Track tire hot pressures.

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Dave B

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I have lots of experience with RS4s and NT01s. Both are never going to win you a competition event (other than the RS4 which works great as an endurance race tire). For lapping I would give the nod to the Nitto. They wear well, are very consistent and easy to drive. If overheated they come back quickly. Biggest issue is that you likely don't want to drive them to the track and no they are not fast despite their 100 UTQG rating. Something like the Goodyear Supercar3R is going to be really fast but certainly not long lasting.

 
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whats the wear rate like on those 100aa tires? Is the consistency in laps worth the tradeoff for tire life and costs?

Would the RS4 suit you better? or is it not fast enough?

I was kicking around the idea of buying a set of Federal FZ201 just for shiggles to see how they are since theyre reasonably priced. Or even the Nankang AR1.

Tires are kind of like shoes for me, I like trying different ones and having multiple sets.
Most 100TW stuff FAR outlasts all the 200TW stuff. I ran the same set of RC1s on my Evo for 3 seasons (4-5 track days a year), and they never corded, just heat cycled out. I still have them for use as storage tires, though I might use them to shake down the car still haha.

Many of the popular 100TW stuff is priced pretty closely with a lot of the 200TW options (265/35/18 RC1 is $300, RS4 in same size is $292). Basically if you aren't competing in a class, and you don't have to drive to the track on the tires you're doing your track day on, there is pretty much no reason to choose a 200TW over a 100TW, except for rain (there are exceptions though).

The RS4 is a great option for track days and I'd argue that either the RS4 or VR1 are the best options for track day tires that have good life, can get you to and from the track, and still have acceptable wet performance (great all around tires). They are popular for endurance racing because they have great life but they can't be leaned on as hard for as long as the 100TW stuff can be, part of endurance racing is managing tire life so most of the race is not done at 10/10ths pace.

One reason that enduro teams choose a long life 200TW over a 100TW is because of rules, usually they're allowed more power if they're on a higher treadwear tire, or some racing bodies don't allow anything under 200TW. That later reason is often the case with many time attack classes. And even in a lot of the higher classes in time attack a lot of 200TW stuff is used because the "super" 200TW like A052/CRS/RT660 etc. have higher peak grip at the expense of vastly shorter life compared to all of the 100TW stuff. I remember back in 2018-2019 when the RE71R was the "have to have" tire and guys were bringing new sets basically every event and getting rid of them after 10-20 laps of use, talk about expensive haha.

There are a lot of good 100TW options. My go to is the RC1, they're very on par with an NT01 but I'd give an edge to the RC1 for better heat tolerance at the expense of being basically useless in the wet, although the NT01 isn't great in the wet either but otherwise they're very comparable. If wet track days are a concern then the RA1 is the best bet for a 100TW, it wears just as slow as an RC1 and has useable wet grip at the expense of lower dry grip. I don't have much experience with Federal stuff but I've heard a lot of okay and a lot of bad things about the FZ201, my business partner tried them and they started delaminating after just a couple track days, I don't see myself trying them. The AR1 seems to be the newest of the bunch (most of these have been out for at least 10 years) and seems to have a great combo of dry grip and "not going to kill you" wet grip, although last time I looked at them they were priced above the other stuff by a couple hundred bucks for a set, that may have since changed though.

My metric for "is it a good track day tire" is:
  • Does a set cost $1000 or less? (though this might need to go up to $1200 with all the price increases lately)
  • Will one set get me through at least one season?
  • Can it be driven 9-10/10ths for a full 20 minute session without any cool downs partway through?
  • Are they readily available?
If yes to all of those then it's very likely a great track day tire.

Oh and on one final note, when people talk about "super" 200s being faster than 100s, it's not like 5 seconds a lap faster, it's normally 1-2 seconds. Most drivers can't tell the difference of 1-2 seconds a lap without a lap timer. So if you're not competing in a class, the time thing isn't super important in my book.
 
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Agree completely about the total disconnect between how long a tire lasts, grip level and UTQG ratings. When the Hankook RS3 first came out it was rated at 140 UTQG, then all of a sudden was 200. The Yokohama AD08R used to be 180 but is now 200. I don't think anyone would suggest that today's fast 200 UTQG tires would previously have been rated at 200.

OTOH, you don't "win" an HPDE or lapping event and certainly consistency of the tire is much more important than overall pace. As mentioned in my first post, lowering tire pressure may increase outright speed but decrease longevity and consistency. You have to balance speed, cost and consistency to suit your individual needs.
 
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Agreed, tire wear rating doesn't mean much nowadays. And yes generally speaking, lower pressures provide higher grip but if the sidewall is rolling or tires are wearing very unevenly then pressure should be increased.
 


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whats the wear rate like on those 100aa tires? Is the consistency in laps worth the tradeoff for tire life and costs?

Would the RS4 suit you better? or is it not fast enough?

I was kicking around the idea of buying a set of Federal FZ201 just for shiggles to see how they are since theyre reasonably priced. Or even the Nankang AR1.

Tires are kind of like shoes for me, I like trying different ones and having multiple sets.
RS4s are considerably slower than a A052 maybe 2-4 seconds depending on the track.

AR1s are great tires FZ201s are decent but burn up really quickly and run small.
 

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RS4s are considerably slower than a A052 maybe 2-4 seconds depending on the track.

AR1s are great tires FZ201s are decent but burn up really quickly and run small.
Yeah I know the RS4s are considerably slower but the point I was trying to clarify was if you're looking to lap, what are the pros and cons of using a tire like the RS4 Vs. A 100aa tire in terms of costs, wear rate, and lap times.

You obviously pay a high price for the performance of the a052 and as many have said it's not a lapping tire.

I have no experience with R compounds or 100s so I was curious
 

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Yeah I know the RS4s are considerably slower but the point I was trying to clarify was if you're looking to lap, what are the pros and cons of using a tire like the RS4 Vs. A 100aa tire in terms of costs, wear rate, and lap times.

You obviously pay a high price for the performance of the a052 and as many have said it's not a lapping tire.

I have no experience with R compounds or 100s so I was curious
if you are just looking for long life lap performance rs4 or that new conti are good choices. even the AR1 was half decent up until the end.
 

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Ugh, I'm not good about tracking my hot temps. I'm running stock suspension with AD08Rs. Depending on how cold it is in the mornings I will start as low as 25psi with ambient temps of 40-60F. And starting temps of about 28psi on warmer mornings. Hot temps I don't record, but from memory are around 32-34psi.

I'm looking for consistency from my car at this point, because I need the experience before I can start making small tweaks and even knowing the differences.
 

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Adding my feedback as I track my CTR quite a bit and have tested a handful of different tires including Falken Azenis 615k+, Yokohama Advan A052, Bridgestone RE71R and of course the stock Conti's.

For me the "sweet spot" for basically all these tires has been 33-35 PSI hot. I typically drive 20-30 minute sessions and now, after many track weekends, start a track day with these cold pressures
  • Front - 25 PSI
  • Rear - 28 PSI
After each session I check the hot temps and bleed off pressure if necessary. With these starting cold pressures, not much is usually needed. However as the day goes on the ambient temperatures rise, and so does the the temp of the track surface. Check your pressures after every session in my opinion.

The track I frequent has counter-clockwise circuits, thus more left hand turns. This tends to make the passenger side tires get a bit warmer, so they typically get bled more than the driver side. Just another thing to keep in mind.

Finally, don't forget to check your pressures if you rotate tires mid-day. I rotate my tires every 2 track driving sessions so I have to adjust pressures accordingly.
 


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Ugh, I'm not good about tracking my hot temps. I'm running stock suspension with AD08Rs. Depending on how cold it is in the mornings I will start as low as 25psi with ambient temps of 40-60F. And starting temps of about 28psi on warmer mornings. Hot temps I don't record, but from memory are around 32-34psi.

I'm looking for consistency from my car at this point, because I need the experience before I can start making small tweaks and even knowing the differences.
I don't think it hurts to play with your tire pressures early on, especially since it can keep your tires in better shape longer in some cases
 

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I don't think it hurts to play with your tire pressures early on, especially since it can keep your tires in better shape longer in some cases
I really should. And I just got a cordless inflator for Father's DAy, so no excuse now!

So far wear seems really even. I rotate after every track day. When track season (around here) start back up in September I will be sure to try out some different pressures on the same day so I can get a better idea.

 

 
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