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Tires

Discussion in 'Driving Schools' started by az3579, Aug 6, 2008.

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    az3579

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    *cough*WeNeedADriver'sSchoolSubForum*cough*


    Nearly at my 2nd Driver's School event and need to buy tires.
    I've got R-comp rubber but I don't know if I should use them just yet.

    If I buy tires, how many track days would regular Summer tires last? I want them to be good for at least a year's worth of events (usually 3-4). Would this be a realistic goal? I do drive hard and almost every turn produces wheel squealing. My current tires don't have much tread left and it probably won't meet the minimum tread limit my chapter sets, which is my justification for buying new tires. If I do buy tires, they will be for the track only.

    So is my goal realistic? Do any of you run regular summer tires as your track rubber?

    Arash2002tii guest

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    My uncle uses his summer tires for track events and for daily driving. So far they've lasted 3 track days and daily use (he drives like a maniac). The tires are Sumitomo HTR 200+ or some sort like that on his 1969 911e. So I guess you might be able to pull it off. Good luck!
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    az3579

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    I've got the Sumitomo HTR H4's and they barely lasted a year. I bought them in I think October in 2007 and only attended one track day with them. It's been almost a year and I'm approaching (or maybe past?) the 3/16" limit my chapter set forth for track days... :confused:
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    CRKrieger

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    The Sumitomos are a good tire for the price. That is, they are a fairly aggressive street compound for hardly any money. Do not expect to use them in winter and do not expect them to last long in any case.

    That said, a 'typical' street tire holds up very well to track driving because the compound is so hard. Many novices at driver schools find their tires barely worn afterward. Of course, that hard compound also means less traction. With an earlier car I had, there was a set of rock-hard Michelin-Sears that I desperately wanted to wear out, so I took them to a school (where I instructed) and tried to destroy them. Didn't work. I finally got frustrated and threw them away. OTOH, the 'gumball sticky' R compounds I dearly love to drive on last only 3-4 events. It's the tradeoff we all need to make. Longevity or traction? Pick one.
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    az3579

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    So the ~20,000 miles I've driven on them is actually a normal lifespan? It still has a bit of meat left...

    They weren't that bad in the snow. I got stuck once, but that was because the car was buried by over a foot of snow. AND, the parking spot was on a hill, facing upwards. :eek:
    Otherwise, it wasn't bad at driving me up the slight hill where I live to get to work. It was snow and some slush, and the LSD helped me get out of the snow and the tires helped me get my way up the hill.

    For a track tire, I'm not overly concerned. I figure a summer tire would be softer than the all-season I'm using now, correct? If it is and lasts me 3-5 events, I'll be happy; that's over a year-and-a-half's worth of driving events for me. ~$300 every one-to-two years ain't bad at all. Would I be correct in assuming the summer tires are softer than the all-seasons and would consequently have better handling on the track?
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    CRKrieger

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    You've done quite well.
    I consider that Sumitomo to be a summer tire. So no; not necessarily.
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    az3579

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    My Sumitomo is an all-season tire. It's the HTR-H4, the cheapest all-season tire I found on Tire Rack in my size. Isn't this supposed to be a harder tire than summer tires?



    So 20,000 is good? Then how are some people getting over 50,000 on tires???
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    CRKrieger

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    I don't recognize or acknowledge 'all season' tires. It is a misnomer because they are so compromised that they aren't really good at anything. The Sumitomos are a good 'summer' tire. You will not find a manufacturer calling anything a 'summer' tire, but I do.
    They're driving like your grandmother on crap tires.

    94is guest

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    I have always had the goal of making my track tires last a whole year. And surprisingly I've been able to do it the past 3 years with 3 sets of Toyo RA1's. This is my first year running Nitto NT01's and so far so good. I usually end up doing 3-4 track weekends a year, and 5-6 autoxes.

    Dark Helmet guest

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    I just wore-out a set of NT-01s... I'd rate your chances of them surviving 6 AXs and 8 track days as fairly slim...

    that said, I've never done anything to manage their wear, I just drove them until they died, and I relied on thier grip to compensate for my lack on finesse in some places.

    YMMV (as always).

    94is guest

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    I've so far put 5 track days and 4 autoxes on them and they're still very grippy. If they can last until May, I'll be a happy camper.

    Dark Helmet guest

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    wow... 'course, your rear camber is likely "sane" unlike mine...

    94is guest

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    Yeah, not a ton. I'm running -2.25 out back and -3.25 up front.

    Dark Helmet guest

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    my E30 is all-stock geometry and -3" or ride height... its fairly severe.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Cool. I feel a lot more confident now of buying a set of good high performance summer tires and using those until I get good enough for the R-comps I've got on my track wheels at the moment.

    I'm guessing the summer tires will last longer than R's, right?
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    Bimmerdan

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    Some of the new max-performance "street" tires make better track tires than some of the R-compounds from just a few years ago. I've run the new Dunlop Direzza's at the last two schools (and the last 4 or 5 autocrosses) and they performed incredibly well. They never over-heated on me (even my Hoosiers would get greasy if they got too hot), in fact the hotter they got, the better they stuck. On top of that, they are also my daily driver tire and perform great on the street, even in the rain. As a benefit, I don't have to swap tires before and after the event. I've got over 15K miles on them, two schools and a handful of autocrosses and they are nowhere near the wear bars so they have a lot of life left in them. Because of the heat-cycling, they aren't quite as sticky as they used to be but they are still a blast at the track. I really just use my R-comp's now for autocross and timed events.

    You should feel totally comfortable getting a good set of high-performance street tires and running them until you decide you want to swap to the R-comp's!

    Since R-comp's are usually a much softer rubber compound, they do tend to wear faster than street tires.

    z31maniac guest

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    Are you by chance running the Star Specs?

    I'm having a tough time deciding if I want to go with any of the new "STX" class auto-X tires, RE01R, Direzza Star Spec, Advan, Kumho XS, etc, or stick just go with the BFG KDW NT, a little harded but I have heard some really great things about them. Great in the wet, handle Auto-X and track work with ease, good life, and nearly the dry grip of RT-615 while lasting twice as long.

    235/40/17s should be a bit of tire for an E30. :D

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