The Mustang Forum for Track & Racing Enthusiasts

Taking your Mustang to an open track/HPDE event for the first time? Do you race competitively? This forum is for you! Log in to remove most ads.

  • Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!

Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position track review

I hit eagle's canyon raceway yesterday for my first track session on the new bridgestone potenza S-04 pole position tires. I looked everywhere for decent tires that would fit the factory boss 302 wheels and we all know there aren't many options. I read a bunch of reviews on the various tires out there looking for track use reviews and there were enough negatives to make me not want many of the tires like the extremecontact DWs.

I ended up going with a bit of an unknown since no one that I could find has run the S-04 PP tires on a mustang. Long and short of it is that these tires are so much better than the factory Pirellis that it's hard to believe. My best time at ECR in the past was a 2:10 recorded via trackmaster and a 2:08 unofficial. I put down a verified gps lap time using trackamster of 2:04.3. I changed nothing on the car other than the tires for this track day, same tune and everything. I was a bit more aggressive and picked up a few tips from the ultimate speed secrets book I've been reading so some improvement is owed to my new tricks.

Early in the morning I was a bit worried about the new tires, they are very quiet. The car felt like it was near the limits of the tires I was used to and the S-04s were dead silent. I thought maybe they weren't going to give as much feedback as the Pirellis. After about half a lap (the course is 2.5 miles) I started to throw the car around and it stuck very well. The temps were in 40-41 range and it was cold. I spun last time I was out in these temperatures on the Pirelli's with two laps of warm up.

What I realized was that it wasn't that the S-04 tires offered no feedback, but that the limits were so much higher than the factory rubber, the s-04s weren't to the point of squealing at the same workload that the Pirellis would howl at. The fourth lap was my 2:04 run. The tires have a very different sound at the limit than the Pirellis. They do squeal and as you near the limit, they take on a different sound altogether. If you watch the videos I will attach later (uploading now) you will hear the squeal and then a sort of scraping sound. That scraping is the sound they make near the limit.

One of the videos I had a passenger in the car with faded brakes (that 2:04 lap and following 2:06 apparently boiled the fluid and the brakes were squishy for the rest of the day). At the end of the video you can hear a bike rider that was standing at the wall come up and tell me the inside tire (I am assuming he meant the driver front) was off the ground several inches when I rounded one of the really hard corners. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, but I don't know with a passenger in the car the car turned harder than it ever could with me alone in that corner on the old rubber. What I do know is that the factory tires let go well before the sort of grip the s-04s produce. I had to completely relearn my lines and braking points on these tires.

They heat up very quickly and even after 12 or more laps at full speed they still have the same sort of grip and feedback they had early on. They do get a bit more slippery feeling as they heat but they are still controllable. I actually liked them better once heated because the car was much easier to rotate and control with the throttle. The sidewalls are stiff on the track so they don’t roll over at all, they also didn’t chunk in the slightest. the shoulder of the stock tires was all chunked up after my first track day. Turn in is crisp and precise as well. I really love these tires; I highly recommend them to any of you looking for new rubber that is cheaper and better than the factory tires. The set installed was about $1450.


It's also worth noting that a friend of mine with many, many years of road racing under his belt that runs a caddy V on coilovers and slicks rode with me at the end of the day and all he could say is that he could not believe the grip the car made on those tires. He said it was faster than his car on the coilovers and slicks through the course (granted I have more power than his V).

[youtube]sz0QKgbRKKw[/youtube]

[youtube]WiJWyD5w60E[/youtube]
 
Shane.....thanks for the ride along.....yes im hooked and will be seeing you out there soon......I too was impressed with those tires and couldnt believe how well they held up.
 
Why does everyone on this forum seem to ignore the Michelin Pilot super sport, which has been proven to be one of the best all around track tires. As well as the PS2! Every true performance track car runs michelins. Plus the super sports have twice the rated mileage. Is it because they cost$$ you get what you pay for. I have never seen the super sport beat in a tire comparison.
 
cf6mech said:
Shane.....thanks for the ride along.....yes im hooked and will be seeing you out there soon......I too was impressed with those tires and couldnt believe how well they held up.

you're welcome, i had a good time. Here is the video of the session, the other vids of the session aren't up yet.

[youtube]WiJWyD5w60E[/youtube]

tflong, this test made me decide against them

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=140

I found a number of track reviews that talked about the conti's not working well for dry track days as far as grip and they scored above those.

i just found this, didn't see it in all the looking i did:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=148

the s-04 are right there with the newest pilots
 
The advantage to the new pilots are mileage. Plus the PS2s just got beat after years of dominating. I'm just saying, there isn't a supercar made that doesn't have the new cups on it. Thas because they make the car better. Heck, road and track basically placed the ZO6 vette behind other cars simply because it had pilot cups. They said the tires were like cheating.
 
And yes, the pilot Cups I referred to are almost pure track. But the SUper Sport are about the best street/track. I just think if your looking for a track tire, either the Cups or the Super Sports can't be beat. It's been proven, so why shop around, unless price is the deciding factor.
 
Tflong24 said:
Why does everyone on this forum seem to ignore the Michelin Pilot super sport, which has been proven to be one of the best all around track tires. As well as the PS2! Every true performance track car runs michelins. Plus the super sports have twice the rated mileage. Is it because they cost$$ you get what you pay for. I have never seen the super sport beat in a tire comparison.
The Super Sports don't come in stock sizes.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Super+Sport&sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=93YR9PSSXL&tab=Specs
 
5 DOT 0 said:
Tflong24 said:
Why does everyone on this forum seem to ignore the Michelin Pilot super sport, which has been proven to be one of the best all around track tires. As well as the PS2! Every true performance track car runs michelins. Plus the super sports have twice the rated mileage. Is it because they cost$$ you get what you pay for. I have never seen the super sport beat in a tire comparison.
The Super Sports don't come in stock sizes.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Super+Sport&sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=93YR9PSSXL&tab=Specs

can our wheels fit 295 in the rear?
 
One thing to keep in mind is the type of car tire rack used to test these tires. A BMW 328 while well balanced will not stress the rears like more high powered cars. I drove a 328 around eagles canyon all day and I can tell you it's not the best car to test all out performance tires. I'm not pushing any tire here, it's such a big market. I guess go with what feels best to you.
 
Tflong24 said:
One thing to keep in mind is the type of car tire rack used to test these tires. A BMW 328 while well balanced will not stress the rears like more high powered cars. I drove a 328 around eagles canyon all day and I can tell you it's not the best car to test all out performance tires. I'm not pushing any tire here, it's such a big market. I guess go with what feels best to you.

IDK about those tires, wanted to use the RE-11 but they didn't come in stock sizes. the car is so neutral on the track i didn't want to do a anything that could possibly upset that. the bridgestone engineer i talked to didn't suggest changing to a 265/35-19 to fit the re-11 they make saying it could change the balance of the car. i didn't want anything that wasn't the same exact sizes the car came with. that ruled out the pilot sports along with that review i mentioned before. Next time you go out to ECR, yell i didn't know you were around there. I'm going back Feb 25th (i think that's the Saturday event date), the next actual HDPE at ECR. i want to get back with an instructor and be sure im not picking up any bad habits.
 
ShaneM said:
Tflong24 said:
One thing to keep in mind is the type of car tire rack used to test these tires. A BMW 328 while well balanced will not stress the rears like more high powered cars. I drove a 328 around eagles canyon all day and I can tell you it's not the best car to test all out performance tires. I'm not pushing any tire here, it's such a big market. I guess go with what feels best to you.

IDK about those tires, wanted to use the RE-11 but they didn't come in stock sizes. the car is so neutral on the track i didn't want to do a anything that could possibly upset that. the bridgestone engineer i talked to didn't suggest changing to a 265/35-19 to fit the re-11 they make saying it could change the balance of the car. i didn't want anything that wasn't the same exact sizes the car came with. that ruled out the pilot sports along with that review i mentioned before. Next time you go out to ECR, yell i didn't know you were around there. I'm going back Feb 25th (i think that's the Saturday event date), the next actual HDPE at ECR. i want to get back with an instructor and be sure im not picking up any bad habits.
The Boss 302's at BTA run the Pilot Sport PS2's and they work very well. You keep mentioning Pilot Sports but Tflong24 is talking about Pilot Super Sports which are a new tire. They don't come in stock sizes and have a slightly lower profile like the Yokohama AD08's.

Sorry but I'm having a hard time believing the tires made a six second a lap difference. Switching from our stock Pirelli's to the Pirelli Cosras "R" compound tires on the LS are only good for about a second a lap with a pro driver. Our stock Pirelli's are not crap tires and the main reason why people don't replace the stock tires with more Pirelli's is cost.

“Long and short of it is that these tires are so much better than the factory Pirellis that it's hard to believe. “ Yep that’s hard to believe...

And

“What I realized was that it wasn't that the S-04 tires offered no feedback, but that the limits were so much higher than the factory rubber” Yep Ford put crappy times on it’s halo Boss 302...

It will be interesting to see how the S-04's are when it's warm out, say in the 80's, and they have a lot of heat in them. I'd have more faith in your comparison if you compared them to a new set of Pirelli P Zero's. The chart below is with the stock Pirelli tires on a Boss. I can't imagine picking up three to four seconds with different street tires.

LSfastestlaps.jpg
 
5 DOT 0 said:
ShaneM said:
Tflong24 said:
One thing to keep in mind is the type of car tire rack used to test these tires. A BMW 328 while well balanced will not stress the rears like more high powered cars. I drove a 328 around eagles canyon all day and I can tell you it's not the best car to test all out performance tires. I'm not pushing any tire here, it's such a big market. I guess go with what feels best to you.

IDK about those tires, wanted to use the RE-11 but they didn't come in stock sizes. the car is so neutral on the track i didn't want to do a anything that could possibly upset that. the bridgestone engineer i talked to didn't suggest changing to a 265/35-19 to fit the re-11 they make saying it could change the balance of the car. i didn't want anything that wasn't the same exact sizes the car came with. that ruled out the pilot sports along with that review i mentioned before. Next time you go out to ECR, yell i didn't know you were around there. I'm going back Feb 25th (i think that's the Saturday event date), the next actual HDPE at ECR. i want to get back with an instructor and be sure im not picking up any bad habits.
The Boss 302's at BTA run the Pilot Sport PS2's and they work very well. You keep mentioning Pilot Sports but Tflong24 is talking about Pilot Super Sports which are a new tire. They don't come in stock sizes and have a slightly lower profile like the Yokohama AD08's.

Sorry but I'm having a hard time believing the tires made a six second a lap difference. Switching from our stock Pirelli's to the Pirelli Cosras "R" compound tires on the LS are only good for about a second a lap with a pro driver. Our stock Pirelli's are not crap tires and the main reason why people don't replace the stock tires with more Pirelli's is cost.

“Long and short of it is that these tires are so much better than the factory Pirellis that it's hard to believe. “ Yep that’s hard to believe...

And

“What I realized was that it wasn't that the S-04 tires offered no feedback, but that the limits were so much higher than the factory rubber” Yep Ford put crappy times on it’s halo Boss 302...

It will be interesting to see how the S-04's are when it's warm out, say in the 80's, and they have a lot of heat in them. I'd have more faith in your comparison if you compared them to a new set of Pirelli P Zero's. The chart below is with the stock Pirelli tires on a Boss. I can't imagine picking up three to four seconds with different street tires.

LSfastestlaps.jpg

never said all the gain was tires alone:

I ended up going with a bit of an unknown since no one that I could find has run the S-04 PP tires on a mustang. Long and short of it is that these tires are so much better than the factory Pirellis that it's hard to believe. My best time at ECR in the past was a 2:10 recorded via trackmaster and a 2:08 unofficial. I put down a verified gps lap time using trackamster of 2:04.3. I changed nothing on the car other than the tires for this track day, same tune and everything. I was a bit more aggressive and picked up a few tips from the ultimate speed secrets book I've been reading so some improvement is owed to my new tricks.

Other than the tricks, things like letting off the brakes more smoothly and accelerating more smoothly and earlier, I mentioned the times are what they are. im not sure why you are so skeptical or seem so upset that i didn't like the factory tires, lots of us don't. im not a bridgestone worker, i get no money from them, im simply relating my experience with the tires. maybe you had a better experience with the stock tires than i did.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
13
Connecticut
I'm a bit confused - is he comparing Pirelli P-Zero Corsa's to the S-04's ?? Also, I'm a big fan of the Michelin Pilot Suport Sports as an all around tire, which for me was very good in the rain. I wanted to use them as my wet tire but as you guys said they don't make our size. It is not, however, a R-Comp tire like the Corsa's and is no where as sticky on the track, hands down.

Lastly - I agree with Gary -if there was a tire that could make a 4 sec difference they could charge $1000 a tire for them and would sell out ;D
 
you guys need to read what I wrote. i am wondering if some of you skipped it and looked at other responses and made some assumptions based on those comments. i never said all the gains were the tires. I said i changed nothing on the car other than the tires but i did pick up a few tips that I used at the track from a book I was reading. I don't know what you guys want to hear, the times are simply what they are. i have no reason, desire, or need to lie about anything. did they work better, handle better, and do exactly what i said they did FOR ME, on my track? yes absolutely. will they do that for you? i have no idea. i did play with suspension settings during the day, but my fast laps were on the same 5/5 i always use on the track.

the tires i as comparing to are the p-zeros that came on the boss 302, not the corsas from the LS.
 
335
1
I understood exactly what you were saying and again....thanks!

I think people forgot that the stock Pirrelli Boss tires and LS tires are different......
 
Shane I appreciate your feedback but to come out and say the Bridgestone's are:

“Long and short of it is that these tires are so much better than the factory Pirelli's that it's hard to believe. “

And

“What I realized was that it wasn't that the S-04 tires offered no feedback, but that the limits were so much higher than the factory rubber”

seems a bit overstated and frankly is hard to believe. The stock Pirelli's P Zero's are excellent tires. A much better comparison would be with new Pirelli's and new Bridgestone's tires back to back.
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
13
Connecticut
OK Boys ed-u-ma-cate me. My LS comes with PZero Corsa's (r-comp). What does the non-LS come stock with and are they r-comps ?

Signed,
un-ed-u-ma-cated ;D
 

TMO Supporting Vendors

Top