2013 Auto Bild Track Day Semi Slick Tyre Test

After a long break, the German tyre experts Auto Bild are back with a fresh trackday tyre test.

Testing 225/45 R18 semi slicks on a VW Golf GTI, Auto Bild eschewed their usual thorough testing of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and concentrated on the only important factors required from a track day tyre; grip and feedback. Awarding 80% of the overall result to dry grip, Auto Bild have ensured the best tyre here, will be the best tyre on track.

For good measure, Auto Bild also included a slick, and normal UHP summer road tyre in the test. Unsurprisingly, the slick won all the dry handling tests, and was consistently poor in the wet tests, but the best semi slicks got extremely close in dry braking and dry cornering speed. In the wet, the Continental Force Contact edged out the UHP summer tyre during aquaplaning, and a number of the semi slicks beat the road tyre in the wet handling tests, proving a track tyre doesn't have to be bad in the wet. Auto Bild did note however, the semi slicks snapped into over steer much more quickly, which required more driver skill to keep the car on track.

Results

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup1st: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
  1. Total: 13
  2. Dry: 8
  3. Wet: 5
Positive: The racer of the semi slicks on test. Perfect cornering and impeccable handling, the Michelin is consistently great in the dry. In the wet, the tyre is a little less convincing but provides sufficient safety margins
Negative: Average aquaplaning qualities

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Dunlop Direzza 03G2nd: Dunlop Direzza 03G
  1. Total: 12
  2. Dry: 7
  3. Wet: 5
Positive: Top racing tyres with best braking on a dry track. The Direzza reacts quickly to steering inputs and provides very good feedback. The handling characteristics are balances and safe enough to work on a wet track
Negative: Average aquaplaning resistance, very loud road noise

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Pirelli P Zero Trofeo3rd: Pirelli P Zero Trofeo
  1. Total: 13
  2. Dry: 6
  3. Wet: 7
Positive: The wet specialist amongst semi slicks. Dynamic and sporty driving qualities on wet and dry roads make the Trofeo almost an all rounder. Thanks to precise steering and good feedback, the slight bias towards oversteer is still easy to control
Negative: Average aquaplaning qualities

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Continental ContiForceContact4th: Continental ContiForceContact
  1. Total: 12
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 7
Positive: The Force Contact is a very balanced tyre. Shortest wet braking distance, best aquaplaning results
Negative: In the dry the Force Contact pushes at the front wheels early, comparatively slow response to steering inputs

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Kumho V70a5th: Kumho V70a
  1. Total: 8
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 3
Positive: Safe and balanced handling on a dry track, strong cornering and braking
Negative: Slow steering and reduced feedback in both the wet and dry. Average wet performance all round

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Toyo R8886th: Toyo R888
  1. Total: 6
  2. Dry: 5
  3. Wet: 1
Positive: Good braking in the dry, and compared to the road tyre on test good cornering
Negative: The R888 is getting old, it reacts too slowly to steering inputs, pushes through the front wheels and has loud road noise. In the wet, it lacks safety reserves

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