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Would the quicker acceleration of the smaller 18" wheels make up for (or maybe "offset" is a better word) the better handling characteristics of the 19" wheels?
My opinion would be this depends on both the track and the driver.

Some tracks have a lot of straights, the lighter 18's should result in a quicker lap than the heavier 19's. The reverse is true for a track with a lot of twisty sections.

The driver is also a factor. Say the narrower 18's max out at .8 G, and the 19's max out at .9 G. Can you, as a driver, consistently take the twisty bits on your track greater than .8 G but also less than .9G? If a good driver can get his 18's to .8 G but you can only get your 19's to .81 G, then the lighter tire will win. On the other hand, if you can consistently get your 19's to .89 G, then you will win.

Walter Rohl is one of those guys who can consistently get the most out a a tire. I am not Walter Rohl.
 
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