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Time to Retire

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No, no, not that kind of retire.  I'll be back for another season.  I meant time to re-tire my car. 

We're only 42 days and 12 hours from our first Lapping/Autoslalom event on Friday May 3rd, to it's time to check out tires.

I was down at Costco today and they are presently offering a $70 credit on Bridgestone tires up until April 14th. I'm trying to find something that will work for both Gimli and St. Andrew's courses.

I'm sure there will be a lot of new people at HPDE asking … "what kind of tires should I run?"  I think the Autoslalom guys still go with the Bridgestone RE-71R as their tire of choice. Not sure what others would fill the top five.

I never did get a chance to talk to the Open Lapping and Time Attack people as to their favourites.  I was told the Bridgestone RE-71R's go off after five laps and wear quickly.  Maybe some of you can chirp in as to what tires work best on the GMP track and would be in a reasonable price range for newcomers to the sport.  Thanks, and hope to see you at our first event!

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Nitto NT-01's

I've had good results with other tires but those are without a doubt my favorites!

You said reasonable price...

Nankang NS2R 

Available in most sizes.

Others have their own suggestions.

Edited by nopistons
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I had a good experience with RE71's on my S2000. Multiple hot lapping days with 20+ laps per day, plus some autoslalom.

I ran them for 2 seasons, probably 150-ish laps on the old Gimli surface and a dozen or so autoslalom events.

Now the car was rarely street driven other than driving to and from events and it's a fairly light car to begin with so your mileage might vary. They did not like the heat as much as I would have liked, which I imagine would only get worse on a heavier car.  They had about 5-7 laps in them before they needed to cool off.

I switched to Maxxis VR-1's and liked how those handled heat. Good amounts of grip when hot but they really lacked the cold bite the RE71's had, not sure I'd recommend them for autoslalom. I think you'll end up needing to make a compromise as I've yet to see a tire that excels at both autoslalom and track driving.

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Hey Weebly, what kind of car are you running?

I've have a good experience with the RE71's on my subaru. They managed to survive 3 seasons of autox, 1 HPDE weekend and daily driving.

Thanks for the heads up on the Bridgestone rebate, I've been checking online for it so I can order a new set of tires!

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3 hours ago, MB Spec-B said:

Hey Weebly, what kind of car are you running?

I've have a good experience with the RE71's on my subaru. They managed to survive 3 seasons of autox, 1 HPDE weekend and daily driving.

Thanks for the heads up on the Bridgestone rebate, I've been checking online for it so I can order a new set of tires!

I'm driving the Focus RS and have been doing Autoslalom for two years and Time Attack for one year.  I go through nearly 3 sets of tires per season.  I've been on Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Bridgestone RE-71R's (3 sets), Hankook Ventus R-S4,  and lastly the General G-Max RS.  I'm now looking for something that will last longer.  I'm willing to give up grip for longevity.

I'm not the smoothest of drivers and am probably contributing to my own tire wear problems.  Maybe you just can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I'm hoping this post will build a list of tires, with their own pros and cons, that will help newcomers identify what might work best for them.  Doesn't make any sense for a newbie (like me) to buy the  most sticky and expensive tires if they don't have the skills to reap the benefits.  Like I've been told, over and over - first, focus on improving your driving skills before you even think about spending money on modifying the car.

Let's see what kind of feedback we get, and I won't be surprised if we uncover some lesser known brands/models that will work just fine. 

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Can’t help much with the tires choice, but just came here to say that I almost freaked out with that title. 

Will be great to see that focus popping and banging again this year!  

Edited by R_Ercole

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On my Bimmer for Time Attack I am running 15" NEXEN N-FERA SUR4G. I burned thru 1.5 sets last year (4 events). Put fresh ones on the front this spring and will probably cycle the best of the worst to finish off the season. Great tires as far heat cycling goes, did not really run them in the cold ... like driving on marbles, in the rain. Price is fair to good - 114 to 180 depending on size.

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Brian's abuse of perfectly good tires is becoming the lore of an Icelandic saga...

..That being said, while currently inconclusive, it appears that the new surface on the track is proving to be a money saver for me. The Toyo RR's are known to "wear like Iron" (for a true R compound tire) but I would get a very low number of timed laps from them - the Gimli track surface living up to its reputation of being very hard on tires. After running the partially re-paved circuit, i did not notice any wear. Now, for Auto-X, you're on your own!  i don't know if the new Toyo R888R is available in your size, but its supposed to wear quite well, how that compares to your current magazine of vulcanized hell, i don't know.

At the end of the day, maybe get another set of rims and track tires? Many moons past, i would do "double duty" with tires, drive to the track and race the same tires i drove there on. I found that it took at least a solid session (and a few passes when drag racing) to get the "road grime" out of the rubber and start to use the tires properly.  As you drive around on the street, the oils, salts, dirt and dust, all that contamination embeds itself into the soft rubber - and you know more than anybody the harshness of the city street environment - it takes time to clean them up, and that makes it longer for you as driver to 'get back to were you were last time'.  Personally, i will not use street driven tires on the race track, it takes too long to get up to speed as a driver.

i have a jack and an impact at the track, they are yours as well so you don't have to bring more stuff...heck, i will assign one of my kids to change them lol!

Edited by mcorrie
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If anyone is considering running Bridgestone RE-71R or BF Goodrich Rival S1.5, here's a good head-to-head test specific to Autocross use.  Hope the link works (I'm new at this) but if not you can simply Google "Beyond Seat Time".  Lots of good autocross information on the site.

https://www.beyondseattime.com/bfg-rival-s-1-5-vs-bridgestone-re71r-round-2/

 

 

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Also to throw a curveball, $125 rebate through other retailers. 

Kal “may” match costcos online price, they match the 15$ mount and balance and then you could get this 125$ rebate  

https://www.quattrotires.com/uploads/medias/22410/Bridgestone Spring 2019_ENG.PDF

the Continental Extreme Contact Sport gets good reviews as well and is $100 back 

https://www.quattrotires.com/uploads/medias/22423/Continental Spring 2019 EN V2.pdf

Edited by MRS Joe
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I'm currently running the Nitto NT05s on my Subaru since 2017 and they seem to be holding up. But then I've always managed to make my tires last longer than they should... haha.

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11 hours ago, MRS Joe said:

Also to throw a curveball, $125 rebate through other retailers. 

Kal “may” match costcos online price, they match the 15$ mount and balance and then you could get this 125$ rebate  

https://www.quattrotires.com/uploads/medias/22410/Bridgestone Spring 2019_ENG.PDF

the Continental Extreme Contact Sport gets good reviews as well and is $100 back 

https://www.quattrotires.com/uploads/medias/22423/Continental Spring 2019 EN V2.pdf

Thanks Joe - the rebates are timely with the Bridgestone offer valid until May 12th and the Continental offer valid until May 31st.  These tire choices should work well for anyone attending HPDE and wondering what set of tires would work well for both Time Attack and Autoslalom.

However, I think there is a general consensus that the Bridgestone RE-71's warm up quickly and work well for Autoslalom but might get greasy after several laps of Time Attack.  You'll have to take my observations with a tablespoon of salt, but I didn't notice the RE-71's "going off" after a full day of Time Attack.  However, I did notice considerable wear.

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I've just ordered a set of the Falken Azenis RT615K+ for my Integra. Based on internet reviews it doesn't seem to be as fast as the RE-71Rs but does have better tread wear. Since my car will not be competitive in its current autocross classing I've opted to go with the tire that has better life and comes in my OEM size. 

I guess I will find out in a few weeks how they are on track.

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7 hours ago, grail said:

I'm currently running the Nitto NT05s on my Subaru since 2017 and they seem to be holding up. But then I've always managed to make my tires last longer than they should... haha.

Sounds like a reasonable choice.  I did a little research and they are 200 UTQG with a reasonable price.  I'll add these to my growing database of recommended tires.  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Igor said:

I've just ordered a set of the Falken Azenis RT615K+ for my Integra. Based on internet reviews it doesn't seem to be as fast as the RE-71Rs but does have better tread wear. Since my car will not be competitive in its current autocross classing I've opted to go with the tire that has better life and comes in my OEM size. 

I guess I will find out in a few weeks how they are on track.

You and I are on the same page.  No point paying top dollar for a sticky tire if the car isn't competitive. Actually, in my case, it's the driver that's not competitive. 

The RT615K's didn't get a high score (7.1) for tread wear in the Tire Rack test, but had good dry traction (9.0).  Price seems right.

Did you consider the Falken FK510's with 300 UTQG?  And the price is even better.  However, no test results from Tire Rack at this time.

Like I told Peter, I'll add this to my database so that we can gather some informed opinions as to what works best for Autoslalom and what works best for Time Attack.  Thanks! 

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3 hours ago, Weebly said:

Did you consider the Falken FK510's with 300 UTQG? 

I was running these on the Supra starting in August last year. I think they’ll last until July this year, maybe longer. I gained 1.5 seconds a lap over the Bridgestone Potenza S-04’s but the S-04’s were three years old so that may be why.

I didn’t have any issues with heat during long sessions and the rain grip is pretty good as well. 

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My quick list of 200TW Tires and notes (Classed as "Extreme Performance Tires")

Competitive Autocross Tires

The 3 top options below are well regarded as the competitive options today. These consistently rank higher in terms of overall lap/run times than the other options available. But generally don't last quite as long as the the other options in this list. Keep in mind wear is all relative and is depend on a number of factors. On a well balanced car driven on a non abrasive surface you can see up to 150+ autox runs on these. On a poorly setup car driven on a rough surface you could expect under 1/3 of that.

All prices quoted from tirerack.com in US dollars for a 245/40/17 unless otherwise posted. 

Bridgestone - RE71R ($180 USD) ($199 CND from Costo.ca)

  • Rewards precise smooth inputs. Can be knife edge if overdriven/high slip angles and hard to recover.
  • Tires feel very greasy when hot but can perform in "colder" weather. (>0c)
  • Can develop accelerated wear on the center rib if overdriven (too much slip angle and pressures are too high)
  • Excellent compound for rain use (at full tread depth) but in deep water a >300TW with greater void area will outperform.  
  • Very stiff sidewalls allows for overtiring on narrow wheels (excellent for classes that limit wheel width).
  • With our Canadian dollar and lack of shipping costs, these are by far the clear winner if you can get your sizes through Costco. Note, Costco did raise their 71R prices this year but still cheaper than the alternative.

BF Goodrich Rival S 1.5 ($209)

  • Known to have a more vague steering feel than the RE71R, but easy to drive.
  • Can tolerate slightly more heat than the RE71R but might take slightly more tire to come "on" than the RE71R on cold days.
  • Good wet* performance. (wet = no puddles) In heavy rain or pudding the thread pattern is poor at evacuating water from the tread blocks.
  • Limited sizes offered, limited stock available. (These are made in small batches in the BFG's motorsports plant, expect to wait awhile if stock is out in your sizes)
  • "S" refers to the updated compound released in 2015(?)
  • "1.5" denotes a revised belt package to enhance the tire feedback and get away from the vague feeling the orginal rival had, however the compound is the same as the "S" tires.
  • Tire is offered almost exclusively through Tire Rack, beware Hoosier like pricing.

Nexen SUR4G ($174) ($148 FROM PMC TIRE)

  • Not as direct as the RE71R in terms of feel. Did not brake as well as the RE71R, but these tires will allow for a lot of slip angle. Easy to drive at the limit = less mistakes = faster. 
  • Slightly behind the pace from the Rivals and RE71 but not enough to discredit. (National Championship already won on this tire)
  • Disappointing wear characteristics in my experience, but were fast all the way down the tread blocks, all the runs
  • These also have a softer sidewall, caution if you want to overtire the wheel, will wear the edges and/or require higher pressures.

Alternative 200TW Tires

These tires can't match the top 3 tires in terms of outright grip. Steady state grip is good but most noticeably they can't multi-task like the top 3.

Hankook RS4: ($176) Reputation as long lasting tire in the 200TW group. Very popular with the Chump/Lemons/Crap Can racing series.

Dunlop ZIII Star Spec: ($170) Prices don't justify the performance. Feel and response is allegedly very similar to the RE71R.

Kumho Ecsta V720: ($150) Cheap alternative however many online horror stories of delamination failures when used in autox or track day environments. Also known to be exceedingly LOUD on the road.

Falken Azenis 615K+:  ($150 in a 245/45) Make sure get the K+ not just the K. the + denotes the newest compound. Good reviews so far in terms of wear and tire feel. However Quantifiably slower than the top 3 tires. (Compare 2018 C-Street Solo Spec class results for proof. the FRS spec class runs the Falken with mods and can't match the times posted by the same C-Street FRS cars).

Yokohama Neova ADO8R: ($261!!!) Overpriced, not know to be in contention as fast tire, would not recommending buying new at the current price point.

Toyo Porxes R1R: ($186) Outdated technology,  not recommend. Very low tolerance for heat, requires shaving to extract max performance. On a heavy car you migh experience chunking of the tread blocks.  If you are amendment on trying this tire be extremely careful, depending on the tire size they tires are constructed with different compounds, the good ones (195/50/15 and 235/40/17 IIRC) have a single tacky compound all the way down to the tread blocks, however most other sizes have a dual compound, after the first half of the tread is used the remaining compound is described as all season like performance.

Nitto NT05: ($163 US from Summit Racing).  Released over 10 years ago, outdated technology, was never a contender when released in terms of outright speed. Sizing and marketing makes me thing this is geared towards muscle cars/big cars.

Maxxis Vicra VR-1: ($127 for 225/17 from the Maxxis website) Reputation as being very easy to drive and FUN at the limit. Accounts of wearing well, but lacked overall pace on the top tires. Cool sizes available like 245/40/15

Edited by Magner
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On 3/21/2019 at 2:09 PM, Weebly said:

I'm driving the Focus RS and have been doing Autoslalom for two years and Time Attack for one year.  I go through nearly 3 sets of tires per season.  I've been on Michelin Pilot Super Sports, Bridgestone RE-71R's (3 sets), Hankook Ventus R-S4,  and lastly the General G-Max RS.  I'm now looking for something that will last longer.  I'm willing to give up grip for longevity.

I'm not the smoothest of drivers and am probably contributing to my own tire wear problems.  Maybe you just can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I'm hoping this post will build a list of tires, with their own pros and cons, that will help newcomers identify what might work best for them.  Doesn't make any sense for a newbie (like me) to buy the  most sticky and expensive tires if they don't have the skills to reap the benefits.  Like I've been told, over and over - first, focus on improving your driving skills before you even think about spending money on modifying the car.

Let's see what kind of feedback we get, and I won't be surprised if we uncover some lesser known brands/models that will work just fine. 

A little good news and bad news,

The good news, I don't think it's entirely your fault the tires melt away as they do, the almighty Mr. Smooth could drive your car and still have considerable wear.

The bad news is your Focus might be partially responsible. You are running a 3450lbs car on square 235 wide tires. That's a significant load if you consider the car's front weight basis AND power being fed primarily to the front wheels AND it's running in a stock class with no significant way to add negative camber AND considering the front strut design you are actually getting POSITIVE dynamic camber on the outside wheel in a corner AND it's powerful enough you are need introduce some serious heat and force when braking. It's really not your fault the tires melt away. Perhaps a cheap way to save money on tires would be to add much more camber in the front (would help with the understeer too) with a camber kit and continue to rotate tires like I know you are already are. However a camber kit would not be legal for your Street classing and I'm not sure what is available for your car. I used to run a $20 camber bolts kit to dial in over -2degrees, hopefully there's a similar solution for you. 

Also be weary of some >300TW Tires in harsh track environments, the extra void area in the tread face can lead to serious chunking/tearing of the outside tread blocks and wear out even faster than expected. Tread wear ratings don't contemplate performance driving.

Edited by Magner
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for posting your comments and recommendations … very much appreciated and I think this will go a long way in helping people who might not have a lot of experience or a lot of money to throw away on experimenting with different tire choices.

Well, at least that's how I was going to respond before I read Chris' reply.  So my response has changed to:

AWESOME!!!

We can't thank you enough Chris for your contribution. I don't know how you found the time to put this all together and present it in a way that is based on fact and real-world experience without any bias or hyperbole. Your in-depth knowledge on this subject just blows me away.

I would love to go on and on but I don't want to embarrass you. But maybe I already have.  Thanks, bud!

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Just so you're aware, I ended up with the Nitto's more because of lack of options at the time.... lol. Pretty much all the tires I wanted to get were out of stock. I did notice that the Nitto's don't quite have the turn-in compared to my previous Bridgestone RE-11s. But they were suprisingly well behaved in the rain.

My next set would most likely end up being the Bridgestone's.

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20 hours ago, Weebly said:

You and I are on the same page.  No point paying top dollar for a sticky tire if the car isn't competitive. Actually, in my case, it's the driver that's not competitive. 

The RT615K's didn't get a high score (7.1) for tread wear in the Tire Rack test, but had good dry traction (9.0).  Price seems right.

Did you consider the Falken FK510's with 300 UTQG?  And the price is even better.  However, no test results from Tire Rack at this time.

Like I told Peter, I'll add this to my database so that we can gather some informed opinions as to what works best for Autoslalom and what works best for Time Attack.  Thanks! 

I think the RT615k+ have a 7.4 rating on tire rack, compared to the RE71R which are rated as a 6.2. I'll be switching from 2015 dated R1Rs that came with the car so I'm sure it will be an upgrade. I have not considered the FK510s but might be something to look into if I'm looking for a dedicated street tire. My only experience with 300 rated tires are the Michelin Pilot Super Sports that I had on my old STI hatch. They were a great tire and I think I was only half a second behind a couple of S2000s at the last Gimli autocross event I did with them. Id have picked them up for the Integra if the new PS4S came in a smaller size. Sidewall wasn't as firm as some of the other tires but I didn't think they did that bad on a heavy car, similar to your RS. I had 265/35/18s on a 18x9.5 wheel.

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57 minutes ago, Joose said:

Pmctire.com has the Nexen SUR4G for $148 cdn in a 245/40r17, free shipping on a set of 4. I've never bought tires from them, but will likely order some in a different size for this season.

https://pmctire.com/en/tires/nexen/n-fera-sur4g/nexen-n-fera-sur4g-p245-40r17-91y-bsw.tire

 

Excellent, thank for you sharing. Last I had checked they only had the SUR4 (non-G) variant. I updated by post above with the price.

@justkickin Cheap 265&275 18" options for you!

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6 hours ago, Joose said:

Pmctire.com has the Nexen SUR4G for $148 cdn in a 245/40r17, free shipping on a set of 4. I've never bought tires from them, but will likely order some in a different size for this season.

https://pmctire.com/en/tires/nexen/n-fera-sur4g/nexen-n-fera-sur4g-p245-40r17-91y-bsw.tire

 

Wow - excellent price!  I'd go for these if it weren't for the fact that Chris mentioned "disappointing wear characteristics".  But, with a lighter car than my RS and smoother driving technique, this might be a tire to challenge the RE-71R.  Please keep us updated through the season as to how they perform.  I'm sure by end of July I'll need to order a second set of tires and will give these a try if the wear rate is decent.  Thanks Joose!

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I got a really good price on the nexen sur4g for this year's season, running a 255/40/17 this year.

Get them from 1010tires.com

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22 minutes ago, dark_daku89 said:

I got a really good price on the nexen sur4g for this year's season, running a 255/40/17 this year.

Get them from 1010tires.com

Yeah, it looks like these are popular tires with a good price. Joose mentioned $148 CDN from a Quebec distributor, PCM tires.  He was quoting 245's.

Did you get a chance to read Magner's post in this thread?  "Disappointing wear characteristics" is scaring me away.  Otherwise a very good tire choice. Not sure if there's much difference between your Subaru and my Focus RS with respect to how they might eat up the Nexens.

I'm going to order my next set of tires early next week and will probably go with the Hankook R-SR from PCM tire.  Anyways, let's get together mid-season and we'll see how our tires compare.

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I guess your mileage may vary depending on wear characteristics. I was running 5 year old champiro gts past few seasons, I do tend to be a bit more aggressive but having non sticky tires will force you to do that

 

We'll see how they go this year

Edited by dark_daku89
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6 hours ago, dark_daku89 said:

I guess your mileage may vary depending on wear characteristics. I was running 5 year old champiro gts past few seasons, I do tend to be a bit more aggressive but having non sticky tires will force you to do that

 

We'll see how they go this year

Hopefully slower than me... ;)

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On 3/31/2019 at 4:18 PM, Magner said:

Excellent, thank for you sharing. Last I had checked they only had the SUR4 (non-G) variant. I updated by post above with the price.

@justkickin Cheap 265&275 18" options for you!

Thanks @Magner however I think we are going to run square RE71Rs here, put some 19's on the rear for Lincoln and the wets will be 4S's. I am not a big proponent of the Nexen. They were decent, but lasted half as long and I prefer the feel of 'stones. We don't want to be trying to run 'stones in the monsoons we saw in Lincoln last year. Talk about bringing a baseball bat to a gun fight...we didn't even have a knife. 

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