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Discussion Starter #1
So it looks like I will be acquiring some 987.2 Cayman S (II) wheels which are are 8x18 (57mm offset) and 9x18 (43mm) offset. It looks like the tire size for 987.2s was 235/40 and 265/40. Since I have a 981 Boxster S I plan to run 235/45 and 265/45 which were the factory 18" sizes on 981 wheels. I want to stay as close to the factory diameter as possible so everything runs as it should.

For reference I am an occasional DE driver in Blue, I think I'm reasonably quick but driver skill is I am working on, I'm not looking for a tire to make me faster - I just want one that will hold up and is durable and provides consistent performance.

Looking for feedback on that plan for rim/tire size and also on these tire options from TireRack.

My thought is the RE-71R which comes to $900 for the set.

Does anyone have an opinion on Potenza S-04 Pole Positions for track days?

Is there any other tire options, configurations or any other recommendations?
 

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The Bridgestone 71R were described to me as "street legal race tires." Sounds like you really don't need them, and I would imagine they would wear out quickly. Michelin Pilot Super Sport (now the Pilot 4S) is very common, but you will have wear problems: My set lasted from mid-March until mid-May. The Pirelli P Zero PZ 74 is an idea, though the regular P-Zero may give you better life. (I've run all these tires.)

My suggestion would be to try Kumho Ecsta or Hankook Ventas. They are cheap and give good grip, though they probably won't last much longer than the others. My logic is that you can get most of your season with them and then decide if you want something more track-oriented. THAT in turn will depend mostly on your skill level and driving goals.

I've seen both on 987s and 981s at HPDEs, BTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I have the PZeros now on my 20" stock wheels and after only 5 DE days, maybe 2 autox and 6k miles the front edges are toast. I haven't been especially happy with them.

Unfortunately I don't see an option in my size for these 18" rims for the Kumho PS91 and it's a stretch to find some PSS that will fit without too much variation from the stock diameter.

That's what has me considering these Bridgestone S-04s - not too pricey, hopefully decent wear and should allow me to still improve car control - was hoping someone had run them before.
 

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I am currently using the RE-71R, which is a great tire as others have noted. However, it does not last long. Around 6 - 7 days and the tread is gone.

On a 2.3 mile fairly technical track I am about 3 seconds a lap faster with the RE-71Rs.

Prior to the RE-71R I used RE-11s. Don't know about sizes for your 981 but they are available in the standard 987 sizes for 18" wheels. They felt very predictable and were consistent throughout a session. I used that tire thru Yellow, Blue, and into White. Lasts about 3x longer than the RE-71R for me, but I wasn't driving as fast in the lower run groups.

Still use them when I drive on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea I wish the RE-11s came in a fitment for the 981, I'm not going for laptimes so I'm happy to sacrifice a few seconds for tread life as long as its still consistent.

On Bridgestone's website I see a front tire that works on the 18's but not a rear - closest would be -2.2% off
 

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i dont understand the negative comments re the re 71's lasting. i have done 3 de's ie 8 track days and they are in great condition. i will flip left to right to get more but i suspect I will get atleast 15 to 20 track days out of them which is more than i used to get with NT 01's or Toyoo A1;S

I love the Bridgestone Re 71's and will replace this set with another
 

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i dont understand the negative comments re the re 71's lasting. i have done 3 de's ie 8 track days and they are in great condition. i will flip left to right to get more but i suspect I will get atleast 15 to 20 track days out of them which is more than i used to get with NT 01's or Toyoo A1;S

I love the Bridgestone Re 71's and will replace this set with another
I think we have different driving styles.
 

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I ran the S-04s on an autocross track (it was road coarse with added cones to be an autocross) this last weekend. I struggled to get traction on most of the course. I will take these tires off and replace with the RE71Rs. I ran theRE71Rs on a Subaru BRZ for the past 15 local SCCA events. That car was glued to the track with those tires.

The RE71Rs I ran on the Subaru lasted the 15 events, and probably ~1500-2000 miles of street driving. They really did not last long for total mileage. I was getting ready to buy a new set, but decided to buy sell the Subaru and buy the Cayman.
 

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Track tire longevity is dependent on track surface, driving style, and suspension alignment. OEM alignment will kill the outside edge of any tire on a Cayman. Maximize front negative camber. I ran 245 F and 275 R on my 987 for years with no diameter related issues. I ran a set of RE71 on my GT4 and thought they were a very good compromise that gave decent wear. Went to Hoosiers because lap times do matter to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The inability to do proper camber is one reason I like the idea of a non-directional tire so I can at least even out the wear across 2 days or 2 events on the same track. The Pole Positions don't appear to be directional so that could work. But it could help even more with the RE71 to dismount and swap the tires to have "fresher" outside rubber
 

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I went through your dilemma over the past year. First, avoid Pirelli PZ4 on track, particularly with stock alignment. I chunked the outside edge of those tires in 2 days on track; and that was with -1.5 degrees of camber in front and -1.75 in the rear (about as much as possible with stock suspension and PASM). Michelin PSS are great but will also wear heavily on the shoulder, but the grip is great for a street tire.


I'm currently running NT01s 245/40-18 and 275/40-18 with modified suspension at -2.5 front and rear (requires GT3 LCAs to get to that point). My wear is pretty good across the tire. I have 3 tracks days on the (1 being at COTA including a 500 mile roundtrip). I think I'll only get about 2 more days on this set. So maybe I'll get 5 track days on a set, which is disappointing for $1000 worth of Nitto's.
For reference, I have been driving in white for 2 years and do not take it easy. I push pretty much to the limit of the tires grip, which probably explains why I wear tires out quickly... driving style plays a factor as does tracks and temperatures. In Texas its get fairly warm/hot and some tracks are more abrasive.


A DE instructor here (red group) has been running the new Toyo R888R on his Boxster GTS - he is running 255/35-18 and 275/35-18. He says no problems with PSM. Diameters are smaller which increases effective torque out of corners a bit. it also lowers the car by an inch (!!!). I'd be careful myself on the street going down an inch, but would be beneficial on track.

The previous generation of Toy R888 ar offered in 245/40-18 and 275/40-18, but they are directional. A racer buddy says they flip them side to side (running them backwards) without problem IN THE DRY. For me, I need to drive to/from track, and in the wet it would be irresponsible driving on street with a tire that is pumping water under itself, instead of away. But you do a L/R swap at the track I suppose.
 

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Tire selection depends a lot on driving style and how hard you're pushing. If you're looking for a road-legal tire for maximum attack but that also wears well, then your best bet is the RE71R. Lots of endurance racers use this tire and they get a full day or more of flat-out racing. It's also relatively inexpensive.

If you're looking for something grippy but durability is more of a priority, then look at the ZII (upgraded ZIII is coming soon) or RS4. They are a little down on grip compared to the RE71s, but they last up to twice as long. They are also relatively inexpensive. I have a lot of experience in endurance races with the ZII. You can't go wrong with this tire, although as mentioned above it's not the grippiest.

Cup 2 and Trofeo R are very grippy but expensive and they don't last for sh1t.
 

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I've got about 4 track days and 1,000 miles on my RE71Rs, and they still look pretty good - definitely still some outer wear (-2.6/-2.3 camber), but they're good for another few days, and I plan to swap them on the rims as well...

245/40 front and 275/35 rear on 18" wheels
 

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A few of my personal data points on DE tires from SoCal. Red instructor group, 2.6F, 2.2R negative camber. Otherwise mostly stock Cayman.

Bridgestone S-04- A nice comfy street tire with decent grip but they overheat easily on the track if you use all of your tires. Not my favorite.

RE-71- Love the grip especially the 1st three laps. I only get 5-6 days on them and if track temps are high they look like they were attacked by a cheese grater and lose rubber fast.

RE-11- My goto tire when lap times are secondary. They feel good and take the heat. Good for about 15-20 track days.

Hankook RS-3/RS-4- Very similar to RE-11s. They take the heat of continuous lapping, feel great and hold up well. 15-20 track days.

Nitto NT-01- A long time favorite. Good grip, good heat management, as fast as RE-71 on most tracks but last longer. 8-10 track days.

Rival- Very good grip when fresh and new but heat cycle out quickly. After 4-5 track days grip falls way off even with plenty of tread left. Not my favorite.

Z214- Monstrous grip running close to R7s. 3-4 sec faster than RE-71 on most tracks. Gone in 15 HC or 3 full track days. My favorite tire when lap times matter and tire expense doesn't.

YMMV
 

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Lots of good information in this thread. Thanks to all, but particularly to Cajun. A single driver in one car setup with this many different tires is really helpful information. Thanks and hope to meet you at a SoCal event.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I've got about 4 track days and 1,000 miles on my RE71Rs, and they still look pretty good - definitely still some outer wear (-2.6/-2.3 camber), but they're good for another few days, and I plan to swap them on the rims as well...

245/40 front and 275/35 rear on 18" wheels
mgent,
Do you not have issues running a larger diameter tire in the front (25.7") vs the rear (25.6")? I thought I read somewhere that the 981 likes the rear:front ratio to be between 1-5%, with the rear having the larger diameter.

Also, I'm curious as to how you settled on these tire sizes in the RE71R. It seems that most go with 255/35-18 (25") and 275/35-18(25.6") which has a ratio of 2.4%.

Thanks.
 

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A few of my personal data points on DE tires from SoCal. Red instructor group, 2.6F, 2.2R negative camber. Otherwise mostly stock Cayman.

Bridgestone S-04- A nice comfy street tire with decent grip but they overheat easily on the track if you use all of your tires. Not my favorite.

RE-71- Love the grip especially the 1st three laps. I only get 5-6 days on them and if track temps are high they look like they were attacked by a cheese grater and lose rubber fast.

RE-11- My goto tire when lap times are secondary. They feel good and take the heat. Good for about 15-20 track days.

Hankook RS-3/RS-4- Very similar to RE-11s. They take the heat of continuous lapping, feel great and hold up well. 15-20 track days.

Nitto NT-01- A long time favorite. Good grip, good heat management, as fast as RE-71 on most tracks but last longer. 8-10 track days.

Rival- Very good grip when fresh and new but heat cycle out quickly. After 4-5 track days grip falls way off even with plenty of tread left. Not my favorite.

Z214- Monstrous grip running close to R7s. 3-4 sec faster than RE-71 on most tracks. Gone in 15 HC or 3 full track days. My favorite tire when lap times matter and tire expense doesn't.

YMMV
+1 on the Nitto NT-01. Best bang for the buck for track use. Awesome track tire. Not as grippy for AX as others since they don't heat in 50 seconds but very competitive still.
 

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JonL - sizes were used by a number of people on these forums... No reason other than that. I haven't had any issues with the different front/rear profile... When you say issues, I assume you mean PSM/etc freaking out, but never had a single issue in ~6 track days...

I'm about to order a new set of tires, and may try the 255/35/18 front, or may try Nittos - hesitant to change the tire as I've had great experience with the RE71r this season... They've been consistent throughout a 30min session, and pretty consistent from day 1 to day 6...
 

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Interesting thread, related to a conundrum I seem to be be in now.

I've been doing HPDE events for the past for the past 5 summers in our 981S equipped with the X73 suspension, riding currently on NT01 tires in the 245-275/40-18 setup.

The tires definitely hook up with excellent traction in cornering and braking on the track and wear well.

The downside to the setup--that I've discovered over the years--is that the smaller OD of this tire makes a low riding car (X73) even lower, to the point that if the car is loaded with gear driving to a DE I have to be very conscious of ground clearance issues going to and from the track on the street. This is getting to be a PITA. Add to that, driving home in the rain 40-100 miles to and from the track has added more drama than I'd like to the point that I'd be willing to give up a bit of dry traction for some piece of mind.

So, I'd like to go with a taller tire that as excellent dry--and decent wet--traction, which will fit on my 987 18" track rims.

The choices from TR are minimal--RE-71 in 235/265-45-18 sizes (stock 981 OD) or possibly a FS Indy 500 in some sort of compromise size arrangement. The RS4 sounded interesting but they don't have a tire size that would work with my parameters.

The RE71 would seem to be the solution, except the tread widths on these tires are significantly narrower than the NT01--probably 1" narrower on each rim. My question would be how much traction goes away with this narrower tire, even though the RE71 would seem to be the equal of the NT01, all things equal.

Last, I run in the advanced group, FWIW, and have been using RS29 pagid pads.

Would appreciate any suggestions on alternatives to the RE71--if they exist. Thanks for any help in advance.
 
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