Tyre choice & reviews - track days and racing

If you're planning on using your car on the track, you could find that a tyre upgrade is the single best use of your cash. Good tyres will improve lap times, increase levels of safety and make your car lose traction more progressively on the limit.

If you're looking for reviews of tyres which are suitable for the road or track, use the links below, or submit your review.

Tyre reviews: quick links

General advice

Never have different tyres or tyres with different levels of wear on the same axle, this is a sure fire way of adversely affecting your handling. Why give yourself a disadvantage from the start?

It's best practice to fit the newest tyres to the axle which needs the most grip. If you have a front wheel drive car this will usually be the front axle unless your car has a tendency to oversteer, in which case the rear wheels could probably benefit from the most grip. Rear wheel drive cars should generally have the newest tyres at the back to prevent oversteer and minimise wheelspin under power.

Tyre compounds

The compound of a tyre describes the blend of materials used in the construction. Tyres are full of nature's goodness - rubber, carbon and oil and it's the proportions of these which determine the properties of the finished tyre.

Choosing a tyre compound is a matter of compromise, and you need to think about the type of events and / or road use you're planning on putting your four wheeled machine through.

Hard compound

Harder compounds are useful because they wear relatively slowly, but provide less grip then softer varieties. If you're planning on using your car for road use and a few track days, then perhaps the softest compounds aren't for you. If you're getting 10,000 miles between replacements then you've hit roughly the right balance.

Soft compound

Soft rubber compounds provide the best grip in the dry, heat up to operating temperature fast, but wear out quickly. Soft compounds are also used in winter tyres as this allows them to have a lower optimum operating temperature. Chose a soft compound if you're car is a dedicated track machine, or if you have the luxury of a road and a track set of wheels. For longer events such as 24 hour races, it might be worth opting for a slightly harder compound so you don't need to pull into the pits every 20 minutes.

Tread patterns

Slicks

Slicks are essentially tyres with very little or no tread, this provides ultimate grip in the dry but can be considerably worse than a general purpose tyre in the wet. Most slicks are also illegal on the roads so only consider this option if you're putting the car onto a trailer after use.

Wet tyres

Dedicated wet tyres have a tread pattern specifically designed to clear water as fast as possible, provide maximum grip and reduce the chances of aquaplaning. Wet tyres often have a directional tread which can help prevent aquaplaning when competing in the rain.

General purpose / intermediate

Unless you want to carry two sets of wheels and tyres with you to the track, your best bet is to use a good set of general purpose tyres. This will allow you to drive legally on the road and provide a decent compromise in wet and dry conditions.

Directional tread

The tread pattern on these tyres optimised for one direction of rotation. You can recognise directional tyres by the arrow shaped grooves pointing in the direction of wheel rotation. The primary advantage is the increased ability to clear water and resist aquaplaning, especially at higher speeds. In dry conditions, the added benefit of directional versus standard tread patterns is much reduced.

Asymmetric tread

Asymmetric tyres have a different pattern on the inside and outside and are usually only used in high performance vehicles. The inner side tends to have more grooves to help with water dispersal, while the outer edge has stiffer tread blocks with less tread patterning to provide enhanced cornering performance. Asymmetric tyres must only be used in one direction or they can actually compromise handling.

Competition and tyre choice

Planning on competing? Regulation books can be a lengthy read but there will almost certainly be tyre specifications for almost every class of competitive racing. Make sure you aren't disqualified for using rubber which us too sticky for the event, you can guarantee your competitors will notice even if the scrutineers don't!

Pressures

Determining the best pressures for a particular tyre on a particular track in particular conditions takes experience and experimentation. The rule of thumb is to start with the tyre manufacturer's recommended pressures, then adjust according to how the car is behaving. If your having trouble with understeer, try reducing the front tyre pressures by a few psi to provide more grip at the front end. The opposite is the case for oversteer - letting some out of the back will provide more grip and stop the back coming out so easily. Only ever increase or decrease the pressure by a few psi, the more air you let out of put in, the less effective the tweaks become.

Submit your tyre review

Your name
Tyre manufacturer
Tyre make
Your review
Dry
Wet
Road
Track
Durability
Noise
Overall
What is twenty minus four?
Submit your review

Tyre reviews

BF Goodrich G- Force T/A KDW

Track car reviewsAn excellent semi-slick tyre with decent water clearing ability. Very predictable on the limit and excellent grip; especially in the dry.

Reviewed by: Dustin
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 5, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 3
Overall: 5
Bridgestone Potenza G III (165 60R12) & (205 60R14)

Track car reviewsThe tyre is very impressive. Its ability to provide traction in wet condition is just unbelievable! It's a unidirectional tyre and I also thank all the people behind making this tyre please forgive me about the ratings as I don't know much about track performance...

Reviewed by: Your Friend From India
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 4, Durability: 4, Noise: 4
Overall: 4
Bridgestone S-03

Track car reviewsNone provided

Reviewed by: Graeme
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 2
Overall: 4
Continental ContiSport2 235/55 17 99W

Track car reviewsI've gone back to the Contis after trying a couple of highly-rated alternatives which were frankly disappointing. These tyres are predictable, progressive and reliable. I have no complaints about the the tread-life as I am only interested in out and out performance, and do not want to compromise for longer tyre life.

Reviewed by: Jager Tee
Dry: 5, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 5
Overall: 5
Dunlop Direzza Star Spec

Track car reviewsGreat tire surprisingly good grip in the wet for a semi-slick tire. Its a pretty soft compound so it doesn't last too long. Its not a quite tire road noise is there and loud on some types of pavement but its totally livable there is no deafening tread howl.

Reviewed by: Danny
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Dunlop SP Sport 8000

Track car reviewsExcellent for daily driving provides substantial grip under all conditions.

Reviewed by: Michael
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 5, Track: 3, Durability: 4, Noise: 2
Overall: 4
Falken Ziex ZE-512

Track car reviewsGreat tyre when dry. Good on the wet tarmac. Horrible in the snow. Even though it is an "All-Season" I consider it to be a summer tyre because of its poor traction in the snow. Because this tyre is extremely affordable it is great for drifting. Not recommended for casual road use because the road noise from tyres is extremely loud.

Reviewed by: Benson
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 2, Track: 4, Durability: 2, Noise: 3
Overall: 3
Falken Azeni

Track car reviewsI use these on my Nissan 240sx (silvia/200sx in Britain). I only use them on the rear wheels since they provide a longer lasting tyre under heat and for drifting. They are more of a track/street tyre than a general purpose tyre since they are horrible in snow.

Reviewed by: Jeff
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Falken FK451

Track car reviewsFound them in used condition at the back of a tyre shop. Best street tyres I've used for track days better than Continental Contisports 2 seriously. I can floor it in 2nd gear in rain without losing traction too.

Reviewed by: DL
Dry: 5, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 5, Durability: 4, Noise: 4
Overall: 5
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

Track car reviewsFantastic tyre grip levels are awesome cant get my Audi S3 to lose traction with these on.

Reviewed by: Dave
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 5, Track: 3, Durability: 4, Noise: 3
Overall: 5
Goodyear Goodyear Eagle Asymmetric 2

Track car reviewsThe tyre is very impressive in the wet. Excelent grip in corners. I have driven with top brand tyres but these are the best high performence tyres I have ever driven!

Reviewed by: Vic Tolevski
Dry: 4, Wet: 5, Road: 4, Track: 3, Durability: 4, Noise: 4
Overall: 5
GoodYear Eagle F1

Track car reviewsSimply the best tyre on the market. Untouchable wet performance with comparable dry performance to Michelin PS#

Reviewed by: Udhveer
Dry: 4, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 5, Durability: 2, Noise: 3
Overall: 5
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3

Track car reviewsTried in 225/50R17 size. Quite a good tyre, has great wet grip. Some people talk about them tending to wander for the lack of straight grooves and ridges, but I haven't noticed any problems.

Reviewed by: Arny K
Dry: 4, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 0, Durability: 5, Noise: 0
Overall: 5
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

Track car reviewsTried in 235/45R17 dimension. Good tyres, but not as good as the "symmetric" Eagle F1 on the wet. Very durable without sacrificing the grip.

Reviewed by: Arny K
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 0, Durability: 5, Noise: 0
Overall: 4
Kumho Solus

Track car reviewsBackground: Average everyday driving with little bit of "attitude" (cornering take-offs). No track or any other racing. Recently put my second set of Kumho Solus. Quite softish compound. The best grip on wet I've ever had in this car (Toyota Avalon). Previous sets were: Michelin Vivacy and Hankook (don't remember model). Wet grip was there still until very last moments of tyres life!

Reviewed by: Pete
Dry: 3, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 3, Durability: 2, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus

Track car reviewsDriven 8000 miles on the street with these and 8 laps on the Nurburgring. Great dry performance and very good for wet conditions as well. Durability is fine for street driving but each track lap ate about a thousand miles off them. Sidewalls are very stiff and holdsthe track well. What I like most about these tires is the super quiet ride in low profiles.

Reviewed by: Peabody
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 5, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 5
Overall: 5
Michelin PS2

Track car reviewsFor heavy Porsche 996TT lasted a while at the track great communication very good dry and good even in rain

Reviewed by: David
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 5, Track: 5, Durability: 4, Noise: 5
Overall: 4
Michelin PS2

Track car reviewsDecent road and track tyre.

Reviewed by: Andy Smith
Dry: 4, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 3, Durability: 3, Noise: 2
Overall: 3
Nokian Z-G2 size 255,40,17"

Track car reviewsA lot of bang for your buck. My S6 feels very predictable and I've never felt as confident in the wet with any car. Unfortunately I can't give first hand experience for track use, but they stop very well in the wet and dry. Steering feedback could be better though.

Reviewed by: Russell
Dry: 4, Wet: 5, Road: 5, Track: 4, Durability: 4, Noise: 5
Overall: 4
Toyo Proxies R1R

Track car reviewsBest R compound ever tried. Very grippy in the dry and moderate in the wet recommended to pair it with good wet rubber like Eagle F1 GDS3 so rear won't flip. Tread wear is not as good as other performance rubber but it will survive in hot climate as well as raining roads

Reviewed by: David
Dry: 4, Wet: 2, Road: 3, Track: 4, Durability: 2, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Toyo Proxes T1R

Track car reviewsA very good tyre on the track. I've been using these tyres both on the road and on the track. Very good tyre on the road (stay hard) and on the track it comes really soft after 2-3 min of warming up. Very good grip on cornering.

Reviewed by: Simon
Dry: 4, Wet: 3, Road: 5, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Toyo R888

Track car reviewsOne of the best semi slick tyres ever!

Reviewed by: Peter
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 4, Track: 5, Durability: 5, Noise: 4
Overall: 5
Toyo R888

Track car reviewsBeautiful track tires, lots of grip and they don't get greasy easily. Phenomenal tire in the rain when they are rain-grooved. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Dave
Dry: 5, Wet: 5, Road: 2, Track: 5, Durability: 4, Noise: 3
Overall: 5
Yokohama AD07

Track car reviewsVery good semi-slick for the dry normal grip during wet. Silica compound. Grip level is max on dry tarmac. Ui-directional so rotation needs tyre to be taken off the rims. I would continue to use it again. This is not drift tyre but once it is worn to 20% or less thread wet performance will drop dramatically to "1" which means it will slide in rain a lot. But if dry grip of worn tyre will like a normal tyre.

Reviewed by: Vince
Dry: 5, Wet: 3, Road: 3, Track: 5, Durability: 1, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Yokohama A048

Track car reviewsAn excellent semi-slick tyre with decent water clearing ability. Very predictable on the limit and excellent grip; especially in the dry.

Reviewed by: Jon
Dry: 5, Wet: 3, Road: 2, Track: 5, Durability: 1, Noise: 3
Overall: 4
Yokohama S-drive

Track car reviewsGood tyres in terms of performance. But the noise level is awful. BTW should there be Noise level comment somewhere here? This tyre is realy loud :( prob due to low profile as well.

Reviewed by: Steve
Dry: 5, Wet: 4, Road: 3, Track: 4, Durability: 3, Noise: 3
Overall: 4