Tyres are a gateway through which you can easily and (relatively) cheaply expand your car’s performance. The amount of power you can deploy, the lateral load a chassis can withstand, the amount of brake pressure you can apply is all mediated by your tyres – 500bhp, carbon-ceramics and a finely honed suspension setup can all be undone by shoddy rubber providing a less than ideal connection to the road surface.
A host of parameters have a profound affect on a tyre’s ability to deliver high-speed performance: specific tread block patterns, structural stiffness and the rubber compound(s) used to construct it. Tyres conceived with track driving in mind will be specially designed to give the optimum performance in these parameters so you’re buying a tyre specifically designed for the job of performing well on track.
Let’s expel a quick myth about track tyres too – they’re not totally useless in the wet – it’s product dependant. Some track and performance tyres are designed and manufactured with changeable conditions in mind, others are solely intended to excell on bone-dry tarmac.
So, before you lift the bonnet, fit new suspension or make any other modifications besides a service, get some track biased tyres for your track day car. These tyres needn’t be as expensive as you may think, either, and they are certainly likely to be a cheaper upgrade than mechanical modifications you can make to a car.
Below we’ve selected a range of the best tyres across a range of three price bands to show you what’s on offer when it comes to track day tyres…
Track tyres from $85 – $110
Federal 595 RS-R
Prices: from $85
Suitable for both road and track, the RS-R has been designed to give high levels of adhesion along with wet-weather abilities and resistance to aquaplaning. MSA-approved for competition use.
Nankang Sportnex NS-2R
Prices: from $85
A control tyre for many championships, the NS-2R is available in three different compounds. Road legal, and designed specifically for both wet and dry use, it makes a good all-rounder.
Toyo Proxes R888R
Prices: from $110
Track tyres from $118 – $168
Yokohama Advan A048R
Prices: from $118
Kumho ECSTA V70A
Prices: from $138
Prices: from $160
Track tyres from $165+
Prices: from $165
The DZ03G has been a control tyre in many championships, but is also road legal. Two compounds are vailable; both offer strong performance in the dry but can suffer from aquaplaning in the wet.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
Prices: from $184
Designed for the circuit but homologated for the road, the Cup 2 has reinforced shoulders to slow wear and increased tread depth to delay the onset of aquaplaning. MSA approved.
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
Prices: from $295
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk