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Tire recommendation - DOT tires

10 October 2002
Hurricane, Utah
I am interested in moving to a set of street tires which are DOT approved but not full track tires. These are the ones SCCA considers to be "street tires" for autocross competition, with tread wear of 200 minimum. I believe Falken FT615, Sumitomo, and others qualify.

I am D.E. instructor but I am not interested in the full track tire & second set of wheels option. I would like a nice dual-purpose tire which has better performance than my current Michelin Pilot Sport package. Can anyone recommend the best choice of the 200 treadwear tire catagory for use on OEM size 16/17 wheel combination?

Thanks in advance,
You're referring to what the Tire Rack calls "extreme performance summer tires", tires that are designed to fall in between top-of-the-line summer tires (like the Michelin Pilot Sport you mention) and R compound track tires.

Here are all of the tires in this category:

Kumho Ecsta XS (not yet introduced, but coming)
Toyo R1R

The Best:
Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec
Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R
Falken Azenis RT-615

The Rest:
Yokohama Advan Neova AD07
BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD
Kumho Ecsta MX
Hankook Ventus R-S2 Z212

Of these, here are the ones available in 16"/17" sizes for the NSX:

Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R in 205/45-16 and 245/40-17 ($161/$228 at the Tire Rack)
Falken Azenis RT-615 in 215/45-16 and 255/40-17 ($94/$126 at Vulcan Tire)
Hankook Ventus R-S2 Z212 in 205/45-16 or 215/45-16 and 245/40-17 ($94 or $99/$126 at the Tire Rack)

In terms of performance, RE-01R is better than RT-615, RT-615 is better than Z212. The Z212 does slightly better in rain and may last a bit longer. Given the price and performance differences, I would choose the RT-615 over the other two.

Oh, and about those treadwear ratings - they can be very misleading. For example, in comparison to most tires, the treadlife on the RT-615 is what you would expect from a treadwear rating of 100, not its actual rating (200). I believe that Falken gives it an artificially high treadwear rating because a minimum rating of 200 is required in certain competition series. Oh, and the treadwear rating on the RE-01R is 180.

Falken 615, Michelin PS2, Kumho MX, and Hankook RS2 have all been very good on my Miata. :smile:
The Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 is NOT in this category.
Mr. Sax - as always, your posts are right on the money and awesomely informative.

not trying to hijack the thread but has anyone had experience with the toyo R1R. I'm running these at the redline timeattack at Miller next weekend. I have yet to read any reviews yet.
Kumho Ecsta XS (not yet introduced, but coming)
According to the latest Tire Rack brochure, these will be available starting next month.

Lots of manufacturers are jumping into this market segment. And given how rapidly these tires wear, it's no wonder. It reminds me of the first line of the talk by the representative of Yokohama Tire at NSXPO '97: "I'm happy to be here with some of the most frequent of our repeat customers". :biggrin:
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