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  1. #1
    rob76turbo's Avatar
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    Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    I am trying to use up the OEM Bridgestone RE050A's and I gotta admit, they seem to wear pretty good. I have done 3 single day track events and by the looks of them I have a whole lot more to run. They seem to take about 2 laps to come up to temp, but once they do, are fairly consistent. Now keep in mind the track temps have been pretty cool, so more ambient heat could see something else entirely different...

    But I need to start thinking about what I should replace them with and there are a lot of choices. Right now is a great time to be in the market for a street / track tire. All the manufactures have released some pretty sticky rubber. So listed below are the candidates with a couple of notes. If you feel like it please weigh in, especially if you have on track experience with them.

    1. Bridgestone RE11 - seems a pretty popular choice for the CS crowd.

    2. Kuhmo Escta XS - wins all the tire shootouts, but another instructor pointed out that the cars were all small / light: Miata, Civic, ETC

    3. Dunlop Direzza - I have heard good things, especially for cars that weigh a bit more than a rice rocket.

    4. Falken Azenis RT615K - I loved these on my old track Miata, but they have a tread wear rating of 200.

    5. Yokohama Advan AD08 - I know the Lotus crowd likes these

    6. Nitto NT01

    7. Anything else I should mention?

    Don't mean (or hope) to spark the great tire debate, but I have got to get something more sticky than the RE050's. And based on what I have heard regarding oil starvation issues with R compounds, I think an aggressive street / track tire is the best option (compromise...).
    rob76turbo
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  2. #2
    KS-CS's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Nitto NT05s, Hankook R-S3s (both very good hybrid track/street tires, but not available in OEM sizes).

  3. #3
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    I can't speak to the other choices, but I got a set of RE-11's prior to the beginning of the 2010 track season. I drove 6 events (1 day each), and did 3 sessions for 3 events and 4 sessions for the other 3 events. I drove them hard, but really paid attention to the air pressure between sessions. Going into the second season, I still haven't hit the wear bars and the outside shoulders look okay. I would think that I could get another 2 - 3 events before replacing them. As for performance, awesome! I had PS2icon's before this and there was no comparison on the track. Sticky, consistent and predictable. Love them.
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  4. #4
    rob76turbo's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Everything I have heard about the RE11's is great. But...they are $1100+ per set. If they are the best choice, so be it. But if I could pick up a set for $900, that means I can spend the extra dollars on other goodies.
    rob76turbo
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  5. #5
    PistolPete's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Don't forget the new Michelin Pilot Super Sports. Great reviews from the automotive press, I'll be one of the first on line.
    Pete
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  6. #6
    amdeutsch's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Actually the tirerack recommends the RE-11s over the Super Sports. At least the guy I talked with. RE-11s are extreme performance and the Super Sports max performance.

    @rod76turbo

    I'm surprised your RE-050As lasted this good. I had those for 4 AXs, a 2 day DE (5 sessions/day), ~2000 miles DD driving and my outside shoulders were toast. That is with an OEM alignment. And yes, I did watch my pressure. Never got onto those little arrows on the sidewall.

  7. #7
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    A bit of a contrarian opinion here on the RE-11icon's.

    After going through 2 sets of MPS Cups (usually at VIR) plus driving 2 hours to and from the track on them while living in VA I thought I wanted/needed a better street tire to drive the 10+ hours to VIR from FL.

    I selected the RE-11's which to me were disappionting compared to the Cups in the fairly aggressive driving instructor run groups. As the OP is "moving up" in tire performance he will probably like them. However, for those accustomed to an R tire to "move back" to any street tire may not work so well. I may have expected too much from the RE-11?
    Formerly 914Geezer

  8. #8
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    RE11's are fantastic tyres. On the track with the right tempreture they are great and on the road the grip is unbeatable extremely sticky when hot .

    If you want an (on-off) tyre thats the one look no further

  9. #9
    Botulism's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by rob76turbo View Post

    1. Bridgestone RE11 - seems a pretty popular choice for the CS crowd.

    3. Dunlop Direzza - I have heard good things, especially for cars that weigh a bit more than a rice rocket.
    I've heard many good things about the RE11s; met a guy at Streets of Willow who was running those on his GT3 to great effect and they seem to be a logical progression from the RE050A.

    I've also read that the Direzzas heat up quickly, which makes them a great auto-x tire, but they may not be such a good choice for sustained lapping on a hot day.

  10. #10
    wwjd's Avatar
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    After gone through many sets of street track tires combo, heres my choice:
    If 18"s, R-s3
    If 19's, AD08
    08 CaymanS (FOR SALE!)
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by KS-CS View Post
    Nitto NT05s, Hankook R-S3s (both very good hybrid track/street tires, but not available in OEM sizes).
    I had the Nitto NT-05, they are about on the same level as the Dunlop Direzza Star Spec but they wear out about 2 or 3 times as fast as the Dunnies

  12. #12
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Between NT05s, PS2s, Kumho XS and AD08s... I prefer AD08s without a doubt. Best wear and grip. Just pricier.

    I'm really curious about the new PSS's... have heard great things. Let's hope they don't need the negative camber the PS2icon's needed.

  13. #13
    lbk8950 is offline Porsche Prophet
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Beware of the Kumhos - they are downright scary in the wet.

  14. #14
    91Eunos's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Huge Yokohama fan... All the way back to the old AVS Intermediates in the 1990s.

    Their typical tire construction (stiff sidewall) just works well with my driving style. I love the quick turn-in and transition response I get with their tires.

    Had AD-07s on my chick car (miata) as well as on my bud's S2000 that we both autocrossed and of course my other friend's Exige S (on the Nordschleife). The AD-07 was the best tire I'd ever been on until I had a chance to drive on the AD-08...I plan to put AD-08s on my Cayman R as soon as the stock tires wear out.

    Another one worth a look is the Dunlop Direzza StarSpec. Great experience with them on my Mini Cooper and another friend's Miata. Good performance for the $$...unsure if you can get them in Porsche-friendly sizes though.

    Edit: A lot of experience auto-xing on the Azenis too. Good tire, especially for the $$, but HEAVY as hell.
    Last edited by 91Eunos; 03-16-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  15. #15
    sixisenuff's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by 91Eunos View Post
    Huge Yokohama fan... All the way back to the old AVS Intermediates in the 1990s.

    Their typical tire construction (stiff sidewall) just works well with my driving style. I love the quick turn-in and transition response I get with their tires.

    Had AD-07s on my chick car (miata) as well as on my bud's S2000 that we both autocrossed and of course my other friend's Exige S (on the Nordschleife). The AD-07 was the best tire I'd ever been on until I had a chance to drive on the AD-08...I plan to put AD-08s on my Cayman R as soon as the stock tires wear out.

    Another one worth a look is the Dunlop Direzza StarSpec. Great experience with them on my Mini Cooper and another friend's Miata. Good performance for the $$...unsure if you can get them in Porsche-friendly sizes though.

    Edit: A lot of experience auto-xing on the Azenis too. Good tire, especially for the $$, but HEAVY as hell.
    I'm pretty sure AVS Intermediates are the worst tires I've ever owned. I put a set on my M3 to drive to/from the track when i was running BFG Comp T/A R1s. Stock tire for me was Michelin Pilot MXX3. The Intermediates rode much smoother...the only good thing about them. They were awful in the rain, awful in the cold, I ran two laps at Putnam Park in the rain a spun off the track at a ridiculously slow speed. When it dried out, I went back out for a couple laps and completely cooked the sidewalls on one. Looked like one of those shots in Car & Driver where they cook the tires off some exotic by going, I don't know, 400mph with them? sideways? I wasn't going near that fast!

    No experience with AD-07 or AD-08 but all the cars you're using them on are real little cars and you were autocrossing except for the Ring in the Lotus, which weighs near nothing. With track weekends, you really push the tires hard for half the day. You need big tread pattern and really stiff sidewall and outer bead. RE-11icon seems like the non R tire ticket for Caymans to my eyes. They're not cheap but they last longer than most of these choices.

    I use 245/275 18" NT-01s on 8.5" and 10" Forgestars. It's a fine tire if the track temp isn't too hot. You have to keep bleeding air to 38 psi hot or so and they work great. Over 40 psi and the grip goes away. They feel a little mushy on track but you get used to it and can make them really work for you. I drive 300 miles home on mine (the ride is actually pretty good!) then change them in the garage along with my brake pads.

    Not sure I'd want to drive 800 miles to a track event on R tires and then home again. But RE11's would be OK for that. If you do something like that and have increased negative camber, which you should, make sure you set front and rear at zero toe. Otherwise, you will grind the inside treads off the tires before you even get to the track!
    I've seen this done in as little as 300 miles of interstate driving with aggressive setups and R tires.

    I run about 2 degrees negative camber with zero toe all year. Tires are wearing very well.

    Spend the money and get that alignment before you go.
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  16. #16
    91Eunos's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by sixisenuff View Post
    ... Spend the money and get that alignment before you go.

    What he said.

  17. #17
    91Eunos's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by sixisenuff View Post
    ... when i was running BFG Comp T/A R1s...


    I ran those on my '91 300ZX track car back in the day as well (similar weight/hp as a Cayman) ... usually went through 2 sets per season. Good tire but then the Kumhos started to get a lot better and for the next few years I alternated between V700s/V710s and the Hoosier A or R6s. Whichever ones I could get a good deal on...

    I used Kumhos on my Mini whenever I would go to the Nordschleife here and they worked very well as long as I kept rotating them (fwd/front engine really wore out the fronts quickly)...but that's an apples to oranges comparison.

    Ironically my Cayman R will weigh less than my MCS! It'll be interesting to see what tire works best for the 8-9/10ths driving I usually do up there.

    I strongly believe in using the right tool for the job and always have a dedicated set of wheels/tires for track (and winter) use. Usually have another set for wet track use as well...though my summer tire setup usually suffices.

    I hear the new BFGs are competitive again but for the last few years haven't been on track other than lapping the Nordschleife in the Mini (~ 400 or so laps) and the occasional few laps in my friend's Lotus and another friend's GT-3 to make an informed decision right now. Did a few open track days at the Hockenheimring but my stock brakes were much more of a limiting factor than the tires in that environment... Hard to tell how well a different tire would have compared.

    I guess the bottom line is that for me the summer/track tire decision is largely moot... It's worth it to me personally to spend the extra $$ to just have a separate setup for track use.

    If that means installing a hitch and towing a small trailer, having a support car or even adopting some of the creative roof-mounted options to transport track wheels/tires I've seen here then so be it...

    YMMV!

  18. #18
    rob76turbo's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    I plan to do upgrades over a long period of time before I return to "R" rated tires. When I say upgrades, I am thinking of accusump / mantis deep sump oil pan / windage tray / PS cooler, Suspension upgrades, ETC.

    I really liked my old RA-1's better than the set of R888's I used on my 968 and Boxster S. So the next set has to do double duty, street and track. Keep in mind that I do not drive the Cayman much, maybe once / twice a week. I have a pretty heavy schedule of track events over the rest of the driving season. So most of the miles will come from getting the car to the track and the sessions themselves.
    rob76turbo
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  19. #19
    Augie's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by sixisenuff View Post
    I use 245/275 18" NT-01s on 8.5" and 10" Forgestars. It's a fine tire if the track temp isn't too hot. You have to keep bleeding air to 38 psi hot or so and they work great. Over 40 psi and the grip goes away. They feel a little mushy on track but you get used to it and can make them really work for you. I drive 300 miles home on mine (the ride is actually pretty good!) then change them in the garage along with my brake pads.

    Not sure I'd want to drive 800 miles to a track event on R tires and then home again. But RE11's would be OK for that. If you do something like that and have increased negative camber, which you should, make sure you set front and rear at zero toe. Otherwise, you will grind the inside treads off the tires before you even get to the track!
    .
    I would agree with the NT-01 evaluation. I used them for a few years. And have driven 125 miles to the track with them but wouldn't try 300 or 800 miles on any R compound tires.

    For a street tire I would go with Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and they do come in Porsche 18" sizes.
    Augie

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  20. #20
    amdeutsch's Avatar
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    Re: Street track tires - there are a lot of good choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Augie View Post
    For a street tire I would go with Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and they do come in Porsche 18" sizes.
    These don't come in 987 Gen II sizing; rears are not available.

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