A 2012 Street Tire Auto-X Favorite: Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

Although the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec's name is a bit taxing, its popularity and test results have been quite clear. As one of the top Extreme Performance Summer tires, the Z1 Star Spec has been a hit among drivers looking to be competitive in street tire racing classes which demand a treadwear of 140 or higher.

It seems that the creation of a new class, dubbed Street Mod Street or SMS for short in SCCA's SOLO II category, has added to the Dunlop's popularity. This class allows drivers of highly modified vehicles to use the Star Spec as a more cost-effective alternative to R-compound tires. Where as before in Street Modified, the only way to be truly competitive was to run a low tread depth tire (2-4/32") and extremely soft compound (Hoosier A6). Now drivers can enjoy tires that can be driven to the event, wear much longer and are easier on the budget -- all while staying class competitive.

Recently, I went to a SCCA event in Fort Wayne, Indiana and counted approximately 15 cars using this tire. The types of cars varied greatly and included the SMS class winner in a well-prepared Acura Integra, as well as two newer body style Mustang GTs, an E46 BMW M3 and a handful of Miatas. Given the large amount of available sizes ranging from 14-18", the tire's low price point and phenomenal track times, I can't say that I was surprised at what I saw.

If you're looking to outfit your sports car, sports sedan or grassroots racer with a competitive street tire, then watch "Testing the New Extremes of Extreme Performance Summer Tires" and see how this tire can help you enjoy driving more.

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