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Max-Preformance Summer Tire Report

Michelin Pilot Super Sport:

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is our first choice for a max performance summer tire, due to its combination of high grip levels in wet and dry conditions, as well as its low noise levels and high comfort levels on the street, and its high UTQG 300 Rating, which translates to longer tread life. Usually, a max-performance summer tire has a higher level of road noise. However, the Pilot Super Sport’s unique tread compound makes this tire very quiet on the road. This tire is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a great-preforming street tire that will also be capable of handling a day at autocross, or the track. It is the #1 rated tire in Car and Driver’s recent max-performance tire comparison.

Pro Tip:
Michelin Pilot Super Sports have a softer sidewall than most max-performance tires. Faster lap times can be achieved with these tires with a smooth driving style.


Comparison Test:

Dunlop Direzza ZII:

The Dunlop Direzza ZII is a very solid all-around max-performance summer tire. It has been the top choice for Autocross and track day enthusiasts for many years, and it is still an ideal tire for track day use. The tires compound warms up quickly to optimum temperatures, even on colder days that we have frequently here in Alberta, and the stiff sidewall makes the tire very responsive to turn-in.


Pro Tip:

The Dunlop Direzza ZII’s are designs primarily as an autocross and track day tire. As such, road noise levels are higher. However, these tires are some of the best tires available for track use in rainy conditions, and have also done well in periods of extended use, such as chump car endurance races.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11:

The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 is a very good max-preformance summer tire for street, track, and autocross applications. The stiff sidewall structure of the tire allows for very sharp turn-in abilities and allow it to handle very high cornering loads, and it’s extremely high heat capacity will allow the tires to remain effective through extended periods of use. These tires were designed for use on high-end European cars, and as such the tread pattern ensures that the tires generate as little road noise as possible, making them very good tires for use on the street.


Pro Tip:

The harder tire compound is very well suited for the pavement surface on Castrol Raceway, as these tires have proven to experience less tread wear here than most other high performance tires. These tires also heat up less quickly than other max-performance tires. This tire is also noted as a medium-performance rain tire.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R:

The Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R is a brand new tire that was launched in 2015, and it was designed from the ground up with autocross drivers in mind. It has become one of the best tires available for autocross drivers competing in street-class vehicles. Recent test results have shown that these tires have levels of grip that are similar to full race-compound tires. As such, these tires have impressive levels of traction that make it very easy to drive fast. The tires heat up very quickly in low temperatures to provide the monster grip levels that these tires are famous for.


Pro Tip:

The RE-71R is the most competitive tire available for autocross and time attack. However, these tires do overheat quickly through extended use, and drives will have to pay extra attention to how they handle the heat of their tires.

Hankook Ventus R-S3:

The Hankook Ventus R-S3 is one of the best max-preformance summer tires available for autocross.  It has been one of the top choices among autocross enthusiasts for quite some time. Its stiff sidewall allows for sharp cornering ability, and it’s high heat capacity allows the tires to perform well through extended periods of use.


Pro Tip:                                          

The R-S3’s are not among the best preforming tires in rainy conditions. The higher heat capacity of these tires also means that they take longer to warm up in colder outside temperatures, especially for cars with a lower curb weight.

Continental ExtremeContact DW:

The Continental ExtremeContact DW is a very good max high-preformance summer tire for use on the street. They provide adequate levels of grip, while providing great levels of comfort, and generating very low levels of road noise. They are also a very strong performer in wet conditions, with a better, less edgy steering feel than the Direzza ZII’s on the wet roads, which inspires the driver with confident traction in wet conditions that made the car feel like it was on a dry surface.


Pro Tip:

The Continental DW’s have a very soft, rounded sidewall. As such, they are very prone to roll over the sidewall in autocross or track day conditions. However, they are very good at autocross and track days in rainy conditions, as the grip levels in these tires in the wet is comparable to full race-compound rain tires.

Falken Azenis RT615K

The Falken Azenis RT615K is a very good choice for a max-performance summer tire that will see use on both the track, and the street. It is very quiet on the street as far as a max-performance tire goes, but it is also very communicative to the driver. The unique tread pattern on the tire will make the tire very responsive on turn-in, as well as allow it to maintain a high level of lateral g-forces, making it a very competitive tire in dry conditions. Its tread compound also ensures that the tires have a long tread life.


Pro Tip:

The shorter tread blocks on these tires means that traction in the rain is sub-par. It’s stiff structure also means that these tires will have a rough ride on the road.

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