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Tire choice: max performance summer vs winter

Old Jul 14, 2018, 02:39 PM
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Tire choice: max performance summer vs winter

I'm headed to the drag strip for the first time ever next week. I have three tire options:

Car is an Evo 9 MR, around 300 whp on a Mustang dyno.

* 255-40-17 Bridgestone RE71Rs on 17x9.5 RPF1s
Stickiest, widest, ~17 lb wheels

* 245-40-17 Hankook RS3 v2s on 17x9 TRM C3s
Shortest, not as sticky, not as wide, ~19 lb wheels

* 225-45-17 Michelin Alpin Primacy on 17x8 OEM BBS
Same height as 255s

I'm not sure what to do here. a) I don't want to break stuff, b) I don't want to bog. I feel pretty comfortable launching on asphalt/concrete but a prepared drag strip is new to me. This will be probably an 80 degree day.

Looking through the archives, there is evidence for all of the following
* Stiff sidewall summer tires are not good for grip at the drag strip, softer sidewalls, like drag radials are better. Does this mean summer tires = lots of wheelspin? Or summer tires = lots of wheel hop?
* This guy broke his 6-speed with some autocross-style tires
* Winter tires might help you not bog

Do you have flexibility about where you line up? Like can I line up slightly offline so that there is less rubber down from other folks?

Not sure anyone will read this, but thanks for any insight!

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Old Jul 15, 2018, 08:20 AM
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Don't use winter tires, you'll blow them off and lose a ton of tread in the process. Between the RS3 and 71r you probably won't notice too much of a difference in grip but you'll probably notice the slightly taller gearing the 71r gives you.

Yes you can line up anywhere you like and starting off center from where the prep is from other guys would be best for starting. If you end up having some wheel spin then either drop tire pressure a bit or line up in the prepped area.

As for launching that's where you'll break your drivetrain if done wrong. Don't sidestep the clutch, hold the pedal right below the friction point so the car doesn't move, slip it just a hair and then let it out. Even on street tires with your power you should be able to manage a 1.8s 60'.

Also will largely depend on how your launch control is setup. if you're just using the factory stationary rev limit then don't expect to go tearing out of the hole at warp speed. If you've setup launch maps with tephramod then you can definitely get going pretty quickly as long as you're building enough boost and have enough engine speed on launch. For reference I have a set of Nitto NT555r radials, launch control engine speed is 6k and it builds 23-25psi on launch. At no prep events I can get out of the hole with a hair bit of wheels spin on higher tire pressure (30psi) and if I drop tire pressure to 20-25 it gets rid of most wheel spin.

Oh and last thing, wheel spin is always better for your drivetrain than bogging.
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Old Jul 15, 2018, 06:52 PM
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I had to raise the 2-step to, 5800 (I think) for this event at Toledo

^- special kind of autocross where you launch off a tree. This was concrete, so only a little wheelspin and then go. I was lining up slightly off the rubbered in parts to try to stop it from bogging.

I don't have any fancy tephramod launch control stuff though. Sounds awesome.. will have to ask the next time I get up to CBRD.

Last edited by Butt Dyno; Nov 2, 2018 at 09:33 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Aug 9, 2018, 10:11 AM
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I had on all season Hankook Ventus HRII's when I was drag racing and hit fairly consistent 1.6 60' time's. My 2-step was right at 6100rpm and tire pressure at 20-22psi.
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Old Nov 1, 2018, 10:33 AM
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I always prefer all season, instead of sticky summer tires. Summer tires always have way stiff sidewalls, which lead to wheel hop, which leads to broken parts.

Ive done 1.6x 60fts on my all seasons.

EDIT: opps, thought this was a current thread, but it doesn't look to be.
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Old Nov 2, 2018, 09:40 AM
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Yeah, all seasons would have been the choice if I had any. I was stuck between the two extremes.

I ended up going with the summers, I think the 245s rather than the 255s figuring I'd get slightly better accel and be slightly less likely to break things.

60 foots in order
* 1.981
* 2.006
* 1.952
* 1.912

Pretty meh but the drivetrain survived. I'm still stock clutch so I didn't want to bump the 2step too much.
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