If you're a track day enthusiast, then you know that tires are one of the most important components of your car. You want to make sure you have a set of tires that will last through multiple track days. In this blog post, we will discuss how long tires typically last for track days and what you can do to make them last longer.
You can expect a set of high-performance and high-grip tires to last 1-2 track days depending on the conditions laid out below.
One of the most important factors in determining how long your tires will last is the type of track you're driving on. If you're driving on a track that has a rough surface, you're going to wear out your tires more quickly than if you're driving on a well maintained track. Another factor to consider is the weather conditions. If it's cold and wet, your tires are going to last longer than if it's hot and dry.
Prepping my AE86 for a track day. I run a Nitto NT01 205/55/14 on a 14x7 (+/-0) Volk TE37.
So, how long do tires typically last for track days? I tend to get roughly 2-3 full track days out of a set of tires on my AE86, and I run a grippy but fast-wearing R-compound Nitto NT01 in 205/55/14. They last a bit longer for me than most people because the AE86 is a relatively light car and mine is pretty low horsepower since it runs a stock engine. Another thing to keep in mind is that most track days in Southern California are BUSY! So actual seat time is lower. The same set of tires wouldn't last two FULL days of all day driving, but neither would I so it works nicely.
How long your tires last depends on a number of factors, such as:
- The weight of your vehicle, heavier vehicles run wear tires faster
- Temperature at the track (hotter = faster wear)
- How many times the tires have been heat cycled, or brought up to full temperature
- The tire itself: the grippier tires like R-Compounts that I run tend to wear out faster. Check out more information on treadwear ratings to learn about this.
- Your style of driving: Are you understeery? You'll wear the fronts faster. Are you oversteery? You'll wear the rears out faster. And overall, if you drive harder they wear faster.
- Tire pressures
- Surface conditions at the track - some tracks eat up tread faster than others
- Your vehicle's alignment - keep track of where your tread is going and ask a pro at the track what irregular tread wear might mean for your setup
- How much seat time you actually get a track day. I've had track days that are entirely open an quickly eat up tires and gas, and I've had others that are filled with lap traffic and tons of run groups. It depends.
If you want to make sure your tires last longer, there are a few things you can do:
First, make sure you're using the right tires for the track you're driving on. If you're not sure, ask someone at the track or look up the recommended tires for your track and your vehicle. Second, check your tire pressure before each session and adjust it as needed. Third, avoid abusing your tires unnecessarily by trying to drive too fast before you're learned the track or driving fundamentals. By that I mean if you're understeering or oversteering a ton - you're probably throwing some tread away. And finally, don't forget to cool down your tires after each session by driving slowly around the track or parking in the shade.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your tires last longer and you can enjoy track days to the fullest! Thanks for reading and we'll see you on the track!
Enjoy, and don't worry about being the fastest. Just try to be faster than you were last time.
Interested in keeping record of your laptimes and setup?Consider the Traction Journal Racer Edition. It has spots for everything to record your data and laptimes so you can improve your vehicle setup and knowledge along with your hard driving skills.