Tyres are an integral part of vehicle performance on track, a whole range of forces are transmitted via the tyre’s contact with the track. Engine power, braking forces, lateral forces, vehicle weight, compression or load changes – all result in immense friction work, especially under racetrack conditions.
Before choosing your track day tyres, it is essential to judge the layout and asphalt of the chosen track as these will have a considerable impact on tyres:
- Long fast curves put more stress on the tyre and tread than short slow curves
- Aggressive rough surfaces put additional strain on the running surface than smoother surfaces
- Tyre loads cause both changes in tread temperature and wear:
o Especially at the start of a track day as the surface is often dirty with previous debris
o Sports tyres with tread compounds similar to those used in motorsport tend to pick up this dirt and debris immediately
o Pick up has a negative influence on grip and balance as well as tyre wear and tear.
The first indication of track condition is often which vehicles have driven on it previously. For example, vintage cars often loose small amounts of oil which can lead to a considerable loss of surface grip. Motorcycles use a sharper driving line than cars, which means wear and tear o motorcycle tyres tend to fly into the driving line of cars. This is then collected as pickup from car tyres which again can impact levels of grip.
It is important to ensure initially from a safety perspective that your chosen track tyres are suitable for your vehicle and driving style. Once you have chosen your tyres, always ensure before every track session that there is plenty of tread left, no visible cuts, bulges or uneven wear. Read more on checking your tyres here. [link to checking your tyres]
The Goodyear SuperSport R and RS are road legal tyres that are designed for dry track usage and must be considered as semi-slick tyres that have limited capacity on wet roads. It is important that drivers adapt their driving style to the conditions of track or road in unclear or dangerous conditions.