Track day tyres are awesome for setting personal best lap times.
But do they work just as well for the regular motorist who only does street driving?
WHAT ARE “TRACK DAY TYRES”?
Compared to regular or even high-performance tyres, track day tyres typically feature less tread.
They are as close to racing slicks (see above photo) as they can legally be. Enthusiasts often joke that track day tyres are essentially racing slicks with “some tread” cut into them.
This is why track day tyres are also called ultra high-performance tyres. They also use a much softer and stickier rubber compound.
They can exert tremendous grip, thus helping track day junkies clock faster lap times.
SO, TRACK DAY TYRES ARE AWESOME FOR STREET DRIVING?
Well, yes and no. But let me elaborate because there are pros and cons.
Yes, track day tyres are awesome for street driving. They offer a lot more grip – even more than high-performance tyres.
However, some track day tyres may suffer once the weather turns wet.
Because most of them have very little tread, they cannot cut through standing water as well as regular tyres.
There is a bigger risk of aquaplaning in this scenario – no matter how good the driver behind the wheel is.
TRACK DAY TYRES CAN BE UNCOMFORTABLE
Racetrack surfaces are usually quite smooth. Our roads, however, are filled with bumps and undulations.
Track day tyres are designed and engineered to deliver ridiculous levels of grip, not high levels of pliancy.
If you use track day tyres for street driving, be prepared for a bumpier ride.
THESE ARE NOT FOR CLEAN FREAKS EITHER
Super sticky/super soft rubber compounds mean that as the tyre wears out, bits of it will detach and fly off.
How else is “rubber laid down” on racetrack surfaces? And if you look at a racecar post-race, it will have rubber on its body.
That’s right, those are from its tyres and the tyres of other competitors.
DON’T FORGET THE WEAR FACTOR
Track day tyres tend to wear out faster that other types of tyres, too.
Although using track day tyres for street driving subjects them to less stress (lower speeds and lower heat), their wear rates are still higher.
So, you’ll have to be prepared to buy new sets of tyres more often.
Remember, track day tyres are built for a purpose. Use them wisely.