Many drivers like sporty rides - especially, in motorsport events. These are generally beyond the capabilities of regular tyres, which is the reason manufacturers create specialised racing tyres for quick rounds on racing tracks. Racing tyres significantly affect the driving behaviour of a car and may not be used in regular traffic.
They are designated to aid one to get the ultimate performance out of their car, particularly during a competitive race. The combination of sidewall construction, specific race compounds, and tread patterns is meant to facilitate first-class stability and traction in contact with the road. These give you balance, in spite of the speed, ensuring the smoothness of the ride. Most racing tyres have very little to no tread at all (so-called “racing slick”) and are sized not to match the sizes approved in car papers. On eiretyres.com, we also offer a selection of street authorised tyres. They may be used on wet surfaces; however they have significantly worse driving properties during rain than regular tyres - so drive carefully!
Benefits of racing tyres
- Safety: Racing tyres resist heat build-up efficiently, preventing overheating that can lead to premature wear or, in extreme cases, explosions. Their design improves steering response and reduces braking distances on both dry and wet surfaces, enhancing overall safety.
- Superior Handling: Composed of soft rubber for improved grip, racing tyres make it easier to navigate tight corners. Their lightness promotes quicker acceleration, providing an edge in races. Wide grooves on racing tyres prevent aquaplaning by effectively channelling water away.
- Increased Speed: The speed index of a racing tyre corresponds directly to its performance. For instance, an 'H' speed rated tyre is approved for speeds up to 200 km per hour.
- Better Traction: Racing tyres are wider and have treads designed to maximize traction. Their larger contact area ensures perfect adhesion to the track, which translates to more efficient braking and excellent traction, even under wet conditions.
Types of racing tyres
Racing tyres can be categorized into several types depending on their level of performance and the specific conditions they are designed for:
- Ultra-high performance tyres: These can be summer or all-season tyres. All-season variants perform admirably on dry and wet surfaces, while summer racing tyres excel in handling and cornering, typically with a speed rating of 'V' or higher.
- Extreme performance tyres: If absolute dry grip and performance are your priorities, extreme performance tyres are your best bet. However, these tyres sacrifice comfort and wet grip for maximum road feel and dry handling.
- High performance tyres: These all-season or summer tyres balance handling and traction well, making them ideal for drivers who prioritize handling, grip, and responsiveness over comfort, tyre life, and fuel economy.
- Maximum performance tyres: These tyres are a great choice for drivers seeking optimal performance on both dry and wet surfaces. They also offer good aquaplaning resistance but are not recommended for daily driving or winter use.
Racing tyres classification
Competition tyres can be categorized into three groups: slicks, semi-slicks, and sports tyres.
- Slicks: These tyres, first used in motorsport in 1966 and developed by Dunlop Tyres, are designed for maximum performance by having no tread pattern, thus maximizing road contact and grip. Examples include Hankook Ventus F200, Hankook Ventus Z 207/Z 217, and Michelin GT.
- Semi-slicks: Semi-slicks have minimal tread patterns to provide some grip in wet weather. They are common in lower-level motorsport. Examples include Hankook Ventus TD Z 221, Toyo Proxes R888R, and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo Race.
- Sports tyres: These tyres are versatile and can be used both on the track and for regular city or highway driving. They are often used in entry-level amateur competitions. Examples include Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 and Hankook Ventus R-S3 Z222.
While racing tyres offer great performance, especially in wet conditions, bear in mind that these tyres typically have a lifespan of about 150km.
Tyres under extreme load
Racing tyres are made from a special rubber compound, which is only natural considering the very high demands on them. The traction on the road must be at maximum to form the famous adhesion effect, as seen in high-performance racing events. Due to the use of state-of-the-art technology, one can equip his/her car with uniform tyres, engineered for deluxe sport cars. You could also consider getting a set of radial tyres. Generally, these feature a flexible sidewall that safeguards the interior of the tyre while ensuring a comfortable drive.
For more information about each tyre, go on eiretyres.com, and choose the product that fits your car’s individual requirements.