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Old January 30th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #1
John Crittenden
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Michelin Sport Cup tires - good choice for track and street?

Hi, everyone - The previous owner of my 2001 986 cared most about tire wear, and installed on its 18" rims rubber with a 340 wear rating. They're like hard plastic, and not very sticky. Because I bought this car for autocross and track use, I'd like to get something with more grip, but as I will also be driving to the track and otherwise occasionally driving on the street, I need something DOT-legal. My shop recommended Michelin Sport Cups, which have an 80 wear rating. They sound good but some have cautioned about their lack of grip in heavy rain or over standing water. I welcome any thoughts about these tires or others. I live in the Bay Area so snow is not an issue. Thanks!

John
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #2
Mdreiver
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I've spent a lot of time on MPSCs and can confirm that they're bad in the rain. They are also bad in the cold and they're bad in any weather after they run out of heat cycles. They are bad at autox even when brand new.

Don't get me wrong. They are great tires. :-) I'll explain...

They are designed to provide excellent grip when you can put heat into them. They continue working great after other tires would have gotten greasy due to the excessive heat of multiple laps in the central valley in summer. I highly recommend them for a second set of wheels for your summer track days. They are no problem driving to and from the event. I only recommend benching them off track b/c they do turn into bricks if you run out of heat cycles.

They resist heat very well and that's bad for an autox. In an autox, you're running for 50 seconds and then sitting for 15 minutes. You need tires that work well when cold. Here's a list of tires that are better than MPSCs for autox with * beside those that I know to come in good Porsche sizes.

* Hoosier A6 (best choice out there but most people wouldn't even drive them to a local event - I did with no problems)
Kumho 710 (in the same class as the A6. Be careful if you don't trailer your wheels or car)
* Kumho Victoracers (limit you to 17" sizes but they can be driven on the street safely and are the "next best thing" in R compounds for autox. 245 f/r is the winning setup but you can also run 245/275)
* BFG KD and Michelin PS2 (not really R compound but close. And for an autox, they're better than the PSCs)
Bridgestone RE050R and Yok A048 (same as the 2 listed above but maybe hard to get in Porsche sizes. The Bridgestones are probably easier than the Yoks)

If you don't want a 2nd set of wheels, stick with one of the 4 non-Rcompound choices above. You'll be very competitive and get a lot of use out of your tires before they get hard.

If you can get a 2nd set of wheels, you might still wait to go R compounds. The lower your grip, the easier it is to learn how to drive. There is no advantage to having more momentum when you screw up. But whenever you decide to get R compounds, do yourself a favor and mount them on a 2nd set of wheels.

You'll also want to get:
* cordless impact wrench
* the Griot's Garage socket set with the plastic sleeves to protect your wheels
* torque wrench
* socket extension
* a really good hydraulic jack with a very low clearance (you might one day lower your car)

Using the rear jackpoints only, I got my wheel changes down to 30 minutes total.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #3
Docdanracy
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John, my advice would be for you to leave your tires exactly like they are.

you are fairly new to all of the performance driving stuff and street tires are great for you to learn on.

on track the noise they emit, especially at the limit, gives you audible feedback about your driving.

At AX learning on street tires gives you the best amount of learning experience.
If you change tires, is your improvement because of the tires or you?
get to the top of your current class in AX with the street tires, learn as much as you can about car control and AXing in general, then switch to some R compounds on a second set of wheels.
Victoracers are good because you can drive to the event, so you can do your
tire changing at home and don't have to worry about carrying tires and jacks and torque wrenches with you.
Another couple of tires you might consider would be the Toyo RA1s, Nitto NT01s or the Hankook Z211. All of these have some tread on them so you can drive to the track.

OK that is my bit.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #4
John Crittenden
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MD, thanks for the thorough and helpful information. Dan, thanks for the excellent advice. Part of the theory behind my choice of vehicle was to learn to go faster by improved skill as opposed to brute power, so sticking (so to speak) with the existing tires is consistent with that. Also, I won't have to be worried about the drive to or from events in the rain. (In fact, those tires probably helped me stay on the track during my debut at that rainy DE at Thunderhill last September!) -- John
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Old January 30th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #5
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streetable, and good for autox and track. thats hard. anything good for the trackw ill not warm up quickly enough for autox.

so with that said. i'd get a good st. tire. yokohama neova ad07. or for less of a bank breaker, bridgestone re-01r.

also, there is a new kumho coming out, supposedly better than the mx all around. i would consider that one too.
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