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Track Day Tires '18 GTI

mattm3mr

New member
Hi all,

I tried doing some searches for track day tire setup and didn't see too much, but apologies if this is a redundant thread.

I am looking to keep two sets of wheels, the stocks and Neuspeed RSE 10s 18x8.5, car is stock (for now).

Looking to do 3-4 HPDE events this year, and for weather, I live in San Francisco.

Does anyone have experience with the below or would recommend a tire for some street/HPDE (maybe autocross in the future)

  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
  • Bridgestone RE-71Rs
  • Hankook RS4
 

Will_

Ready to race!
Location
Sacramento, CA
  • 4S is a fantastic all around tire but trades ultimate grip for better wear/comfort.
  • RE-71rs are the king of AutoX right now (at least last season) but are loud AF on the road. Very very grippy but won't get much life out of them.
  • Cup 2 - no experience with these but they are esentially extra grippy Sport 4S with less life.
  • RS4 - can't comment but there are a few GTI guys who run these.
I run Conti Extreme Contact Sports right now which are great all around but leave a second or two on the table at AutoX. I only have a single tire setup right now though. My pick for track performance would be RE-71s. I heard the Yokohamas are good too.
 

aaronc7

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Clovis, NM
4S good compromise tire but may very well start to overheat them if driven really hard on a track. 71R is really an autocross tire, comes up to temp fast and grip great, but don't handle repeated hard laps on track before overheating, don't last long. Cup 2 is great tire for hpde, but probably cost a lot more vs the others. RS4 is 200tw like the 71R but it is a harder compound, doesn't come up to temp quite as quick, but handles heat better/wears better. RS4 is probably the best lapping tire on the list that is streetable. 4S is probably the best all around street/autocross/hpde tire.

If you're gonna have 2 sets of wheels with one set purely street setup, I would get the RS4 for HPDE events, I think that's going to be your most bang for buck without actually looking up all the prices at this second.
 

SouthFL_Mk7.5

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
South Florida
Not on your list but worth consideration; I had a great day a few weeks ago using Pirelli P Zero. They’re a 220 treadwear tire. Nice compromise street/track tire. They hold up fine for HPDE use, communicate well and ride pretty nicely on the street. To compare, I also use some Kumho V720’s and the P Zero are a more sophisticated tire on my opinion. The V720’s are 200 treadwear and are very loud and less forgiving day in day out.
Also, if you’re not swapping out wheels and tires for track use, consider buying a fifth wheel and tire (this only works if the tire is bidirectional) to rotate in and have as a spare in case you puncture a tire at any point on your way to or at the track.
 
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Will_

Ready to race!
Location
Sacramento, CA
Also, Falken is coming out with a new tire in March/April to replace the 615. I was talking to a Falken rep the other day about it (so take this with a grain of salt) but it is supposed to be excellent and aimed strictly at AutoX/Track usage.
 

R Golf

Ready to race!
Location
Lenox, MA
I run about 10 track days per year plus about 12K street miles. I've run both the RE-71R and Michelin PS4S (I don't swap tires for track days) The RE71-R's were great on track but terrible on street after 2 track days. At first NVH was manageable, but as they picked up more and more rubber and wore they were horrible. I've found the PS4S to be a real sweet spot for me. Although slightly less grippy than the RE-71R I can get extremely close lap times while gaining huge on DD. They have excellent transition feel. Wear is much better than the RE71R but camber plates help huge there (running about -2.2 degrees).
 

blaqsheep

Go Kart Champion
Location
Canada
Ride
IS38 GTI PP 6MT
I've been running Federal 595 RS-RR this past season for the track. They're cheap (less than $100 a tire for 235/45-17) and grippy (200TW) but are way too loud to daily. I think I'll be going with 255/40-17 RS4's next time.
 

Cliff

Ready to race!
Location
SF Bay Area
Hi all,

I tried doing some searches for track day tire setup and didn't see too much, but apologies if this is a redundant thread.

I am looking to keep two sets of wheels, the stocks and Neuspeed RSE 10s 18x8.5, car is stock (for now).

Looking to do 3-4 HPDE events this year, and for weather, I live in San Francisco.

Does anyone have experience with the below or would recommend a tire for some street/HPDE (maybe autocross in the future)

  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
  • Bridgestone RE-71Rs
  • Hankook RS4
From this list I'd pick the RE71R, and a 255/35R18 size tire will fit on your 18x8.5" wheels and on your car.
 

Crild

Go Kart Champion
Location
Florida
None of those. If you want something that will last forever you should use Continentals for the fact it's a daily that will rarely see the track. Michelin has super soft sidewalls so you need to run crazy high psi to make them work properly.
 

kollunz

New member
Location
Bay Area, CA
I just picked up a 17' GTI and I'm also planning on tracking it every now and then. I currently own a 95' Miata that I track at all of the norcal tracks(Sonoma, Laguna, T-hill). So my advice is based off of my personal experience and what track instructors have informed me.

Will this be your first time on track? If so, I would not recommend something as sticky as the RE-71Rs, they will mask your mistakes and wear incredibly fast if you're pushing the car hard and often. They're great for Auto'x and putting down the fastest lap times, but they're not ideal for fun hot lapping and learning.

The RS-4s on the other hand are great tires that have both a great balance of grip and tire life. They're kind of pricey though. Tires and brakes will be your biggest consumables if you track often. I'd recommend something like the Federal 595 RS RR as a cheaper alternative that's grippy enough to have a lot of fun on the track.
 

geokilla

Ready to race!
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ride
2018 VW GTI DSG
Seeing as you have neither of the 3 tires mentioned, I would not make recommendations based on anecdotal evidence.
I tried the Vitour at the track on my friend's car and loved them. Getting a set next year for dedicated track use. Almost half of the people that track with us were running Vitour Tempesta Enzo. It's definitely replaced the Hankook Ventus RS-4 that were very popoular among us.
 

mattm3mr

New member
I just picked up a 17' GTI and I'm also planning on tracking it every now and then. I currently own a 95' Miata that I track at all of the norcal tracks(Sonoma, Laguna, T-hill). So my advice is based off of my personal experience and what track instructors have informed me.

Will this be your first time on track? If so, I would not recommend something as sticky as the RE-71Rs, they will mask your mistakes and wear incredibly fast if you're pushing the car hard and often. They're great for Auto'x and putting down the fastest lap times, but they're not ideal for fun hot lapping and learning.

The RS-4s on the other hand are great tires that have both a great balance of grip and tire life. They're kind of pricey though. Tires and brakes will be your biggest consumables if you track often. I'd recommend something like the Federal 595 RS RR as a cheaper alternative that's grippy enough to have a lot of fun on the track.
Would be my 7-8 time to the track, I’ve knly done laguna and thunder hill. Coming from an evo 8 so will be my first time wirh FWD. Will look up the federals, not on my first list!
 

mattm3mr

New member
Thanks to everyone for your input, I’m not sure if it’s given me more questions or answers. Probably both. I definitely need to do more research on some of the tires I didn’t have on my initial list.

Not sure if better to add here or a new thread, does anyone have track specific pads they swap into?
 

R Golf

Ready to race!
Location
Lenox, MA
Thanks to everyone for your input, I’m not sure if it’s given me more questions or answers. Probably both. I definitely need to do more research on some of the tires I didn’t have on my initial list.

Not sure if better to add here or a new thread, does anyone have track specific pads they swap into?
Just as an aside, the Michelin comment about the need for "crazy high psi" is incorrect, but if you've been on track and seen the number of people running them you already knew that. Just don't want you misled with bad info.
 

steddy2112

Ready to race!
Location
Newark DE
One tire I haven't seen mentioned at all here is the Dunlop Direzza ZIII

Back in 09, 10 I used to use star specs all the time and was a huge fan of them. Did a day back in August with a set of Michelin PSS's because I drank the hype kool-aid everyone was passing around here when I got my ZE40s and Mich made the size I wanted to run

I killed the PSS's in one track day and probably 4,000 or so of street driving. They're an ok tire IMO if you're not going to push it on the track, the michelins that is.

Now I've done a couple days on the Dunlops and ran the Tail of the Dragon on them as well and they are pretty damn good. Extreme performance tires are way different than they were 10-ish years ago. They really don't like low temps and are flat spotted for about a mile if you end up driving them in temps around 50º.

From what I hear they're not as noisy as the RE-71R but their lap times are real close to one another.

As for brake pads, get the ducting that goes on the control arms for 50 or so bucks. The stock pads are only bad if they get hot. I also suggest coding the ability to fully defeat ESC and more importantly code out the brake overboost. It'll help out with consistency immensely.
 

SouthFL_Mk7.5

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
South Florida
Thanks to everyone for your input, I’m not sure if it’s given me more questions or answers. Probably both. I definitely need to do more research on some of the tires I didn’t have on my initial list.

Not sure if better to add here or a new thread, does anyone have track specific pads they swap into?
Porterfield R4S make for a great Street/Track pad. They can hold up to a few laps of 90 to 95% braking at a time but I’m more comfortable pushing them at an 80-85% threshold to get a full track day out of them without fade.
If I were serious about max braking, I’d swap in a set of R4 track pads up front and maximize them.
The Carbon Kevlar R4S Street/Track pads have been around a long time. They dust little, run quiet and can be used in combination with the track specific R4.
 

jay745

track sl00t
Location
Chicago
Ride
2 vw's
I can't say enough great things about rs4's. Very grippy and last a long time. I found re71r to be pretty bad for track days, they're good for one hot lap before they overheat and get greasy, same with the bfg rival-s. I've had a few sets of rs3/rs4 and don't think I'm going to change until they discontinue them
 
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