with the Goodyear Eagle RS on our Corvette project, and SCCA GT2 racers have been knocking down lap records as well. We find the Goodyear Eagle RS to be fastest in the first one or two sessions after an initial heat cycle. There’s a slight drop-off after that, yet performance remains stable through at least the next six to 10 heat cycles. The Eagle RS is predictable and communicative, but needs a bit of heat to work on track. They aren’t a first-lap wonder like the Hoosier A7, but once you get some temperature in them, they’re the equal of anything out there. They’re also very communicative once you exceed the desired temp range, allowing you to get the tires “back under you” and doing a good job of letting you know when it’s time to attack again. Overall, the Goodyear Eagle RS is an R-compound that can hold its own with anything on a road course, but the need for some temperature makes it suboptimal for autocross.

Let Your Usage Be Your Guide

We’ve assembled this chart to be a quick reference to choose the proper tire for the proper venue.

  • Autocross: Choose A or AA for Warm-up and B or better for Pace.
  • Time trials: Choose by Pace and Wear.
  • Lapping days: Choose by Heat Tolerance and Wear.
  • Street and Track: Choose by Heat Tolerance, Wear and Wet.

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Comments
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spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/9/21 9:36 a.m.

Lots of interesting info here, and some stuff that I wasn't aware of, like the return of the BFG Rival.

Thank you GRM for putting this together!

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/9/21 9:38 a.m.

Minor correction -- the picture for the Nitto is of an NT-05, not an NT-01. 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/21 9:56 a.m.

I'm really excited to see what the new Continental/Hoosier collab tire does.

Thanks for this big test GRM! Now to go buy some more tires...

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/9/21 10:29 a.m.

What is tread depth sensitivity? Tire performance in relation to wear?

 

These are tires that benefit significantly from shaving.  Wear to a lower depth will also help, but may put detrimental heat cycles on the tire at the same time.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/9/21 3:57 p.m.

Anybody know where to get the coopers beside extreme?  They don't have any in the 245 15 size in stock for the dry tire.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/9/21 5:39 p.m.
thashane said:

What is tread depth sensitivity? Tire performance in relation to wear?

Tread block squirm... taller tread blocks are susecptible to moving or squirming and not having the responsiveness or wear that is most desirable.

SirCharlesC7
SirCharlesC7 GRM+ Member
6/10/21 8:07 a.m.

I am running CR1 in 245/40/15 in autocross and so far I really like them!

Very fast and consistent!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/11/21 11:29 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Anybody know where to get the coopers beside extreme?  They don't have any in the 245 15 size in stock for the dry tire.

Checking on that now for you.  

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/12/21 8:40 a.m.

Can we get a definitive answer to this question (if one exists)? Triangles on the sidewall. Wut?

Thanks!

dps214
dps214 Dork
6/12/21 9:22 a.m.

Not officially a rollover indicator, though they do often tend to end up very close to the rubber seam (what you're actually aiming for most of the time, using all of the tread rubber without getting into the sidewall rubber) and are a decent reference point as a result.

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/12/21 10:03 a.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

Got it thanks. Makes me think of LT tires, muds especially 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/12/21 12:57 p.m.

I'd like to see how the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 compares to the Continental ECS and other tires in the non-200 TW summer performance class. I have a set on my street car and have been quite surprised at how well they grip, in both wet and dry conditions. 
 

If they were available in a 15 inch size, I would try them for an autocross rain tire on my Miata. 

malibuguy
malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/12/21 6:33 p.m.

Nothing about the Federal Pros eh?

I think they are just fantastic budget 200tw tire.  I am really happy with them

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
7/6/21 9:48 a.m.
adam525i said:

Can we get a definitive answer to this question (if one exists)? Triangles on the sidewall. Wut?

Thanks!

They are there to indicate where to find the wear bars.  Triangles are most prevalent, but some manufacturers use other symbols.  There are articles on the web from various manufacturers stating such.  It has nothing to do with rollover.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
7/6/21 10:08 a.m.
SirCharlesC7 said:

I am running CR1 in 245/40/15 in autocross and so far I really like them!

Very fast and consistent!

Similar experience. Also a very fun tire to drive on. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/6/21 10:27 a.m.

I want to see the RS3-RS tested against rally tires and snow tires in rallycross. I have a theory. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/6/21 11:30 a.m.

The ultimate guide...until next year :)

Maybe I should revisit my choice of RR, this guide does not make them look like a good choice.  They do seem grippier under the V8 Miata than the NT01 and far better than the VR-1. That car is all about heat tolerance. 

Snrub
Snrub Dork
7/6/21 1:11 p.m.

Wonderful article!

goingnowherefast
goingnowherefast GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/6/21 1:34 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The ultimate guide...until next year :)

Maybe I should revisit my choice of RR, this guide does not make them look like a good choice.  They do seem grippier under the V8 Miata than the NT01 and far better than the VR-1. That car is all about heat tolerance. 

The Toyo RR's were a good option a half decade ago, but seem to have fallen way behind. Although they don't include data in this review (or maybe I can't see it because I'm not currently subscribed) I'd bet that the RT660 are onpar or quicker than the RR's while being WAY cheaper, and much more streetable. You're right though, they are much better than the also super outdated NT01's or VR-1's (granted they sell 2 compounds, S1 &S2). I'd definitely try a modern tire next, as the 200 TW's have caught up and exceeded many of the 100TW options. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/6/21 2:05 p.m.

This is for a pure track tire on a high hp/wt car. Streetability isn't important, "less fusssy and expensive than a Hoosier" is. Basically, I want RA1 ease of use with better grip :) Last time I bought a set was a few years back.

I was pretty happy with the RE71R on a similar, more streetable application. I guess I should what's available in my sizes. 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
7/7/21 8:02 a.m.

I'm not sure why the rt-660 is labeled a great lapping tire? It's a great TT or autoX tire, but it doesn't hold up in the heat or repeated laps, maybe in really cold weather or fall? That's not just my experience either, no one I talked to at TTNats had anything different to say about it. 

 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/7/21 10:05 a.m.

Everyone can blast the "super outdated" NT01 but after all of these tests it just reaffirms my belief there isnt a better grip per dollar and least amount of fuss HPDE tire to slide around on to this day. Just set pressures and drive them for a long time while they stick better and better.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/7/21 10:15 a.m.

The NT01's ancestor the RA1 is a total sweetheart of a tire and the NT01 shares many of its attributes. I am not blasting them, I have happily worn out many sets. My particular car (500 hp, 2400 lbs, Miata tire sizes) is awfully demanding on tires, though, and does respond to something with more grip.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/7/21 10:17 a.m.

I would love to see a tarmac rally tire in this comparison, but I understand that there isn't a huge market for them.  Still I wonder if the rally specific tarmac tires are worth it over a fast 200tw or a well grooved 100tw.

Vintage79
Vintage79 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/14/21 1:16 p.m.

Looking for possible longer-wearing race tire alternative, but don't want to crash finding it.

1 979 Fox Mustang with good suspension, benign behavior: Maximum Motorsports torque arm, Panhard bar, MM trailing arms, Penske shocks.  Now run Hoosier R7's in 275-45-ZR16, which are excellent but limited for heat cycles and somewhat by wear rate.  If I'm willing to sacrifice some ultimate grip, is there a tire with similarly forgiving characteristics that are stable as it wears and heat cycles like the Hoosiers are, that might give more than 8-10 (12 on a good day now) good heat cycles and retain the benign handling characteristics of the Hoosiers at slightly lower limits?  Avoiding tires that break away abruptly at any point in their life is an important goal.

Thanks

rsotak
rsotak GRM+ Member
8/10/21 8:21 a.m.

Any feedback on the Hankook Z214?  Looking to get heat cycle information and overall speed versus R7

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/10/21 8:42 a.m.
rsotak said:

Any feedback on the Hankook Z214?  Looking to get heat cycle information and overall speed versus R7

I've asked that question for several years, but apparently nobody runs them, because I never get an answer.  They seem like a decently-priced alternative and they come in several compounds.

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
8/10/21 10:02 a.m.
accordionfolder said:

I'm not sure why the rt-660 is labeled a great lapping tire? It's a great TT or autoX tire, but it doesn't hold up in the heat or repeated laps, maybe in really cold weather or fall? That's not just my experience either, no one I talked to at TTNats had anything different to say about it. 

 

Ran them again recently (Another PB! They are fast...)High 70's/low 80's they seem to be holding up a lot better. Still not as consistent as I'd like, but they don't have the same cliff as when it was high 80's/low 90's.

jbrauer11
jbrauer11 New Reader
8/31/21 5:01 p.m.

In reply to rsotak :

Interesting they didn't include them at all.  Poor Hankook, always the red headed step child of the R comp class.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/28/21 2:55 p.m.

Just bumping this since we updated the guide after testing the Kumho ECSTA V730 against the Yokohama Advan A052.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/21 4:04 p.m.
rsotak said:

Any feedback on the Hankook Z214?  Looking to get heat cycle information and overall speed versus R7

Priced well but, from what we have seen, not as fast as an R7 or BFG R1. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/28/21 4:07 p.m.

Also, coming soon: endurance test of the new Continental ExtremeContactForce--the "Hoosier" 200tw tire. 

TrentO
TrentO New Reader
10/20/21 11:23 a.m.

Would like to see a a comparison of the leading slicks on the market. Michelin vs Yokohama vs Pirelli vs Hoosier vs Avon vs Goodyear. Both radial and bias ply. Bias in the GT3 cantilevered and the radials in 18" sizes. (260-300 tread width)

 

Trent

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
10/20/21 5:06 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Hoping for a true endurance test not just 5 extra laps of a 30 second cone course :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/20/21 5:25 p.m.

In reply to kevlarcorolla :

How about 1 hour per tire? Coming up in the next issue. smiley

randyracer
randyracer New Reader
11/27/21 4:16 p.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis :

Fantastic work once again from Andy Hollis!  Thanks for this very helpful rundown of what's available, from someone with a lot of experience in careful comparison testing here, too.   And I agree with the comments on the tires that I have run, like the RS4's in Lucky Dog, and the Bridgestone RE-71's in ChampCar and WRL and AER

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/29/21 1:17 p.m.

In reply to randyracer :

Thank you for the kind words and, yeah, lots of info in there. 

David Elfering
David Elfering GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/29/21 6:05 p.m.

Outstanding and informative content! Please keep it coming.

MGS10
MGS10 New Reader
12/8/21 10:48 p.m.

I love that this is updated, but it might be nice to see a date for each revision so when a new tire is added we can skip to the newest information.  The comprehensive list is appreciated, this just might make the list more useful

kevinatfms
kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/9/21 7:05 a.m.

Sucks that the sizes we use on the Elantra are never in stock or they never make them....215/45R16 is such an oddball but works for both my cars.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/21 7:36 a.m.

In reply to kevinatfms :

Yeah 615s have been on backorder for a hot minute in that size. 

 

And there's really no good alternative size option to run from that size, if you go to a 225, you actually need to run more sidewall (a 50 series) before you get any options. 

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/23/21 12:24 p.m.

Looks like RS-4s are pretty much sold out, and Tire Rack isn't even listing 17" sizes.  It's unfortunate since I was looking for a tire for dual street and track use that would put up with a drive across the country to CA and back, and hopefully some track events.

Looks like the RT615K is the runner up and probably the cheapest option.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/23/21 12:44 p.m.

I've never run the same tire back-to-back before because I like to experiment, but I might just run the Nankang CR-1s again next year because they were gooood.

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
12/23/21 7:52 p.m.

In reply to jwagner (Forum Supporter) :

RS4s are always sold out this time of year.  We get resupply containers in the spring and then it dwindles during the year.   A trick is that you can call Hankook Motorsports directly and they usually have some extras around or know where you can get them.   They are our race team tire of choice for Lemons as they are almost as grippy as the best, but last 3x as long and are predictable and easy to drive.   We even have a race win on them.  

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/23/21 9:22 p.m.
Sonic said:

In reply to jwagner (Forum Supporter) :

RS4s are always sold out this time of year.  We get resupply containers in the spring and then it dwindles during the year.   A trick is that you can call Hankook Motorsports directly and they usually have some extras around or know where you can get them.   They are our race team tire of choice for Lemons as they are almost as grippy as the best, but last 3x as long and are predictable and easy to drive.   We even have a race win on them.  

There are multiple race wins in champcar this year as well with rs4 (us included at a handling track - barber)!

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/23/21 11:10 p.m.

In reply to Sonic :

Should have waited a bit for a reply on the post, but I pulled the trigger on a set of Falken 660s from my local tire guys this afternoon.  I need to have them on the car pretty quickly and with xmas, etc. they're scheduling out at least a week.   I'll put a couple thousand miles on them before abusing them, and that seems to help longevity.

The tire guide was a big help in figuring this out - thanks.

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
12/25/21 12:25 p.m.

I haven't seen the 1 hr endurance testing yet,did I miss it or is it pending still?

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/12/22 1:26 p.m.

Great article Andy. Can I make a couple suggestions? 

 

1. Please make the table downloadable. Text or CSV would be great. That way I can compare a little more easily and add notes like "Not available in size that fits my car".

2. Please add your grades on the Conti EC Force to the table. It isn't currently available in a size to fit my car but it sounds like a great HDPE tire.

ZZWK24
ZZWK24
1/26/22 8:48 p.m.

Sorry, but what do the letters mean exactly? If I'm selecting C grade tires, what am I getting?

DoctorSpeedfellow
DoctorSpeedfellow
2/2/22 3:48 p.m.

Wait, so according to your chart and criteria you would choose Mich PS4S over Mich Sport Cup 2 connect for lapping days?? Really?

slantsix
slantsix HalfDork
2/18/22 2:41 p.m.

In reply to ZZWK24 :

A is the best, D/E/F worst like Letter Grades in school.

AA is better than A, AAA, is better than AA, and AAAA is better than AAA.

I think that's it.

If you choose "C" it depends in what category you are looking at.

If your Tire is "C" and Everything else is B/B-/A then it's the slowest / least desirable in that category.  Remember there are trade offs.

The Best Tire on the chart for a short AutoX session or setting a qualifying lap might not last 8 hours on an endurance Race.

Study The chart carefully and see what TW rating can be used for your intended use / application, then buy the best your budget allows.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/13/22 10:52 p.m.

Just a bump because some big tire news is coming very soon. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/13/22 10:53 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Just a bump because some big tire news is coming very soon. 

That's exciting!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/13/22 11:17 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Très. 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/14/22 10:02 a.m.

That news absolutely delivered. I definitely look forward to the next round of testing. 71RS versus the A052 should be quite intriguing. 

Scott Skillman
Scott Skillman GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/15/22 1:28 a.m.

In reply to Andy Hollis :

Can you add cold and hot tire pressures to the spreadsheet for each tire? Or if you have the data available in another format that is fine too. 

Scott Skillman
Scott Skillman GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/15/22 1:32 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

They do not have as much grip, hold up to heat, or wear as well the Ventus RS4's as driven on my 2008 Miata 225/45 17 on 8" Enkei rims. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/22 12:20 p.m.

Nankang lists a couple of different tires on their website that I'd like to buy. But I can't seem to find them on sites like tirerack or discounttire. 

Any idea who is a dealer for these tires?

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/22 12:35 p.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Phil's 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/22 12:53 p.m.
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Phil's 

thank you. They also don't list the ones I want on their website but I can give them a call. 

Dale_Gribble
Dale_Gribble
4/21/22 10:23 a.m.

Wow. This is the quintessential type of article that has made Grassroots Motorsports what it has become today. And good to their word, this article was just updated on April-19-2022. Kudos to them for their dedication and attention to detail. The embedded links in this article are a testament to the many hours and hours it takes to generate tire testing data. Well done to Grassroots Motorsports and please keep up the good work. Reliable resources for track tire testing have become almost non-existent. Very few magazines take up the gauntlet nowadays due to the expense and difficulty. Well done indeed.  I once subscribed to this magazine back when it first began, and that was over two decades ago if I recall correctly. Guess it's time to resub.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/21/22 10:07 p.m.

In reply to Dale_Gribble :

Thank you. We have a terrific crew. 

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
4/22/22 2:24 p.m.
rsotak said:

Any feedback on the Hankook Z214?  Looking to get heat cycle information and overall speed versus R7

I've run them for a while. Compared to the R7, they're down in grip (maybe 1 lap per second around NJMP) but MUCH easier to live with. Less sensitive to camber and last for more heat cycles. Cheaper, too. I'm a fan.

Dale_Gribble
Dale_Gribble New Reader
5/31/22 10:12 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :
Can you tell us what information was updated - or added - to the May 29, 2022 edition of this article? I can't seem to find what's changed... Thanks in advance.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/22 10:18 a.m.

In reply to Dale_Gribble :

Are you looking at the date at the top of the page? If so, that's our web admin thinking that the article was changed even though it was just repositioned on the site. TL;DR: Nothing new at this point but more to come very, very soon. 

DaleCarter
DaleCarter GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/20/22 5:04 p.m.

I have driven the Toyo RR and R888R, the RS4, the BFG Rival 1.5 and the Azeenis. Your observations are spot on.

mherbert4701
mherbert4701 New Reader
8/15/22 12:48 p.m.

What do you recommend for everyday tires for 2018 F80 M3  - if I wanted to drive it into the cold and wet weather  - Michelin PS A/S 4? or stick to MS Pilot Super Sports and drive my old e39 in the winter? I don't like to let a car like the F80 M3 sit from Thanksgiving to Easter.


I'm thinking of Nitto NT01 tires  275 35 18 front and 305 35 18 rear with  Apex 18 inch wheels for the same F80 M3 for track day use of about 6-8 times a year . Challenge is do the Nittos work okay on a damp track ( after the rain) ?

Thanks for a great article and one of the reasons I'm a subscriber.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
8/15/22 3:38 p.m.

I have driven the NT01's in a slightly damp environment and it was fine but standing water is basically an immediate NO from me. 

Just use the backup PS A/S4's for damp/wet sessions when the weather dictates. NT01's are fantastic for dry day HPDE use. Best there is bar none.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/15/22 4:06 p.m.

Any love for the GT Radial Champiro SX2? It's the 86 cup spec tire. Interested in trying it out but reviews are limited.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/15/22 4:50 p.m.

In reply to hunter47 :

Maybe? Lemme poke around. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/16/22 12:39 p.m.

And we're discussing a few other future tire tests, too. 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
8/16/22 1:08 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Many thanks. 

I'm deciding between the SX2, RT615K+, or RS4. 

The SX2 has my heart in price and asymmetrical pattern (good for AWD rotations). The RT615K+ seem to slot right behind the RT660 in terms of performance but have the added benefit of being asymmetrical, worried that these will soon be discontinued though. The RS4 is tried and true but the most expensive of the bunch AND directional tread. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/17/22 11:27 a.m.

In reply to hunter47 :

Yeah, RT615K+ and RS4 are known, trusted quantities. We haven't tried that GT yet. Interesting that it comes in 195/50R15 vs. the more common 205/50R15. (It's like 2001 all over again.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/26/22 12:06 p.m.

Just a bump since the chart has been updated. 

Enjoy and discuss. 

jkinton
jkinton
10/10/22 5:24 p.m.

At the end of the blurb on the Bridgestone RE-71RS, it says, "That first test compared the Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS against the Falken Azenis RT660 on track and against the Yokohama Advan A052 around the cones."  The linked article only discusses the RT660 track test.  Is there another article that has the results of the RE-71RS vs. the A052 "around the cones"?

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/11/22 9:10 a.m.

In reply to jkinton :

Here's a more direct comparison of the RT660 and the A052 (as well as the CR-1):

200-treadwear tire test | Falken RT660 vs. Yokohama A052 vs. Nankang CR-1

I hope this helps!

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