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If you ask me, there are a couple of different levels of tires. Full race tires that should not be driven to the track. Then there are what I like to call “drive to the track race tire”. And then there is a new kind of tire, a street race tire which is very streatable and capable on the track.
Tires like the Falken RT 615 or the Bridgestone RE 71R. They can be a lot of fun and the gap between them and the “drive to the track race tire” is narrowing. When talking about tires here, I talk about 205/50/15 tires on my lightweight 911 race car on 7×15 Fuchs all around.
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I’d say the next level are the “drive to the track DOT race tire”. Without a doubt, the Toyo RA1 being the king and when shaved, they are almost equal to a full race DOT tire. So if you want something that’s faster than a street tire, get the Toyo RA1. They cost a lot less than the Hoosier and last way longer. My absolute favourite. My last set was going strong at 55 heat cycles until I flat-spotted them under braking. The only problem is that the Toyo RA1‘s get better as they wear, but then the street capabilities (especially wet) are compromised. Even though, that is the only tire I used on my car for a number of cycles and I drive to/from the track as well as around town at least twice a week. They aren’t really heat cycle sensitive and you can drive them to the cords.
Right now I am running the Toyo R888R also known as R8R on my track car but they are coming to their end soon. Some say they are noisier, can’t confirm that. They are a nice dry weather tire. I already bought a new set of the Toyo RA1 to replace the Toyo R8R.
If you are in a class were the tires are scored I am suspecting the Toyo R1R might be equal to the Toyo RA1 when shaved but would be scored like the street class race tire.
Oh and used to drive a friends 944 Turbo for a while with the Yokohama A048s, flatspotted them pretty easily, plus, they are more expensive than the Toyo RA1s. By the way, the Nitto NT01 is almost the same tire than the Toyo RA1, it seems to be the best value for the performance delivered.
I’ve also heard great things about the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R‘s as well but no own experience.
Toyo Proxes RA1
Toyo Proxes R1R
Toyo Proxes R888
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R
Yokohama Advan A048
Another tip: If you don’t have a very aggressive suspension setup, be prepared to flip the tires on the rims. I mean flip, not rotate the wheels but pull off the tire and flip it to get more life as you’ll likely wear the outer edge a lot more quickly than the inside.