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2013 3.8 Track
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381 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering how many track days you guys are getting out of your tires, and what kind?

The stock tires I used for 11 track days and 15,000 miles before getting new wheels and tires, and the stock tires are still good for probably about another 5000 miles or so according to my mechanic. Granted, the first several track days especially I wasn't running that hard because I was brand new to it.

I've had Michelin Pilot Super Sports on for 8 track days and about 4000 miles, and at the end of the 8th track day I noticed a slight bit of chunking in my left front tire (the others are fine). It's near the outside edge, a bit of the tread is just gone. I'm pretty bummed considering how expensive they are and that I haven't even had them 6 months yet. I'm assuming the tire is toast and will need to be replaced.

Also, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips to help mitigate this kind of thing. Perhaps I should have taken it easy a bit more on the first few laps to more evenly warm things up? Maybe stayed off the curbing more?
Thanks in advance for the input.
 

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56 Posts
The PSS has a very soft tread and most people I know only get maybe 20k miles out of them just with DD use. Track days are going to eat them much quicker.

Have you had your alignment set recently? Are you lowering air pressures or leaving stock? Bringing them up to temp before beating on them will definitely help as well as staying off of the curbs.
 

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2013 3.8 Track
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381 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Alignment was recently done. Air pressures lowered slightly and rechecked periodically throughout the day. I did use the curbs, and while I held back a bit the first lap or so, I didn't slow as much as I had previously.
 

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Take 'em Fei!
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9,280 Posts
So key things to tire wear are going to be heat, pressure, setup, obstacle, style, and experience.

You have already touched on the first four and gotten those pretty much correct. With regards to setup, always double check toe and camber regularly to make sure they haven't been pushed out of spec.

With regards to style and experience, those mean that your driving style dictates how your tires wear. Generally, the more aggressive you are, the more heat and pressure you put into the tires and, thus, wear them quicker. Alternatively, the easier and smoother you are, the more you "save" the tires and make them last longer. That is where experience comes into play. Most people tend to make extra steering and brake inputs when first starting out which requires the tires to do more work to keep the car doing what you want it to do. This is not smooth nor does it help the car to help you. As you practice and learn, you will naturally smooth out these inputs and find that brakes and tires last longer as a result.

During this learning phase, however, you normally need to run street tires as required by most sanctioning bodies (always follow their rules with regards to your car group/type/experience level). So, you have some options that everyone who tracks there car has had to think about and decide:

1) Run a softer tire (like a PSS from the Extreme Summer Performance Category) and accept that, depending on mileage and number of track days, you will be going through a set of tires once if not twice a year and budget there cost. You also accept that should you get a puncture in the tire, most tracks/sanctioning bodies do not allow patched/repaired tires to run as they no longer meet the tire manufacturer's speed rating qualifications and have a much higher risk for blow out. As such, you may have to replace a tire simple because it got a nail in it.

2) Run a middle road tire (like a BFG Sport Comp 2 from the Ultra Summer Performance Category) and learn to adjust your driving to the tire limits. This is what I normally recommend to most who are starting out. This allows you to run a slightly hard compound tire that will take a bit more abuse but still last a good while, but isn't a super hard all season tire that you sacrifice a good deal of your grip traction due to compound choice. They key to these tires is slowly building up speed the first few laps as these tires tend to have a grip curve that will peak mid to late in your session with maximum grip before starting to get too hot and "greasing" where you will have a bit of slip/slide to fight to maintain your speed through the end of the session. As with number 1, any puncture/damage normally means replacing a tire, not repairing it.

3) Buy a second set of wheels and run option 1 for track only and option 2 for daily driving. This is what I do. I normally suggest people who want to go this route to start with a cheap set of OEM 18s. You can find them pretty easily between FB and the forum and get a set for around $400 or sometimes less. The idea is to find ones that are curbed or scratched that you don't care about the looks since you are driving on track with them but that are structurally sound with no cracks or bends. Then, its just a quick swap from one set to the other before and after your track days. This also helps to reduce or even eliminate the concern of road debris mentioned in 1 and 2.

Hopefully this info helps a bit and feel free to ask any additional questions if you have any.
 

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I'd rather do it myself
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18,572 Posts
I had some dedicated super sticky track tires. Kumho Victor Racers. Then had them heat cycled and shaved by Tire Rack before they shipped.. I think I got 4 track days out of them. :)
 
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