The Continental ContiForceContact Now Available in United States

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

This year, we've added another Streetable Track & Competition tire to our line-up and are pleased to introduce the Continental ContiForceContact. Designed to compete with popular tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and Toyo Proxes R888, the ContiForceContact (80 treadwear) has a compound that's soft enough to be competitive in a track environment, yet suitable for light street use.

Unlike extremely soft race-only applications, such as the Hoosier R6, the ContiForceContact is less likely to pick up road debris and comes up to temperature slightly slower, allowing it to be driven to and from the track. The tire's tread void areas also allow it to be used in the wet. However, while designed to resist hydroplaning, ContiForceContact tires are not recommended for high-speed driving on extremely wet roads with standing water where there is the risk of hydroplaning. This is especially true of shaved or worn tires. Drivers should drive cautiously at reduced speeds in these conditions.

We had an opportunity to test the tire back in March and determined the tire delivers an impressive blend of dry track performance and wet traction. It can also thrill drivers during hot laps with its precise handling and confidence-inspiring demeanor. For a complete recap of our test, read "Continental ContiForceContact: Track Day Magic."

How to Choose the Correct Track Tires

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Are you heading to your first driving school or lapping day? Or are you already a track veteran who's looking to go even faster? Whenever you go to the track, having the right set of tires is essential to going fast, being safe and having fun.

What type of tires do you need to bring for a track event? Depends on the type of event, the expected conditions and the resources available to you.

Take a look at your available options:

Street Tires 

Some people run their cars on the track with the same tires they use on the street. If you're already driving high performance tires, that set may work for you on the track. This scenario works best when you're attending beginner driving schools, casual lapping days or other events where the focus is more on polishing your skills rather than setting fast lap times. Street tires are not recommended for track use, and driving them in a track environment will most likely void their warranty. Keep in mind that if you overdrive them into corners, you could easily render them useless after only one day at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.

Pros of Running Street Tires:

  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Can drive to the track safely.
  • Most street tires perform well in the rain.

Cons of Running Street Tires:

  • Performance - These tires aren't as fast in dry conditions as track tires.
  • Longevity
  • Getting home - What happens if you lose a tire on the track? Do you have an option for getting home?

Extreme Performance Tires

These options are really a subset of street tires, but they're designed to take the abuse of occasional track days. They have more focus on dry traction and responsive handling. Extreme performance tires can be used on an enthusiast oriented daily driver, or mounted on separate wheels for track use. An example of this tire is the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 R.

Pros of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Grip - Better performance than regular street tires.
  • Durability
  • Value - Last longer at the track than normal street tires.
  • Convenience
  • Versatility

Cons of Extreme Performance Tires:

  • Competition - Drivers are at a disadvantage compared to drivers who use dedicated track tires.

Streetable Track Tires 

There are some tires that are essentially track tires, but can be driven to and from the track. They would wear out very quickly if driven daily on the street. These tires will generally have enough tread pattern to handle damp pavement, but will be very prone to hydroplaning. An example of this type of tire is the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.

Pros of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Grip - These tires will outgrip extreme performance tires.
  • Convenient - If you can swap wheels at home, but your car won't carry a second set of wheels to the track, this can be the perfect solution.
  • Versatility - Some of these tires can work as an intermediate tire for damp or drying track conditions.

Cons of Streetable Track Tires:

  • Give up a little grip compared to the most specialized options.
  • Few miles of use as a street tire.
  • Hydroplaning can be an issue if caught in the rain.

Specialized Track Tires

Track tires provide the ultimate in grip. They discard most streetability characteristics in order to deliver the very best lap times. With lots of grip and shoulders that are generally more square, these tires can be more challenging to drive at their limits. They should be mounted on separate wheels and installed at the track. An example of this type of tire is the Hoosier A7.

Pros of Track Tires:

  • Performance - If you are racing to win, track tires are the way to go.
  • Easiest way to turn faster lap times.

Cons of Track Tires:

  • Track tires won't work in the rain. You need a separate set if rain is a possibility.
  • More challenging to drive at the limit.
  • Often requires suspension modification or a specialized set-up.

The New Hoosier A7 Versus the Hoosier A6

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

For many years, drivers looking for race-winning performance in an autocross tire turned to the Hoosier A6. Not only are Hoosier race tires high quality, competitive products, they're made right here in Indiana. Building on the success of the Hoosier A6 is the all-new A7.  

Hoosier's A7 is a DOT-legal slick tread design with alternating five-dash circumferential grooves interrupting the solid grip surface. In addition to the new look of the five-dash grooves, the A7 features a new tread compound designed to extend wear and useable heat cycles. The tire is also designed so that it has less “fall-off” during a long run and less degradation over the life of the tire compared to the previous A6 version.   

The tire's internal structure features a symmetric construction that uses two lightweight steel belts reinforced by a spirally wrapped circumferential nylon cap ply under the tread on top of two nylon cord casing plies. It features a rim recess design on all sizes. Additionally, its symmetric tread design and internal construction allows the tire to be mounted on either side of the car (and later be remounted inside out to further extend its life).

To learn more about tires offered from Hoosier, read "Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

Introducing the New Hoosier A7

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

Hoosier has long been the gold standard when looking for the best racetrack and autocross tires. This season they have launched the new DOT A7 Radial. The tire replaces the widely popular Hoosier A6 and aims to set the bar even higher.

DOT A7 Radials are Racetrack & Autocross Only tires developed for drivers who compete in autocross, time trial and hillclimb events in dry conditions where responsiveness and high levels of grip at lower operating temperatures are desirable. A7 tires are also used for road racing on lightweight cars or when competing in cool ambient temperatures where Hoosier's R6 Radials can't be brought up to favorable operating temperatures.

These tires incorporate a new tread compound designed to extend wear and useable heat cycles, as well as experience less “fall-off” during a long run and less degradation over the life of the tire (compared to A6 tires). The tread compound is molded into a slick tread design interrupted only by five-dash circumferentially oriented grooves alternating outboard and inboard.

 Hoosier A7
Hoosier A7
 Hoosier A7
Hoosier A7

Beginning with a tread depth of 4/32", they will not require shaving for competition, however they'll benefit from a minimal scuff-in prior to their first run. We can provide a heat cycling service for an additional $15 per tire, so when you receive your new A7 tires they will be track ready.

The new A7 tires are in stock and ready for race season. Shop by size and see if there is an A7 tire offered for your track car today!

Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're looking for race-winning performance in an autocross or road race tire, look no further than Hoosier Racing tires! Not only are Hoosier tires of outstanding quality, they're made right here in Indiana.

 Hoosier A6
Hoosier A6
 Hoosier R6
Hoosier R6

Manufactured in Plymouth, Indiana, Hoosier's tires are popular for competition use in:

  • Autocross
  • Road Racing
  • High Performance Driving Events
  • Miata Racing
  • Time Attack Racing

While the Hoosier A6 and R6 may look the same, they have different tread compounds. Which Hoosier tire is for you? If you are chasing cones in an autocross event or are a very light road racer, choose the Hoosier A6. This tire heats up very quickly for the short runs that are typical at most autocrossing events.

For heavier cars and most track driving applications, choose the Hoosier R6. It requires more of a gradual warm-up time and provides consistency lap after lap. Two factors that will help steer you to victory!

While Hoosier tires are DOT-legal, they are not intended for highway use. Due to their low tread depth and ultra sticky rubber compound, we recommend that these tires be used on the track only.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Miles driven on tires: 9,500
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,500 Miles on Tires
November 26, 2013

Use these as my street tires, in 255/35R19 front and 275/30R19 rear, mounted on a set of Volk TE37SL wheels (19x9.5" & 19x11") on my extensively modified M3. For reference, track tires are usually PS Cups, or Nitto/Hoosier R-comps.

First off, these are the ONLY Street Tires I have run on this car that aren't immediately overpowered by the brakes, which are StopTech Trophy 6P/4P 380mm/355mm 2pc that I use for competition. Braking distance is better with these than anything else that is daily driveable, and in the wet I have more traction than I would have ever thought possible especially from these widths!

With a quite stiff race suspension, these tires have improved ride quality and decreased noise, with no perceptible change in NVH since new.

Control is phenomenal, with very good feedback and they are very communicative as to their limits, while allowing throttle on oversteer but being perfectly easy to reign back in.

Since going with these for my M3, I have also swapped to them on my GT3 RS and they're every bit as good there.

Another benefit is that they weigh in at about 2.5lbs less than other comparable tires, and in my pursuit of decreasing drivetrain loss as much as absolutely possible, the extra 10lbs of unsprung weight combined with the 28lb from the wheels is immense.



Which Competition Tires Suit Your Needs Best?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Many are already thinking about the 2014 track season and some of those that live in warm climates are still racing. Wherever you may reside, choosing a competition tire can be overwhelming, especially for the beginner.

Racetrack & Autocross Only

Majority of tires in this class feature a slick type design that offers the top in dry traction, steering response, braking and acceleration. These tires are delicate and are not intended to be driven on the street or exposed to cold temperatures. Their life can be extended by using our in-house heat cycling service. A few of the top performers include:

Wet Racetrack & Autocross Only

These tires feature a more aggressive directional tread design and deep tread depths to provide excellent wet traction on the track. Tires in this performance category are delicate and not intended to be street driven or exposed to cold temperatures. If this sounds like something you're looking for out of a tire, Hoosier offers a great option.

Drag Racing Radials

Specifically designed for straight line racing, this class gives the driver drag strip performance from tires that are streetable. Due to their soft sidewalls, meant to help the tire deflect under straight line acceleration, they can feel softer than normal around corners in street conditions. These tires are delicate and not intended to be driven in wet conditions or exposed to cold temperatures. Top performers in the category include:

BFGoodrich g-Force R1

Hoosier Radial Wet H20

Toyo Proxes TQ

No matter what your level of expertise on the track, Tire Rack has the tires you need!

Hoosier A6 vs. R6: Which to Choose?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Ben Rooney

The Hoosier A6 and R6 are two of the most successful DOT-legal racing tires in recent years. A6 and R6 tires look identical, but are designed for different types of competition. How do you know which is best for your vehicle?

The Hoosier A6 was developed with autocross competition in mind. It uses a softer compound for maximum grip and comes up to temperature more quickly to reach optimal grip between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A6 tires deliver more traction, but give up longevity to do so. In autocross, where runs are extremely short, this lack of longevity is not a problem and allows a set of A6 tires to last for multiple events. Though the tires are generally ready to run when brand new, a light scuff-in can be beneficial.

Hoosier R6 tires are designed for roadrace competition. They have a more durable compound that's better able to hold up to multiple lapping sessions, higher speeds and larger race courses. The R6 should be heat cycled before competition use for the most consistent performance. Tire Rack offers heat cycling service for competition tires. With this service, the tires arrive ready to use.

Hoosier A6

Hoosier R6

Some drivers will also use the A6 on road courses for sprint races or qualifying sessions where a few fast laps are of the utmost importance. Used in this way, the A6 will often be used up in one session. Using the A6 in a roadrace setting is only recommended for experienced drivers who know exactly what they need and are willing to go through a set of tires in one event. Lightweight vehicles with moderate horsepower may also use the A6 in cooler weather when they're not able to get the R6 up to the optimal temperature range of 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit .

Drivers preparing to run Hoosier tires on the track should also read Hoosier's care and feeding document.

Hoosier Race Tires - Do I Need the A6 or R6 Compound?

Thursday, May 2, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Here at Tire Rack, we are lucky to be within a short distance of one of the best race tire manufacturers in the country: Hoosier Racing Tire. It all began in the early 1950s when Robert Newton raced on small asphalt tracks around northern Indiana. Bob, was not satisfied with driving on street tires, so he decided to produce tires specifically designed for racing. Of the wide variety of tires that Hoosier offers, we have committed to stocking their two most popular models aimed at the needs of our customers who either autocross or roadrace: the A6 and R6.

Hoosier A6 tires are intended to be used at autocross events, as the tire has a lower operating temperature for maximum traction. Many autocross events are too short on time or distance to get a race tire up to its optimal temperature. This is why the A6 is perfect for these situations. The softer rubber compound that the A6 uses doesn't have enough durability to endure long run times (like in a track environment), so they should be used for shorter runs only.

R6 tires feature a more durable rubber compound that needs a little more time to come up to an ideal temperature range to be effective. This type of rubber compound makes the R6 better suited for longer runs with little cool down between sessions. For best results, Hoosier recommends a heat cycle of the compound at least 24 hours prior to use to maximize durability. Heat cycling is available for our customers when shipping from our Indiana or Nevada distribution centers for only $15 per tire.

Hoosier A6

Hoosier R6

Bear in mind, both the A6 and R6 radials are not intended to be driven in colder (below 40º F) temperatures, through snow or on ice. For best results, the tires also need to be stored indoors at temperatures maintained above 32º F. For more information on properly maintaining your Hoosier tires, read "Care and Feeding of the Hoosier A6/R6."

Best Tires for Roadrace and Autocross Events

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Colin .

With spring here, many drivers are getting ready to purchase tires for roadrace or autocross use.  

For those who want tires they'll use mostly on the street, but want to do some racing, the Extreme Performance Summer category offers some good options. Tires in this performance category won't give you the fastest lap times compared to competition tires, however they are a good choice for the less serious racer. If this sounds like what you're looking for, consider the following options:

For the more serious race enthusiast, take a look at our selection of Track & Competition DOT tires. These are options that shouldn't be driven on the street and are for the track only. If you are looking for a tire for your roadrace event, consider the Hoosier R6. If autocross is your event, take a look at the A6 from Hoosier.

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

Hoosier R6

Hankook Ventus Z214

Hoosier's set-up process to maximize treadwear and handling is more involved than other tires, however their tires are hard to beat! For those that want a good competition tire at a lower price point, the Hankook Ventus Z214 is available in both a roadrace and autocross compound. 

Will your new set of tires need to be saved? If so, how far should they be shaved? Read "Shaving Tires for Autocross / Track Use / Competition" to see how this service can help you maximize your tire's performance capabilities early in their life.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.38

1993 Chevrolet Corvette
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Miles driven on tires: 250
Location: Shelocta, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 250 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2013

I just got back today from using these for auto-x on my 93 Corvette with Z07 suspension and aggressive alignment. These tires just plain work, even on a heavy car in cold/wet/dry conditions. It was actually snowing and later got up around 45 or a little less. I kept pace (within a couple tenths or so) with near FTD C5Z06 (Hoosiers, not good at all in those conditions). I was impressed, dry grip is excellent. Breaks away predictably and smoothly. Tires do perform in cold/wet/dry conditions, with due caution exercised.

Quick warm up on tires, only 3 runs and they were warm. Grip got better as I went.

Excellent tire and works well on my Corvette.


Differences Between BFGoodrich's g-Force R1 and g-Force R1 S

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

As the spring season gets underway and customers begin to shop for race tires, I have taken a few calls concerning the differences between BFGoodrich's Dry Racetrack & Autocross Only offerings, the g-Force R1 and g-Force R1 S.

The BFGoodrich g-Force R1 is the tire most suited for extended road course use. It features a more durable compound designed for longer life and consistency. Like all competition products, life will be considerably shorter than any street tire. However, several weekends of fun in competition events are possible if the tire is properly driven!

In contrast, BFGoodrich's g-Force R1 S is designed for light bursts, most commonly associated with autocross. The "S" designation implies the tire is intended for sprint use. Featuring a softer compound, this tire comes up to temperature quickly, but exchanges life to do so. It's best suited for autocross use or for individuals looking to set competitive qualifying laps.

BFGoodrich g-Force R1

BFGoodrich g-Force R1 S

Both tires are not appropriate for highway use. They aren't recommended for driving in wet conditions where standing water is present and there's the risk of hydroplaning; drivers should drive cautiously at reduced speeds if they encounter these conditions. It's also essential these tires be stored indoors at temperatures maintained above 32 degrees F.

The relationship between these two tires is very similar to that of the Hoosier R6 and A6, which are also meant for track and autocross use.

Get your racing season off to a good start by shopping by vehicle and finding the tire best suited for your driving style!

Search Race Tires by Size Quickly and Easily

Thursday, March 28, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Depending on where you live, race season will soon be upon us or is now in full swing for many SCCA racers and other racing organizations. We carry a variety of street legal race tires from Hoosier, BFGoodrich, Michelin, Kumho, Hankook and Toyo. If you know Hoosier is the brand for you, take a look at "Hoosier A6 and R6 Race Tires."

While Tire Rack offers an easy-to-use shop by vehicle feature, many racers use wider, non-standard sizes in order to maximize track performance. Since racecars often have more flexibility in sizes that can be used, it's often helpful to see a list of sizes that a given tire is available in. Therefore, shopping by size is a more efficient way to find the race tire you're looking for. 

However, if you already know which specific race tire you want and would simply like to know what sizes are available and how that tire compares to its competitors, follow these steps: 

  1. Visit our Tire Survey Results
  2. Select the tire that interests you
  3. Click on the 'Sizes" tab

Now that you've found your tires, it may be a good idea to have them heat cycled. Heat cycling actually makes Track & Competition DOT tread compounds more consistent in strength and more resistant to losing their strength the next time they're used. For more information, read "Competition Tire Heat Cycling Service."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Monday, February 25, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza ZIIReviewer's Overall Rating: 10

2006 Mazda MAZDA3 i 4-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 125
Location: Pineville, NC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 125 Miles on Tires
February 18, 2013

Ran last autocross season on the Z1 Star Specs and loved them. They were the Street Touring tire of choice and for good reason. They were done after one season and so it was time for a new tire. The ZII had a huge reputation to live up to because of the great success of the Z1. Just recently ran first autocross of the season this past Saturday in rain/snow/sleet/hail/puddle weather condition on asphalt that is slick with sealant even on a dry hot day. So you can imagine the slippery-ness of the surface. And the ZII held great stability and grip. I'm placing a big part of my class victory that day on their amazing wet grip and handling even in extended sub-freezing temperatures.

As for the 'Comfort' ratings I find them to be Not Applicable. These tires are a purpose built tire for autocross/and light-moderate track day use that you can also drive home on. There is road noise and the tread will wear faster than most other tires. This is to be expected and the people who buy this tire more than likely mount them up only for events. I do. However, for the Z1's I had the tread held up very well considering they had 100+ autocross runs, 6 run's on the Tail of the Dragon and driving to/from events on them. The comfort is ok as well. But again you don't buy a tire like this for the comfort of the ride. You buy it to drive. If you wan't a comfortable kush ride then look elsewhere. If you want the most out of your car short of R-Comps or Hoosiers then this is the tire to buy.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-SeasonReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.86

1995 BMW M3
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Brentwood, TN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
December 31, 2012

I’ve owned this car since new and this is the first set of all-season tires I’ve had on it. I bought them specifically because of multiple magazine reviews that touted their wet handling. The Direzza Sport Z1 Star Specs which the car wears in summer are fantastic in dry warm weather but don’t work well when temperatures drop below 40 degrees and they lose a lot of grip in the wet. The Goodyear’s will allow me to drive all winter in cold and wet conditions, although I don’t intend to intentionally drive it in snow.
The magazine reviews didn’t exaggerate. These tires are fantastic. They handle wet conditions better than anything I’ve driven except my Hoosier Radial Wet track tires. They give up a little grip and aren’t quit as responsive as the Dunlap’s in dry conditions, but are far superior in the rain and cold. I don’t have a lot of miles yet, but I have high hopes that they will maintain a high level of performance as they wear.