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Old 05-21-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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15" track-friendly tire recomendations for a newb?

Looking into the future a bit, I'm definitely interested in getting some track-day time under my belt and I think starting with wheels and tires is a good spot aside from seat time.

The wheels are the 949 6uL's in an 8" width, so I guess I'm looking for something in the 205-225 territory. I'm hesitant to go with an r-comp, but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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I have Falken Azenis on my Miata and I love them. They're sorta down at the middle area of "high performance tires" but they're great. Apparently the new compound is better than my older set, too.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I have Falken Azenis on my Miata and I love them. They're sorta down at the middle area of "high performance tires" but they're great. Apparently the new compound is better than my older set, too.
i heard the first gen azenis were the best but havent heard about the new one.
i have toyo ra1's on the front of my integra and they are r-comp but a good street tire too. i love them but my car is not a dd. handles awesome! just need to get one more to replace an old one.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:38 AM   #4
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I agree the Toyo RA-1's are excellent and even though they are an R compound they are one of the most durable for street use.

I also had a set of Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs and I thought they were one of the best street tires I've even driven on.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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I would go with a 235 on an 8" wheel. Otherwise, save some weight and go with a 7-7.5" wide.

Not too sure on the tires though.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, I already bought the wheels, can't fit a 235s, and the Start Specs don't come in 15s. Haha.

The RA-1s are probably at the top of the current list. I've heard nothing but good things, and since they're street friendly I'd be able to drive to-and-from Auto-Xs and track days which ultimately is awesome.

Keep it coming! And thanks for the advice already.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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I even checked Tirerack's sizing before recommending the Star Specs above, and just checked again and the 15's are listed. Maybe they're not available...I could believe that but they are a listed size.

But having driven on a few sets of RA-1's on the street, and driven to the track on them as you mentioned, no street tire is going to give you the traction of the RA-1's as long as you can live with the reduced tread life.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Insulin? View Post
Looking into the future a bit, I'm definitely interested in getting some track-day time under my belt and I think starting with wheels and tires is a good spot aside from seat time.

The wheels are the 949 6uL's in an 8" width, so I guess I'm looking for something in the 205-225 territory. I'm hesitant to go with an r-comp, but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!
If you've never had any time on a track I would suggest you not get any R-Comps or DOT Rs. Those kinds of race rubbers do not give you any feedback at the limit—they stick until all of the sudden ... they don't. No warning and you're backwards or in the dirt.

Ultra high-performance (UHP) summer tires will squeal or whine a bit telling you to back it down a notch. The best in the game right now are the Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec, Toyo R1R, Bridgestone RE11, and Hankook RS3. You will benefit from being able to run them rain or shine and from the feedback they provide.

I'm currently running the RS3s and am really liking them (12K miles, four days on track and another few days left in them). On our track cars (two Integras and an E30) we run the Z1s and have seen superb life from them (18 hours of continuous abuse in one race and we then ran the same sets later at Summit with three drivers [another 7 hours of flogging]). Both the RS3 and Z1 hold up well under continuous heat (they do not get greasy like the god-awful RT615s did [more on the Azenis in a moment]) and they perform respectably in the wet—though they take a while longer to get hot in cool, wet conditions (found that out after two laps a couple weekends ago).

I'm sure you could search and find a rant by me about how I think the Falken Azenis RT615 are the worst possible UHP tire...while they were _decent_ when they were first out (truthfully they were the only game in town which made them the best by default) every tire manufacturer on the scene now has a much better option. The new, RT615K is light years better than the RT615, but still not in the same realm as the RS3, RE11, or Z1. Plus the RT615K are more spendy than the other options.

All of that said, if you can get a killer deal on some cast-off Toyo R888 or RA1s you should get them, but I would not suggest you use them for your first few times on the track...R888 are a little more forgiving, but still a DOT certified race tire with all the good and bad that goes with them.

225s on the 15x8s are excellent. I ran 225s on 7s and it was a bit to much stress on the sidewalls--it lowered the spring rate too much.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tougetuned_DA9 View Post
i heard the first gen azenis were the best
You heard wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tougetuned_DA9 View Post
i have toyo ra1's on the front of my integra and they are r-comp but a good street tire too.
Begs the questions:
What are on the rear? Something less grippy, I fear?

And what kind of driving do you do with it?
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #10
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I definitely agree with oneday about not starting out on R compounds. That is almost a universally given truth you will hear from experienced track guys.

It didn't sink into my thick head that this was your first track experience. Since you said you're hesitant to go with R compounds, start out with a good street tire and you'll learn more and be better off.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #11
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oneday and Nick:
Thanks! I was hoping both of you would chime in. Great info from both of you.

Nick, sorry, I goofed! I meant "225" not "15" in my post above. I should have said that I'm looking more towards the 225 end of the spectrum, but based on the 949 website I dropped my sizing a bit to widen my options.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Insulin? View Post
Looking into the future a bit, I'm definitely interested in getting some track-day time under my belt and I think starting with wheels and tires is a good spot aside from seat time.

The wheels are the 949 6uL's in an 8" width, so I guess I'm looking for something in the 205-225 territory. I'm hesitant to go with an r-comp, but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!
I'd skip the R-comp and go with a high performance street tire. You'll learn bad habbits if you go straight to an R comp.

Something that's good for street and autoX use would be good. I used the Yokohoma Advan Neovoa AD-08 for a year withot any issues. On my car that is 3700+ lbs with a full tank of fuel and driver, it typically tok them 22-25 minutes before they heated up enough for the handling to slightly drop off. On a lighter car that shouldn't be as much of an issue. They are available in 205/50-15. The Bridgestone Potenza, Kumho Ecsta XS, and Direzza D1 Star Specare also available in 205/50-15.

The Hankook VVentus RS-3 is available in 225/45-15 for a little over $100 per tire if you want somethign in 225 width.

I've heard mixed reviews ont he Toyo Proxies R1R. People with heavier cars don't liek them, but they are a great tire t use on a wet track or with a lighter car. They are also available in 225/45-15.


Quote:
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I have Falken Azenis on my Miata and I love them. They're sorta down at the middle area of "high performance tires" but they're great. Apparently the new compound is better than my older set, too.
I've heard many complaints that even the new RT-615K gets too hot and a bit slippery for track day use even with lighter cars. Performance tends to drop off after 10-15 minutes. I have a friend that has an E30 BMW with a gutted interior and a cage and he said they overheat just as quickly as performance oriented street tires. I've heard simialr things form other people that tried them. They seem like a great autoX tire.
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