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Tire/Rim Track Day Suggestions

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Brightonuk, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    #1 Brightonuk, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
    I am looking to start taking my P85 to track Days as this is new territory for me I would like some suggestions on rims and tire combos specifically for a "track day"

    After some research I was leaning towards the Kumho V700a but am open to other suggestions, in addition should I be looking for a certain rim other than the stock 19"

    Lastly for a car this heavy and after hot lapping what pressure should the front and back be noting I am in Florida and the temp here is up in the low 90s most days.
     
  2. tga

    tga Active Member

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    It sounds like you haven't had much (if any) track time. In this case, honestly, you should just run whatever tires are on the car, and save the R-compounds/track wheels until you have more experience.

    Regular street tires are more forgiving on the track, are more predictible, and are easier for a beginner to "read" by the sounds they make. Dedicated track tires (R-compounds, slicks, etc) are harder for a beginner to read, and are have more "non-linear traction", if that makes sense. They tend to stick tight until they break free, and then the traction drops dramatically, whereas you get a lot more warning of impending skidding from street tires. Most car clubs won't allow (or at least highly discourage) beginners to run R-compounds for this very reason.

    I'm of the mindset that starting with street tires and saving the track tires until later makes you a better track driver, faster. You have more opportunities to learn the line, learn to slide the car, learn to detect and correct over/understeer and drive smoothly, and to understand what the tires are "saying" by their sounds ("singing" vs "howling"). And this all happens at lower speeds that give you more time to react, with less chance of bending expensive aluminum.

    I know people who jumped to R-compounds too early in their driving career, and they never mastered these basic skills before cranking up the speeds. They drive rediculously fast, take screwy lines, but the higher traction of their r-compounds save them. Then they start pushing the speeds and things go bad, quickly. With little time to react, and under-developed skills, they wind up in a world of hurt.

    If you can get an instructor in the car with you, do it. If not, try to go with someone who has a lot of track time, can/will ride with you, and can explain what's going on (teaching track driving is very different than just being good at track driving).

    re: tire pressures - I can't help you with specific numbers, but you are looking to measure tire pressures hot, right after the session ends, ideally in pit lane. Dropping 5 PSI from cold street pressures is a good start.
     
  3. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    Thank you well explained
     
  4. Zextraterrestrial

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    #4 Zextraterrestrial, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
    maybe look into a race driving school event. I did one and it was pretty good to get an idea what the S can do + practicing high speed last minute avoidance to see how the balance is, very even, is nice (managed to get into a completely sideways slide from 75ish to stopped..right next to a line of cones:eek:). After I used up my 21" rubber I got some RE-11's in 19" and they are much, much better cornering.
    I've only done autocross type events & enduro(5 lap auto x) + a hillclimb so haven't done higher speed stuff
    really fun
     
  5. electronRider

    electronRider Member

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    Some Tangential Experience

    Hi Brightonuk, with the caveat my experience comes from auto-x in a much lighter (~2500 lb) car, I'm a big fan of the Kumhos as they combine a ridiculously stiff sidewall with gobs of grip in a lightweight shell. Personally, I'd look at a lightweight 17-18" forged wheel.

    These tire sizes have smaller diameters than stock (half the difference is how much lower the car will be ~1"), for 17s:
    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Ecsta+V710&frontTire=445WR7EV710&rearTire=74WR7EV710
    or for 18s:
    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Ecsta+V710&frontTire=435WR8EV710&rearTire=83WR8EV710

    Respectively, you'd be looking for around 17x8 fronts and 17x10 rears or 18x9 fronts & 18x10 rears. Note the given width ranges in the above specs. These are pretty lightweight, forged, available in multiple colors, and have a respectable name: TSW Nurburgring

    While there isn't much of a weight penalty for going up to 19s, as you see on the Kumho pages above, the tires only go up to 18s for preferable widths.

    As for pressures, the tires tell the tale. Start at a known pressure and then recheck during each break. If the wear is rolling over the edge, you need more air, if it's not reaching the edge less air.

    As others have indicated, it may be worthwhile to "run whatcha brung" (stock setup) and start by getting some experience.

    When you are ready, be sure to look at your current wheel spacing with a tape measure to get a clear sense of fitment before ordering. I've used ElementWheels.com out of AZ before with good success.

    Hope this helps, keep us posted on your choices & runs!
     
  6. nrcooled

    nrcooled P#8946 VIN 03225

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    I have to concur with everything that tga stated. I have spent a lot of time on track with cars and motorcycles and getting people to come out and try the track. Invariably, everyone always feels like they need to create a racecar prior to coming out for a trackday. The MOST important thing you can do prior to going to the track is making sure that your car is safe/fit for the track. A throrough inspection of the car should be done to ensure brakes (fluid, pads, calipers, lines) are in good condition, tires are servicable with plenty of tread depth, cooling system is serviced and good, along with various joints and mounts (CV joints, hubs, etc.) are in good condition. Since the Model S is newer you shouldn't have any issues with these.

    You will be surprised with the amount of grip you will get from a street tire on the track and for a novice it will still have more grip then you can exploit and put to good use. Like tga said, street tires will talk to you more and give you a lot of feedback. They will let you know a smooth line from a ragged line since they will scream in protest when your lines aren't smooth. I would use a summer tire for the track and the stock Contis on the 21s are quite capable to handle the task of a casual trackday/lapping session.

    Save the money that you would have spent on r-comps and use it to buy another trackday!
     
  7. Zextraterrestrial

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    and I don't think you will find anything smaller than 19" diameter that will fit over the suspension and brakes for a Model S.
    19"s have some options that 20"s don't and vice versa if you are looking at race tires that will work for the weight of the S and fit in the wheel wells
     
  8. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    #8 Brightonuk, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
    Unfortunately the car came with new winter Bridgestone Blizzak as living in Florida I have never even heard of Blizzaks, that said I was under the impression that a winter tire has a softer compound than a regular tire, so would that not help on the track as they will be running hotter than they are designed for therefore softer?
    I am running 19" rims
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Winter tires are designed to be flexible at below freezing temperatures. You run them on the track and they will turn to goo.
     
  10. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    #10 Seven7, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  11. Phil Seastrand

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    When I owned my BMW M5, I attended a club track day at (what was then) Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, CA. We started with classroom time on the theory of racing, lines, etc. We then did some simple in-car driving such as fast lane changes, etc., to get familiar with how the car reacted. We then did a short "parking lot" track where you never got out of second gear with lots of run-off space. Finally, we did laps on the main track, first with an experience driving instructor, then on our own. I never had so much fun with my car before. I also learned a lot and gained a whole bunch of experience that I would never have had if I just showed up to the track on my own.

    As other have recommended, start with your car as-is and take a driving course. Then, and only then, if you are still interested, spend the time and money to upgrade the car. I felt that I couldn't comfortably risk my very expensive car on the track and didn't pursue anymore track time. If I did decide to continue, I would have considered a dedicated track car that cost a lot less than my M5.

    Phil
     
  12. JST

    JST Active Member

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    For an introduction to track driving, it's hard to beat the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Al. They use a lead:follow technique that puts you out on the track in a variety of brand new Porsches, in small groups behind one of their instructors (who are all pro racers).

    The instructors are great--really adept at working with both people who are timid and people who think that just because they have a Porsche they are the next Fangio. The facility (Barber Motorsports Park) is top notch, and everything about the class is just nicely done.

    Plus, it's really nice learning in someone else's car...

    On the tire question, I agree with what everyone else has said. I'm not sure which tires would hold up best to the Model S size and weight, but I'd definitely go with a summer performance tire over an R comp. Pilot Super Sports are terrific (at least on lighter cars), but I don't know if they make the right size for the MS 19" wheels.
     
  13. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    They don't make PSS in the OEM 19" size.

    For tires I'd recommend running conti DW in 255/40R19 or the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in 255/40R19. Both are great on the street and decent on the track as well.

    I've just got the OEM goodyears on my car and that is all I have run at the track so far. They definitely do give lots of audible feedback as others have mentioned. :)
     
  14. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Have you run that size (255/40R19) on the stock 19" wheels? Any fit issues?
     
  15. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I have 255/45R19 winter tires, I haven't tried 255/40 yet. There is a slight rub from the front wheels in reverse with the wheel turned all the way on my car.
     
  16. nrcooled

    nrcooled P#8946 VIN 03225

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    If you hear rubbing on track at full lock in reverse you are doing it wrong...very wrong ;)
     
  17. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Some of the cheapest summer tires I have found are Champiro UHP1's in 255/40R19, if one is trying to balance cost with traction. :)
     
  18. electronRider

    electronRider Member

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    For a do everything tire (daily driving, longer trips, auto-x, etc), I've had good results from Falken. They provide stiff sidewalls, grippy tread, and generally decent service life equating to a postive cost/performance value ratio.

    The FK-453 is their latest Ultra High Performance Summer tire available in near stock sizing:
    http://falkentire.com/tires/car-tires/azenis-fk453-tire

    I've purchased from this online venue before should your local retailer not have them available (although it looks like Vulcan may still be awaiting their order, too):
    http://www.vulcantire.com/fk453_t.htm

    As jerry33 indicated, Blizzaks will be greasy in a track setting, ie- horrid.
     
  19. Zextraterrestrial

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    haha. ..

    I just took off my 19" re-11's and put the 21"s on for a bit....boy do they suuck. terrible feeling turning & acceleration. so heavy
    Ordered a set of Forgestars a couple of weeks ago, hope they are done in time for TMConnect but may need to run my 'old' 19" rims w/ new tires.

    Has anyone tried Mickey Thompson Street Comps? looking at 255/285 setup options. and they are pretty cheap
    otherwise I think I'll end up with Re-11s again but not sure if I want 35 series all around (which is all I see for sale in those widths)
    had 245/40 and 275/30(too small dia) so it would be better. I would have maybe ordered 20" rims if the RS3 prices were lower (they are now! 325$-245/40 and 282$-285/35 was 418$/367$ in April!)

    Nt01 in 20" if you want R rubber 255/285 (309$/390$) there are a couple of other R tires but waay expensive for me!
     
  20. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    #20 Brightonuk, Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    Ahhhhhh:cursing:

    So many great suggestions

    As you know this will be the first track day, those Blizzacks are the LM32s they are v rated but I know they are the last type of tire for a track that said what I do not understand is if they get soft will this not enhance their grip?
    The handling may well leave a lot to be desired but as far a grip goes I thought a softer compound will offer more grip?
    I appreciate they may well be toast after a day at the track but if I run them at say 40lbs as opposed to 42lbs will I not have a good gripping tire for a least a few runs.
    Or do I really not want to use them? This is my first time I am not going to be setting any records in addition it is 95+ here in Florida I expect the limiter to kick in after the first few laps.


    Another question for the guys that have used their cars on the track is do you keep Regen on or off.
    I will be leaving the TC on :scared:
     

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