2019 17 inch Track Day Tyre Test

Test Summary
Wet BrakingYokohama Advan A052: 16.55 M
Hankook Ventus RS3 Z222: 20.15 M
Dry BrakingContinental Premium Contact 6: 24.1 M
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R: 29.3 M
Dry HandlingPirelli P Zero Trofeo R: 90.24 s
Continental Premium Contact 6: 91.8 s
Subj. Dry HandlingYokohama Advan A052: 10 Points
Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R: 07 Points
Track day tyre tests are always a welcome read, as those of us who use our cars on track are often super switched on to the differences the tyres can make. This year AutoMail.Ru have tested four track day tyres in 225/45 R17 using a Mazda MX5 Cup car, and included the Continental PremiumContact 6 as a reference "normal" tyre.

It's worth remembering the MX5 is a light, relatively low powered car, so the results from this test might be different on something heavier.

Dry

As proven in previous tests, for all out pace the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R is hard to beat, and it again sets the quickest dry handling time of the test. Curiously, even though the Russian track Magnitogorsk is a long lap, the road-bias PremiumContact 6 is on pace with the track tyres, which they've said was due to the lower rolling resistance allowing a higher top speed on the straights... 

The dry braking tests were done when the tyres were cold, to replicate how they'd be used on the road, not track. This is why the Continental PremiumContact 6 placed so well. Once warm, the track day tyres should have a significant advantage over the road bias tyre.

Subjectively, the Yokohama A052 scored the best, but again interestingly the Continental matched the Trofeo R and beat the other two track tyres on test. A curious result, but then the PremiumContact 6 is proving to be an excellent handling tyre.

Wet

The wet braking data wasn't conducted on a proper wet braking surface, and had very little water depth, meaning these results should be taken as a guide rather than gospel. With any actual water depth, the track day tyres would have performed much worse, for example the A052 starts with 4.4mm tread depth where as the PremiumContact 6 is 7.4mm, with the lower tread depth vastly reducing the tyres ability to clear standing water.

Results

Yokohama Advan A0521st: Yokohama Advan A052
  1. Wet Braking: 1st (+0M)
  2. Dry Braking: 1st (+0M)
  3. Dry Handling: 2nd (+0.06s)
  4. Subj. Dry Handling: 1st (+0Points)
Positive: Forgiving of mistakes, greatest cornering grip, good wet grip.
Negative: Expensive, high wear, not designed for heavy rain.
Overall: Similar handling to the Trofeo R, but very novice friendly as it forgives over driving. The A052 doesn't require a strong warmup, and it keeps its peak grip for 2-3 laps before settling into its race pace. Even when worn to the limit the pace remains strong!

Very high treadwear for a 200 tyre, 100-120 seems more realistic.

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Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R2nd: Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R
  1. Wet Braking: 2nd (+0.8M)
  2. Dry Braking: 3rd (+0.9M)
  3. Dry Handling: 3rd (+1.29s)
  4. Subj. Dry Handling: 4th (+-3Points)
Positive: Universal tyre for different weather conditions, less overheating than Hankook RS3.
Negative: Average feedback, high price, moderate lateral cornering.
Overall: Nicely balanced on the Mazda, but poor reactions to large steering lock so not ideal for beginners. The tyre doesn't overheat much, and allows for constant laptimes. A good wet performance means this tyre could be a good choice as an everyday tyre, but for the price you could get the Hankook for track and Continental for road.

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Hankook Ventus RS3 Z2223rd: Hankook Ventus RS3 Z222
  1. Wet Braking: 5th (+3.6M)
  2. Dry Braking: 4th (+2.4M)
  3. Dry Handling: 3rd (+1.29s)
  4. Subj. Dry Handling: 4th (+-3Points)
Positive: Steer reactions to steering, good lap time for a low price, good wear resistance.
Negative: Relatively quick overheating, softer sidewalls, low wet grip.
Overall: The Hankook is very good at high speed turning, but as the speeds decrease and the steering angle increases the softer sidewall shows itself.

A great time attack tyre but overheats after a couple of laps.

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Continental Premium Contact 64th: Continental Premium Contact 6
  1. Wet Braking: 3rd (+1.1M)
  2. Dry Braking: 1st (+0M)
  3. Dry Handling: 5th (+1.56s)
  4. Subj. Dry Handling: 2nd (+-1Points)
Positive: Lowest rolling resistance, good lap time, short braking in the dry and wet.
Negative: High wear on track.
Overall: While the tyre has more understeer and less steering speed than the track day tyres, it still provides an excellent laptime.

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Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R5th: Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
  1. Wet Braking: 3rd (+1.1M)
  2. Dry Braking: 5th (+5.2M)
  3. Dry Handling: 1st (+0s)
  4. Subj. Dry Handling: 2nd (+-1Points)
Positive: Fastest dry lap time, good overheating resistance, quick steering speed.
Negative: Not good on the road, long wet braking.
Overall: The Trofeo R has the sharpest steering in all conditions, and unlike the other tyres on test, showed no signs of overheating. Needed a lot of warm up, hence not being the ideal tyre to also be used on the road.

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