Track Racing Tire Guide
After all of the positive feedback we got on the Brake Pad Guide I decided it would be a good idea to do something similar for track tires. Over the past few years there have been a lot of new tires that have come to market to add to the already huge amount already on the market. With the sea of options I regularly find myself giving the similar input to different people so this will consolidate a lot of what I've said. There are already a few good tire guides on the market but a lot of them do miss some of the good, yet less known options.
I'm going to lay this out similar to how we organized brake pads, in 3 groups which go up by track use severity. Like brake pads, track tires are a give and take, a great track tire is not a great street tire and a great street tire is not the best track tire so understanding your intended use is paramount in getting the tire that makes the most sense for YOU.
Tires are not listed in any particular order, so don't read it as a worse to better type order. I will list the treadwear rating by the tire but that doesn't mean much in groups 2 and 3. Also note, treadwear (TW) is not an industry standard (although it is supposed to be) so just because two tires are both listed as 200TW does not mean they will give similar performance or have similar life. Treadwear can also change by tire size for a particular tire so the TW number listed is the treadwear that is assigned to most tire sizes for that model. I am not going to list prices as they greatly vary by size and are subject to availability and market fluctuations, but may make note of being more or less expensive than other tires. Lastly, I may make notes about some subjective metrics such as steering feedback or response but that kind of stuff I won't talk about with most tires because there are tons of variables other than tires that can affect those things so any comparison done on two different model cars or two cars that have been modified differently can great change how tires feel to drive on.
Group 1: You're tracking your daily driver, you want a tire that won't wear out super fast, will be safe in the wet, and won't get destroyed just from doing a track day, but are willing to sacrifice peak grip and heat capacity in exchange for these characteristics.
Group 1 may surprise you, mainly because most people expect to see lots of 200TW options but the reality is you don't need a 200TW tire just to get on track. Although there are some 200TW tires with significantly better life than others, they still do not last as long as many performance tires in the ~300TW area do, nor do they manage heavy water or cold conditions as well as these higher TW tires. With that said no tires on this list are tires I would recommend for use in winter/snow/ice conditions, so when I say a certain tire is good for all around use, that doesn't not mean it should be driven on through all 4 seasons of weather.
Yokohama Apex V601: The V601 is a great all around tire. It is a tire than can comfortably be driven on the street in 3 seasons and has great grip without needing a warmup. Their head capacity isn't monumental like more track oriented tires so will need a cooldown lap after they've been driven hard for enough time. I don't have firsthand experience with these tires but have seen more than a handful of people using them for mixed use with good success. The slightly lower TW compared to other group 1 tires indicate it will have a bit more grip and heat capacity than other group 1 tires. TW = 280. Note: Few 17" options currently available.
Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 2: The V12 has gone through a few iterations and the current Evo 2 version has been around for a while now. The V12 is synonymous with being a jack of all trades tire. It has good grip, can be driven in wet and raining conditions with confidence, has great tread life and doesn't make a ton of road noise (compared to others on this list). For track use, like all group 1 tires, these tires will need a cooldown after some time of being drivevn hard, but they won't fall apart after a few laps. I currently run V12s as a daily tire on our development Civic and they've yet to disappoint! TW = 320.
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500: I'm sure some reading this will gawk or laugh that I've included this tire here but these tires are perfectly fine for track use in a group 1 usage case. These tires have plenty of grip for fun daily use, good tread life, can be used in wet conditions and can be driven on track without issues if given enough opportunities to cool them down. TW = 340
Falken FK510: The FK510 is Falken's entry level sport tire contender. These tires, like most others in this group, offer a balance in streetability and performance. Also, like all others here, the will require a cooldown after being driven hard enough on track. These tires may need extra attention to temperature as the tall tread blocks may lead to the tire "chunking" if overheated too much. TW = 300.
Bridgestone Potenza Sport: The Potenza Sport is Bridgestone's seldom talked about entry level sport tire and it isn't a tire that will disappoint. While it's only been out for a couple of years it's quickly proven itself to be yet another great all around tire, these offer great street manners while having great wet performance and still being a trackable tire. These tires won't be able to handle tons and tons of heat so will need a cooldown after enough laps. TW = 300.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport: The Pilot Super Sport, or PSS, has long been a favored Michelin tire by many. These tires off a truly great all around capability. Despite their "meager" 300 TW rating these tires can and do work well for track use. They certainly do have their limit and will need cooldowns but as far as "all arounders" go, these are one of the best, but you will pay more than others in group 1 for it. TW = 300.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S: The Pilot Sport 4S, aka PS4S has been around for more than a few years and is a brother of sorts to the PSS but in reality it was intended to replace the PSS when it released. The main advantages of the PS4S over the PSS are less road noise and ride a tad better but sacrifice a bit of steering feedback. Like the PSS, these tires are one of the best all around options on the market but carry a price premium over other tires in group 1. TW = 300.
Continental Extreme Contact Sport 02: The Extreme Contact Sport 02 replaced the original Extreme Contact Sport, and are often referred to as the ECS. The ECS has long been regarded as one of the best wet performance tires for track use short of a proper wet slick racing tire. They also offer very respectable dry performance and are what I would consider towards the top of the list of "all around" tires in group 1. Many metrics aren't far off from the Michelin twins, but at a slightly lower price. TW = 340.
Kumho Ecsta PS91: The PS91 is Kumho's entry sport tire option and the lowest TW rated tire in group 1. While is has been out for over 10 years, it is still a great group 1 option. It doesn't have the grip level of the Michelin options despite a lower TW rating, but it does handle more heat and higher grip than other group 1 tires. TW = 260. Note: No 17" options currently available.
General G-Max RS: I doubt anyone expected to see a General brand tire on this list! Alas, the G-Max RS is a viable tire for group 1 use. I probably wouldn't have it as my first choice but they are priced reasonably well and can be used for light track use when cared for properly. They also do have appropriate street manners like many other group 1 tires. TW = 360.
Sumitomo HTR Z5: Another unlikely contender for group 1 is the Sumitomo HTR Z5. The HTR Z5 certainly isn't the be all end all of performance for group 1, but it does offer a respectable performance and streetability balance for what they cost (around $100 less per tire than the Michelin twins). I am not sure I would have them at the top of my list for group 1 but they are certainly a viable option. TW = 320.
Group 2: Your car is primarily a track car. It may still be street legal and you drive it around town on the occasional nice weekend but first and foremost you care about performance. You aren't wasting tread by driving around on the street so a softer and grippier tire is desired since road manners and cold weather capability aren't concerns.
Group 2 is once again the meat and potatoes group since this applies to track enthusiasts and serious racers alike. After listed TW I will also list best uses as TW becomes fairly irrelevant in this group but TW is good to know if there is a TW minimum for a class you may be competing in. You will also notice a trend of decreasing treadwear through the listings, this is mainly to group tires that are meant to compete with each other within the group, so take that for what it is.
Some may be surprised to see my including tires with TW ratings over 200 as a group 2 tire but I'm not doing it without reason. The first few tires are listed at 220TW and are options that I would consider as somewhere between group 1 and 2 but I have grouped them into group 2 because the most common places you'll see them are on group 2 cars that are running in race classes which require tires with TW over 200.
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2: The PS2 is the next step above the PSS and PS4S twins in Michelin's tire hierarchy. What the PS2 trades in road manners in gains in grip and heat capacity over the PS(4)S. With a slightly stiffer sidewall it also has better steering feedback and doesn't compromise much on wet performance. Overall, these are one of the fastest tires above 200 TW. TW = 220
Pirelli P Zero: I'll admit I'm a bit hesitant to put the P Zero here but I convinced myself the 220 TW rating on them made this the right place (if I'm wrong tell me and tell me why). The P Zero lineup has long be compared to Michelin's PS lineup and I think the PS2 has more outright grip than the P Zero, but the P Zero still sits above the PSS and PS4S twins. Price is similar between the P Zero and PS2 so I'm not sure I would pick them over the PS2 but they are an option nonetheless. TW = 220 Note: Minimal 17" options currently available.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3: Rounding out the 220 TW options is the Eagle SC3. These are Goodyear's (somewhat) competitor to the PS2, albeit a fair bit newer, and ultimately a fair bit more dry grip. This is where you start to see a sacrifice in streetability in exchange for performance. The main downsides of the SC3 are it's price (notably higher than the Michelin stuff which is already not cheap) and the fairly slim options for sizes. TW = 220. Note: Minimal 17" options currently available.
Hankook RS4: And now we plunge into the wave of 200TW options! The RS4 replaced the RS3V2 (which replaced the RS3) many moons ago. It and it's predecessors have long been regarded as the golden standard for a track day tire. It's a tire that provides great feedback in steering, very respectable grip levels, and a very long tread life. The heat capacity of the RS4 is very good and many other 200TW tires will get greasy well before these fall off much at all, but it does need a decent warm up to build grip. Wet performance is decent but nothing exceptional. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/test, endurance racing.
Falken RT615K+: The RT615K+ replaced the RT615K years ago and is also regarded as a great lapping. Heat capacity and tread life isn't quite up to the standard the RS4 sets but both are very respectable and where it falls short in those regards it makes up for with a lower price point. Peak grip is fairly comparable to the RS4 as is wet performance and it also needs a mild warm up like the RS4 to build grip. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/test, endurance racing.
Maxxis VR-1: The VR-1 is an often overlooked, or entirely unknown option. In my opinion it falls somewhere between the 615 and RS4 in most metrics. It has a bit less heat capacity with similar peak grip to the RS4 with a bit better wet performance (mainly due to a bit more tread siping). Tread life also falls somewhere between the two aforementioned tires, as does price in most cases. In the past year or two Maxxis reformulated the compound for the VR1 for better life and grip so it may be more on par with the RS4 than it used to be but I've not seen any results with the new compound yet. TW = 200. Best used or open track days, practice/test, endurance racing.
BFGoodrich Rival 1.5S: Like many other tires here the name has gotten longer as years go on and one tire model replaces another, which then gets replaced by another. In BFG' s case the original Rival was replaced by the Rival S and the Rival S was replaced by the Rival 1.5S. The Rival 1.5 has been around for a few years now but when the original Rival first came out it was a popular autocross tire choice due to it's out of the gate grip level. Nowadays the Rival 1.5 isn't a super common tire but that doesn't make it a bad choice. It has good heat capacity and is able to get more laps before falling off compared to a lot of the newer uber grippy 200TW options but lacks the peak grip those tires have. Wet performance is very good making it a great all around tire which still balances well between long life 200TW and ultimate grip 200TW options. TW = 200. Best used for autocross, open track days, practice/test, time attack, sprint races.
Yokohama A052: After a few years of being out the A052 still holds the crown for time attack tires but it is also often referred to as the one lap wonder tire, as that's about all you get out of them before they get greasy. The dry grip of the A052 has yet to be bested by newer options but it really is a one trick pony. They do make for a good autocross tire as well because of this nature and their wet performance is solid too which means they're not useless if it rains. It is a very soft compound and tread life is fairly low, coupled with how expensive these tend to be makes them very heavy on the wallet if you want to campaign a car on them. The sidewalls of the A052 are a decent bit softer than most 200TW stuff which makes steering feel a bit more vague and partially why they grease so fast but may also be part of why they have so much grip out of the gate. Either way, I don't often recommend these tires unless the driver is able to get their fastest lap on their first hot lap. TW = 200. Best used for autocross, time attack, qualifying.
Falken RT660: The RT660 is Falken's newest tire on the track tire market and has been well regarded since its introduction a few years ago. Although outright peak grip is not up to that of the A052 it is still very good and able to last more than a few laps before falling off in most cases. Tread life is acceptable given its grip level, but it's nowhere near the likes of an RS4 yet still a good amount better than an A052. They do require a bit of a warm up to build grip but it's easily achievable in an out lap. Steering feel is solid and pretty on par with other similar tires. We used these on our development Civic last year and I was pleased with how they performed although a bit more tread life would have been awesome. One final note I'll make, and this is just some overserved speculation, but I've heard murmurs that Falken may have altered the compound at some point since there seems to be tread delamination issues that doesn't seem to follow a trend. TW = 200. Best used for autocross, time attack, qualifying, sprint races.
Kumho Ecsta V730: The V730 is Kumho's newest offering for the track tire market. The older V720 (non ACR) had some issues with delaminating if they got too hot but Kumho fixed all of that with the V730. Grip level is fairly comparable to the RT660, although they require a more aggressive warm up to build grip. The upside of needing more of a warm up means they last a pretty good amount of time without grip falling off and tread life is better than many other super grippy 200TW options but still doesn't last quite as long as the less grippy options like the RS4 and VR1. The V730 is what I currently run on our development Civic and I have become a big fan of them, I've been able to achieve similar lap times and more consistently with better tread wear compared to the RT660 but have noticed steering feel is a tad bit more vague than the RT660. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, testing/practice, time attack, qualifying, sprint races.
Bridgestone RE-71RS: The RE-71RS is a very new entry to the track tire market and has long been awaited since its predecessor the RE-71R left the market a few years ago. I need to talk about the 71R before I can talk about the 71RS because of the history it has. The original 71R was regarded as something of a golden standard for time attack and autocross tires due to its great out of the gate performance and basically having peak grip from cold. The RT660 was one of the first tires to come out to really compete with the 71R in terms of grip but where the RT660 had an edge on the 71R was tread life and price. Nowadays the RT660 has gotten a bit more expensive so that edge has withered away a bit but the real Achilles heel of the 71R was how short of a life they lived (much closed to an A052 than an RT660). The new 71RS set to improve this more than anything and that's exactly what Bridgestone delivered. The newer 71RS has great peak grip, although it may need a bit of a tiny warm up compared to the original 71R, but it has far better tread life than its predecessor. TW = 200. Best used for autocross, time attack, qualifying, sprint races.
Nankang CR-S: Originally introduced as the CR-1, the CR-S is Nankang's attempt at an A052 competitor. It has quickly grown into the tire of choice for many people doing track days and time attack because of how sticky it is without being super short lived. Grip seems to be fairly on par with the A052 with better tread life but only minorly heat capacity. These would be for a better open track day tire than an A052 but I would still look towards something with more heat capacity if you're looking to improve your consistency without having to worry about the tire falling off midway through a session. TW = 200. Best used for autocross, time attack, open track days, qualifying.
Federal 595RS-RR/PRO: I'm lumping both the 595RS-RR and 595RS-PRO into the same listing because they are extremely similar, and I'm not even sure what the nitty gritty differences are between them. The original 595RSR was known for 2 things, being pretty darn cheap, and running wider than advertised. It was ultimately replaced by the 595RS-RR which carried that torch, but unfortunately added a fair bit of road noise. At some point they added the 595RS-PRO which is supposedly better in the wet and less road noise than the 595RS-RR. Federal has never had a huge US presence so finding much about them isn't nearly as easy as other tires, but I do recall them offering okay-ish track performance at a cheap price, and potentially delaminating if overheated for long enough. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice.
Nexen N Fera Sport R: Nexen has been putting out some great track tires for a few years now and the N Fera Sport R is the newest of their offerings, replacing the SUR4G. These seem to be another of the few tires that toe the line between super sticky and long tread life. Peak grip seems to be above average for the 200TW group but without having fast wear. Steering feedback may leave a bit to be desired but they check a lot of other boxes which may make up for that. I think the closest competitor for these tires in terms of performance is the Kumho V730. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, testing/practice, time attack, qualifying, sprint races.
Continental Extreme Contact Force: Conti's ECF tire is only a couple of years old now and have been met with largely positive reviews. It's not a super sticky 200TW tire like the RT660/A052/CR-S but it makes up for it with good tread like and strong heat capacity. These tires have made a good name for themselves in the endurance racing communities and also make for a good open track day tire when tread life and heat capacity are more important than peak grip. From what I've seen the ECR does seem to edge the RS4 out in peak grip while having similar ish tread life and heat capacity, but at a higher cost. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/testing, endurance races.
Yokohama Neova AD09: The AD09 is Yokohama's newest entry in the track tire market. It is meant to cover the other end of the 200TW spectrum that the A052 doesn't. It is yet another competitor for the venerable RS4 and meant to be have good tread life and acceptable heat capacity for extended use on track. I've only seen a handful of reviews on these tires but they seem to be a promising option for someone who is in the market for a tire with these qualities and maybe wants to try something different than what they're used to. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/testing, endurance races.
Dunlop Direzza ZIII: The Z3 is Dunlop's track tire aimed at long tread life with the capability of handling the heat generated from driving on track. It's older compared to many others covered here but that doesn't make it a bad option. It is another good option for someone looking for either an endurance racing tire or just something to get seat time with at open track days. It has pace similar to an RS4 with a bit lower tread life (but still good tread life) and it's been described by many as having good steering feedback which is important for endurance racing and learning the limits of a car. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/testing, endurance races.
Nankang NS-2R: The NS-2R is an older tire of Nankang's that came out well before the CR-S but they still make it because like the AD09 and the A052, it fills a need that the CR-S may not be able to, which is lasting for a long time with acceptable heat capacity. The NS-2R is a popular choice in Europe for a lot of small light econobox track cars that are common over there. They do well in the wet as well and generally don't wear super fast. I don't think they quite have the dry pace of an RS4 of any of the other competitive enduro 200TW tires but they're not a bad choice if you just want and affordable tire to get some seat time with. TW = 200. Best used for open track days, practice/testing, endurance races.
Nitto NT01: Nitto's NT01 is about as old as time itself, nearing almost 2 decades of production, but not without good reason. The NT01 is very well regarded as being one of the best choices for track day tires. It's peak grip is on par with the likes of some stickier 200TW stuff like Rival S 1.5 or V730 but with far more heat capacity and tread life. The two main downsides versus many of the 200TW stuff is worse wet performance and needing a very generous warm up to get to peak grip. If you're not competing in a class with 200TW restrictions and don't have to worry about wet performance these tires are an excellent choice. TW = 100. Best used for open track days, test/practice, endurance races, longer sprint races.
Maxxis Victra RC-1: The RC-1 is Maxxis response the the NT01. Very good peak grip, like many sticky 200TW options, yet far more heat capacity and tread life. Steering feel is solid but like many other 100TW tires the limit of the tire may not be communicated audibly so you have to feel for it. One of the two downsides of the RC-1 are the lack of very wide options, with the widest being a 275 so if you're driving a larger heavy car it may not be a viable choice. The other downside is having probably the worst wet performance of all group 2 tires. Wet performance is heavily dependent on tread design and the RC-1's tread is 2 vertical sipes (the legal minimum to be a DOT approved tire). I've run these tires on my personal Evo 8 track car and absolutely love the consistent fast performance they offered but driving in the wet is downright scary, the sidewall even says they are intended for dry use only. TW = 100. Best used for open track days, test/practice, endurance races, longer sprint races.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R: Not to be confused with the standard Supercar 3, the SC3R is Goodyear's entry into the 100TW game. It is meant to offer even more grip and handle more heat than the standard SC3 tire and it delivers on both fronts. This tire directly competes with the other 100TW tires listed above. While great in the dry, Goodyear says these tires are not meant for use in the wet, which is a good directive to follow, similar to Maxxis' RC-1. TW = 100. Best used for open track days, test/practice, endurance races, longer sprint races.
Nankang AR-1: The AR-1 is Nankang's heavy track use tire akin to the NT01 and RC1. These tires are meant to be driven hard for extended periods of time without getting greasy or falling off. The AR-1 is only a few years old now and has shown to have a bit more pace than the NT01 and RC1 but I'm not sure how it stacks up against the new compound RC1. All three of these tires do totally great in the dry and none of them shine in the wet, but if they were my only tire choices I'd definitely take the AR-1 for wet use. TW = 100. Best used for open track days, practice/test, endurance races, longer sprint races.
Toyo RA1: The RA1 is another 100TW tire that has been around for quite some time now. Despite it being an older tire it is still a great choice for a tire that can handle any kind of track use very well. It has great heat capacity, and is probably the best 100TW tire for wet track use by a pretty good margin. Peak grip is pretty comparable to some of the faster 200TW tires but not as high as the fastest 200TW tires. TW = 100. Best used for open track days, practice/test, endurance races, longer sprint races, rain races.
Federal FZ-201: The FZ-201 is Federal's semi-slick tire option. Despite its low TW rating it is in the same playing field as the 100TW options listed above (it even used to carry a 100TW rating) so this feels like the right place to include it. Federal tires are notorious for being priced pretty well so they're worth looking into if budget is a large concern and you want tires that will last a decent while on track. TW = 40 (or 100 maybe?). Best used for open track days, practice/test, endruance races.
Group 3: These tires are either not legal to use on public roads or I just wouldn't recommend driving on them anywhere other than the racetrack.
Group 3 is where my firsthand experience dwindles a lot. I admittedly don't know a ton of details about many tires in this group because most of them are race slicks and it's not something I deal with much ever, but I felt that I should at least include them because this is what comes after group 2 tires in terms of performance. One of the starkest differences between most group 2 and 3 tires is heat cycles. Heat cycles are exactly that, how many times the tire has been heated up and cooled off again. For group 2 tires heat cycles do matter but they don't make a world of difference unless the tire is years old and the heat cycle count is large (to me that means 50+), but heat cycles can't be ignored with group 3. Lower heat cycle tires will always offer better performance than higher heat cycle tires and after a certain amount of heat cycles performance will drop off drastically, especially for group 3 tires. It is common for race teams to sell used group 3 tires for cheap that are "heat cycled out" meaning the tires still may have a lot of usable tread left on them but they have been heated cycled enough times that they no longer provide the performance the team is looking for. Used slicks can be a mildly affordable way to get good tires, but new almost all of these will cost you dearly compared to a group 2 tire.
Hoosier A7: I'm going to start group 3 with a tire that many may have heard in passing which is one of the most popular racing tires on the market and that is the A7. Hoosier is known for making some of the best race tires and the A7 is proof of that. It's the tire of choice for competitive autocrosses and time attack drivers around the country (and lately the world). More grip than most people would know what to do with and it's there immediately from basically cold. They don't have a ton of heat capacity so they don't work great for extended periods of driving and cost a pretty hefty penny. TW = 40. Best used for autocross, time attack, qualifying.
Hoosier R7: The R7 is the A7's twin brother, of sorts. Where the A7 falls short on heat capacity, the R7 takes control. It still has the same awe inducing grip levels of the A7 but it's not there out of the gate and requires some generous warm up to get them into the temp where they get grippy. Equally as eye watering on the wallet as the A7 but they've got just as many race wins under their belt. TW = 40. Best used for sprint races, practice (if your wallet allows), endurance races.
Yokohama A055: This is Yokohama's R7 competitor. It is a 40TW racing slick that is made for the racetrack. I've not seen too many people use these tires but the results that they've shown are nothing short of impressive. I do see more people running R7s though, so take that for what it is. Regardless, more options, especially in this fairly small segment, is definitely not a bad thing. TW = 40. Best used for sprint races, endurance races, practice, open track days.
Toyo RR: The RR has been around for quite some time and it is also an R7 competitor as a 40TW slick. Known for being a very long lasting tire these are a good choice if you're looking for a slick that will last a long period of time on track. TW = 40. Best used for endurance races, practice, open track days.
Federal FZ-101: The FZ-101 is Federal's full slick option. I've never seen these tires used in the US, but they seem to have something of a following over in Europe. I can't imagine they're quite to the level of performance as the Hoosier stuff, but Federal tires have always been priced well so don't immediately dismiss them. TW = none. Best used for endurance races, practice, open track days.
Now you may be thinking, "Hey he didn't talk about XYZ tire which is definitely a good track tire". Well unfortunately there are a lot of tire models that are either replaced or discontinued after years of production. So below are the honorable mentions for tires that are no longer produced that you may have used before or may be able to find some new old stock laying in a warehouse somewhere. There are also some here which are still being made but are only available in a handful of sizes which makes them hard to talk about because their use is extremely niche.
Hankook Ventus TD: The Ventus TD was a very popular tire in its heyday. It has long been discontinued but it did offer phenomenal grip, great heat capacity and nonlethal wet performance. Unfortunately these tires are nigh impossible to find today but maybe Hankook will release a successor someday. TW = 80.
Kumho V720 ACR: Not to be confused with the standard V720 tire, these are the factory tire for the 5th generation Dodge Viper ACR. Regarded as cheater tires and outlawed by my racing organizations, these tires have grip comparable to the A052, decent tire life and solid steering feel. Having better heat capacity than the A052 with similar grip would make this the go to time attack tire, if it was made in more than 2 tires sizes. That right, this tire is only made in a 295/25/19 and an eye watering 355/30/19, which means they don't fit on most cars. It's been speculated that a lot of the science that went into these tires played a part in developing the V730. TW = 200 (for legal reasons probably) Best used for time attack, autocross, breaking track records (if you can fit them).
Yokohama A048: The A048 is another tire of the ages. Similar to the TD, it was once a well regarded tire with great grip and heat capacity in a semi slick configuration, yet has ultimately been discontinued by Yokohama. TW = 60.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (R): I'm tossing the PSC2 and all variations of it here mainly because despite them being great tires, none of them are available in diameters under 19" and most average guys tracking their cars are either on 15", 17" or 18" wheels. TW = 180. Best used for time attack, autocross, open track days.
Toyo R888R: The R888R replaced the original R888 a few years back with not much improvement and I'm listing it here as a "not so honorable mention" because these tires are probably one of the worst tires for track use given how they are marketed. Their low TW makes them short lived as street tires, and the pace that can be extracted from them is more akin to a 300+ TW option rather than the 100TW stuff listed in group 2. The only redeeming thing about them is their heat capacity is better than the ~300TW options they're paced with, but there are cheaper and faster and better mannered 200TW options out there. TW = 100. Best used for driving to cars and coffee, hard parking at car shows, and burnouts.
And that's it! Of course there are other tires, many racing slicks which don't carry DOT TW ratings, and I know next to nothing intimate about those tires and quite frankly, if you're considering them, you probably wouldn't be here reading this anyway. If I were to make a group for those non DOT tires it would be Group 4, all of which are priced at group 3 prices or considerably higher, RIP.
There may be some tires that I didn't include or just plain forgot about, and if so, you should let me know in the comments so I can look into them and get them added. Likewise, if you disagree about something I said about a tire, let me know! I'll also leave similar disclaimers as I did on the brake pad guide in regards to vehicle weight. Your vehicle's weight will massively influence how any given tire will perform and last, so keep that in mind when you're considering tires for yourself.
Thanks for reading along on yet another long winded post, if you have any questions or are looking for recommendations feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Austin and the Wunderladen Racing team