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Continental Tire Extreme Contact Force Impressions and Feedback

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78
85
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Minnesota
Hey TMO friends, I have been selected as a brand ambassador for Continental Tires! My set of Extreme Contact Force are on the way. If you' are thinking about a new HPDE track day tire or something for general endurance racing please use my code 'VatterVIP' for a buy 3 get one free discount on a set of Continental Extreme Contact Force. Order from our friends at TrackdayTire.com
I'll be posting my impressions and some pics throughout the summer and would be interested in your feedback if you are running them as well. Drive Faster!

tdt brand ambassador graphic-min.png
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,667
1,977
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
Seems like a lot of people are getting selected as a brand ambassador for Continental lately. Smart of them to give their customers a financial incentive to promote a discount. I'd love to have that website contact us about becoming a sponsor of the site to help support our efforts here, like we have with TireRack and Discount Tire, if we're going to be promoting their efforts by having a link to them. That's what I told the other member who PM'd me asking if it was okay to post a promo thread about their new ambassadorship.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
Any idea what tire pressure we should be running ECFs on the track? I just bought my first set and did four sessions on them yesterday. I kept the hot pressures around 35. The front left (clockwise track) seemed to wear further onto the sidewall than SC2’s at the same pressure (-2.6 camber).
 
21
16
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Pennsylvania
Any idea what tire pressure we should be running ECFs on the track? I just bought my first set and did four sessions on them yesterday. I kept the hot pressures around 35. The front left (clockwise track) seemed to wear further onto the sidewall than SC2’s at the same pressure (-2.6 camber).
I have 91 fox and similar issue at Nelson Ledges, clockwise as well. Ran 31 hot as recommended by track day tire rep. Have -3 degree camber. Only had issue on left front. Going to try 35 hot next event. I'm also interested in hearing recommendations.
 
78
85
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Minnesota
Any idea what tire pressure we should be running ECFs on the track? I just bought my first set and did four sessions on them yesterday. I kept the hot pressures around 35. The front left (clockwise track) seemed to wear further onto the sidewall than SC2’s at the same pressure (-2.6 camber).
I was on a short track (no highspeed corners) and ran them from 36 to 38 hot. 32-34 seemed too soft when they were hot. I also saw wear pretty far onto the sidewall (used some tire chalk to mark the sidewall and wear ranges). The 36-38 range seemed to solve that a bit without getting too hard and sacrificing grip. Going to do a bit more research in a few weekes.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
I was on a short track (no highspeed corners) and ran them from 36 to 38 hot. 32-34 seemed too soft when they were hot. I also saw wear pretty far onto the sidewall (used some tire chalk to mark the sidewall and wear ranges). The 36-38 range seemed to solve that a bit without getting too hard and sacrificing grip. Going to do a bit more research in a few weekes.
Thanks for the input. I’ll give them a try with a little more pressure and will report back. Chalk on the sidewalk is a good idea.
 
151
164
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Arizona
I had 295/30R19s and I was happy enough with the grip and wear but I experienced some chunks on the outer tread blocks after 4 events, one tire in particular was chunked down to the cords despite the tire only being about 50% worn. They were pretty narrow and were pinched significantly on 11" wheels. I used your code and took a chance with the 315/30R19s which to my surprise fit my car ok, I got the slightest kiss of rub on the fender in one corner at Inde. They will fit perfect with about 0.1 degree more camber once I enlarge the strut tower again.

I aimed for 36 psi front, 35 psi rear for two days at Inde this weekend and they are wearing quite nicely. They still have 6/32" tread remaining in the rear and 7/32" up front. I am hoping the extra width and higher load rating over the 295s will prevent the chunking I saw and the extra camber I'll dial in should help too. Currently running -3.05 degrees front which I want to increase to -3.2 and -2 degrees rear.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
I had 295/30R19s and I was happy enough with the grip and wear but I experienced some chunks on the outer tread blocks after 4 events, one tire in particular was chunked down to the cords despite the tire only being about 50% worn. They were pretty narrow and were pinched significantly on 11" wheels. I used your code and took a chance with the 315/30R19s which to my surprise fit my car ok, I got the slightest kiss of rub on the fender in one corner at Inde. They will fit perfect with about 0.1 degree more camber once I enlarge the strut tower again.

I aimed for 36 psi front, 35 psi rear for two days at Inde this weekend and they are wearing quite nicely. They still have 6/32" tread remaining in the rear and 7/32" up front. I am hoping the extra width and higher load rating over the 295s will prevent the chunking I saw and the extra camber I'll dial in should help too. Currently running -3.05 degrees front which I want to increase to -3.2 and -2 degrees rear.
I’m running 295 front / 315 rear. I almost went for 315 all around but was concerned about rubbing. I’m -2.6 front, so I’m glad I didn’t try it. (I’m not ready to enlarge my strut tower just yet.) The measurements of the 295 ECF are very similar to the 305 SC2s that came stock, but perhaps there’s some aspect of the sidewall and/or shoulder block that doesn’t hold as well to 3,900+ lbs. Other guys at my track in Corvette’s seem to love the ECF and had no complaints about wear (onto the sidewalls or otherwise).
 
21
16
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Pennsylvania
I was on a short track (no highspeed corners) and ran them from 36 to 38 hot. 32-34 seemed too soft when they were hot. I also saw wear pretty far onto the sidewall (used some tire chalk to mark the sidewall and wear ranges). The 36-38 range seemed to solve that a bit without getting too hard and sacrificing grip. Going to do a bit more research in a few weekes.
Those pressures look they are going in the right direction. My car is smaller, lighter and slower so It seems like a little less pressure would work for me. I am running a tiny tire compared to you guys. 245x40.17 on 8" rim. A little pinched but seems to work at my skill level. I also had a small chunk out of the left front at NL. I rotated it to the LR. I am running an HPDE this weekend and am going to pay MUCH closer attention to my tires and try to get a baseline that works for me. Will keep you posted. Thanks!
 
78
85
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Minnesota
I have 91 fox and similar issue at Nelson Ledges, clockwise as well. Ran 31 hot as recommended by track day tire rep. Have -3 degree camber. Only had issue on left front. Going to try 35 hot next event. I'm also interested in hearing recommendations.
Here is the response I received from Continental:
Matt,
Thanks for visiting the Coni Website to submit your question. I would recommend starting your Cold Pressure Settings @ 26 – 28 psi and after a 20 – 30 minute track session, your HOT pressures should be no higher than 35 psi. Feel free to test the 32 – 35 psi HOT for optimum handling and grip pressures.

The Conti ECF does hold the HOT pressure very well in this range and very little PSI adjustment is needed throughout the day.

Any other questions, please write me as I manage the Conti EC Force product line here at Hoosier Tire!
 
316
407
CA
I had 295/30R19s and I was happy enough with the grip and wear but I experienced some chunks on the outer tread blocks after 4 events, one tire in particular was chunked down to the cords despite the tire only being about 50% worn. They were pretty narrow and were pinched significantly on 11" wheels. I used your code and took a chance with the 315/30R19s which to my surprise fit my car ok, I got the slightest kiss of rub on the fender in one corner at Inde. They will fit perfect with about 0.1 degree more camber once I enlarge the strut tower again.

I aimed for 36 psi front, 35 psi rear for two days at Inde this weekend and they are wearing quite nicely. They still have 6/32" tread remaining in the rear and 7/32" up front. I am hoping the extra width and higher load rating over the 295s will prevent the chunking I saw and the extra camber I'll dial in should help too. Currently running -3.05 degrees front which I want to increase to -3.2 and -2 degrees rear.

I have extensive experience with the ECF and can almost immediately comment that you are running too much pressure. 34psi max worked best for me, with a dramatic drop off in grip for anything above 34 PSI. For me it was almost comical how slippery the tire became at anything above 34psi, nothing like what I have seen before in all the different tires I've ran (15+ events per year has you going through tires quickly!).

The only con to this was I usually needed 24-26psi cold. You are pretty much spot on with the sidewall rollover, but that is something which can be worked around via slow warmup laps, which is something you should be doing anyways. You really need to bring the tires up to temperature slowly at this low of a PSI to prevent sidewall rollover. Once you get them up to temperature however, they should give you trouble free, consistent grip (hot laps 1-3 being the fastest) lap after lap. Note that if you are autocrossing on this tire, you should start them at a much higher cold PSI, and then air down between your runs. But TBH I wouldn't recommend the ECF for autocross unless you are just trying to get driver education in.

The ECF was a fantastic all rounder for me and lasted 44 heat cycles before one of them (note, only ONE), chorded. I proceeded to get another 6 heat cycles out of the remaining 3, so 50 heat cycles in total. These tires are absolute tanks in my experience, but others have had chunking issues with them. My recommendation is to have a buddy take tire temps to verify your alignment is OK, and not overstressing isolated parts of the tire.

If anyone needs any support with these tires at all, feel free to DM me.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
Here is the response I received from Continental:
Matt,
Thanks for visiting the Coni Website to submit your question. I would recommend starting your Cold Pressure Settings @ 26 – 28 psi and after a 20 – 30 minute track session, your HOT pressures should be no higher than 35 psi. Feel free to test the 32 – 35 psi HOT for optimum handling and grip pressures.

The Conti ECF does hold the HOT pressure very well in this range and very little PSI adjustment is needed throughout the day.

Any other questions, please write me as I manage the Conti EC Force product line here at Hoosier Tire!

I have extensive experience with the ECF and can almost immediately comment that you are running too much pressure. 34psi max worked best for me, with a dramatic drop off in grip for anything above 34 PSI. For me it was almost comical how slippery the tire became at anything above 34psi, nothing like what I have seen before in all the different tires I've ran (15+ events per year has you going through tires quickly!).

The only con to this was I usually needed 24-26psi cold. You are pretty much spot on with the sidewall rollover, but that is something which can be worked around via slow warmup laps, which is something you should be doing anyways. You really need to bring the tires up to temperature slowly at this low of a PSI to prevent sidewall rollover. Once you get them up to temperature however, they should give you trouble free, consistent grip (hot laps 1-3 being the fastest) lap after lap. Note that if you are autocrossing on this tire, you should start them at a much higher cold PSI, and then air down between your runs. But TBH I wouldn't recommend the ECF for autocross unless you are just trying to get driver education in.

The ECF was a fantastic all rounder for me and lasted 44 heat cycles before one of them (note, only ONE), chorded. I proceeded to get another 6 heat cycles out of the remaining 3, so 50 heat cycles in total. These tires are absolute tanks in my experience, but others have had chunking issues with them. My recommendation is to have a buddy take tire temps to verify your alignment is OK, and not overstressing isolated parts of the tire.

If anyone needs any support with these tires at all, feel free to DM me.

Based on both your comments, perhaps what appeared to be sidewall wear came from when the tires were cold. I started at 27-28 psi and reduced pressure after my sessions to remain 35 hot. My lap times were close to what I acheived with the SC2s, so grip wasn't an issue. The ECF didn't seem as precise on corner entry and I felt I needed to make more corrections mid-corner, but perhaps that's simply something I'll get used to. It made me hesistant to reduce the pressure below 35 because I thought perhaps the sidewalls were rolling too much, but according to both of your posts that doesn't seem to be the case. I was only getting 12-15 sessions (25-30 mins each) out of my SC2s before they felt greasy, so I'll sacrifice a little precision on corner entry for what will hopefully be a much longer life. I'm heading to the track Friday and will bring some chalk to mark them before each session. I'll post some pictures as well.

Thanks for the info!
 
21
16
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Pennsylvania
Hi,

I ran HPDE at a 1.4 mile course called Pineview Run this last weekend in upstate NY. Very technical course with a variation of corner types and only 1 longish straight. I ran the tires at 35psi hot and they were much better than at NL without any rollover or chunking. I monitored tire temps with an infrared thermo, don't have pyrometer yet, and they were very consistent across the tread and from front to rear. Car handled well but tires did start to "sing" toward the end of the runs. Going to try a little lower TP, 33-34 hot, pressure as recommended at my next event. All in all much better and I feel like I'm real close to having TP figured out. They do take a couple of laps to warm up. Pretty sure my rollover problem at NL was from low tp as evidenced from track photos.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
Just did five, 25 minutes sessions yesterday on the ECFs (2022 Mach 1 - bone stock). I started with pressures around 26-27. Temps were in the 60’s but heated up to around 75. I had to bleed them down several times to keep hot pressure around 34-35 (mostly 34). I had an instructor riding along for the day and he thought the car was “happy” with the hot pressure around 34. There was just enough slip but they didn’t break loose or make too much noise. I might try hot pressures at 33 next time out. These are more grippy than my initial impressions. While I still feel that the Michelin PSC2s have more bite, these are wearing much, much better. The ECFs also seemed more consistent. My fastest lap of the first four sessions was number 11, and the last session was number 10. I hadn’t realized that until I got home and reviewed the data, so clearly there’s consistency in how the tires (and driver) progress during a session. I had not experienced that with the PSC2. Often lap 5 or 6 would be my fastest and I’d have to back it down a little from there. We determined that what appreared to be wear on the sidewall (see earlier post above) was not from low pressure and/or tire roll, but rather rubbing against the plastic fender moulding in hard corners. I’m running 295 up front and they are just a tad wide… yet the car came stock with PSC2 305s. Even the left rear (315) seemed to rub a bit. I compared the tire sizes before buying them, and the 295/315 ECFs seemed to match up well with the 305/315 PSC2s. The instructor didn’t feel it was a concern given that it seems to be no more than surface scuffing, and from plastic as opposed to metal. You can feel it with your fingers on the inside of the plastic fender piece. I’m at max camber with the current factory set up at -2.6 front and -1.4 rear. Just a tad more would do the trick. Or perhaps I remove the fender moulding since it’s only for looks. First four pictures are of the front left tire after two days (nine sessions). The last picture is the left rear. Clockwise track - NJMP Thunderbolt. Overall I’m happy with them. If you’re looking to set record lap times, clearly you’ll need an R compound. However for a grippy “endurance” tire I’m generally pleased.IMG_6338.jpegIMG_6345.jpegIMG_6346.jpegIMG_6347.jpegIMG_6342.jpeg
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
Resurrecting an old thread here. I just completed my 8th track day, 33 sessions, and I think these tires are finally done. I’m experiencing a good bit more slippage and some understeer in tight corners. Interestingly, I set my personal best on the very last lap yesterday. I did a cool down lap and then went hard for one final run and ended .20 quicker! They aren’t as confidence inspiring as something like the Goodyear SC3R’s, however once you get them warmed up they’re very consistent and take a beating.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
I emailed Continental to ask their persepctive on how long these could last and how to know when they're done. Here's the reply I recevied (from a Hoosier product manager):

"Thank you for writing and for using the new Extreme Contact Force which is made by Continental Tire and sold through Hoosier Racing Tire! I would agree the track tested tread compound is a bit too durable and could be softened up a bit, but is very resilient when it comes to multiple track sessions. I would replace them after a Season of Track Use even if they don’t show much wear. The tread compound will get quite hard and grip levels will deteriorate where your lap times will be slowed by 2–3 seconds. Keep track of your Track Sessions and when you notice the steering, braking and lap times start to fade, please replace your tires."

I then replied and provided some context regarding how my last day on the track went. He replied with the following:

"Depending on when you purchased or started using them – within a year period – you might want to replace them. It is a rare occurrence to see a Conti ECF wear out – so monitoring your driving performance is crucial to when to replace them. I think your tires are about done [based on how I described them in my email] – don’t over drive the old tires as you may loose grip suddenly and possibly run off track. Please replace them before your next outing to continue to be safe on the track. By the way you describe the performance of the tires – seems like they are on their last leg of offering peak performance grip."


So not really any different than what you'd experience with other tires. However, unlike other tires I've used, the lack of treadwear is deceiving. For me, the tread on SC2s and SC3Rs gets beaten to hell after 12 or so sessions and seemed to heat cycle out along with the tread being noticeably chewed up. Not the case with the ECFs.
 
316
407
CA
Resurrecting an old thread here. I just completed my 8th track day, 33 sessions, and I think these tires are finally done. I’m experiencing a good bit more slippage and some understeer in tight corners. Interestingly, I set my personal best on the very last lap yesterday. I did a cool down lap and then went hard for one final run and ended .20 quicker! They aren’t as confidence inspiring as something like the Goodyear SC3R’s, however once you get them warmed up they’re very consistent and take a beating.
Nice info, thanks for sharing. I would like to ask; are you experiencing the slippage even after the tires are warm? A common trait I have found with the "endurance" 200tw tires (Hankook RS4, Conti ECF) is that once they have many heat cycles in them, they turn hard as rock when cold, and have very little grip when cold. However, once they get heat back in them, grip is restored.

I was able to take (1) of my ECF's down to the chords (44 heat cycles). The other 3 lasted to 48 heat cycles before I switched them out to a different compound. I can't really comment on how much slower they got as they aged, because I modified my car quite a bit towards the end of the life of the tire. But with that being said, my fastest lap with them was on the 43rd heat cycle.

You are absolutely right that the ECF's will have significantly less grip than a 3R. But overall life compared to the 3R...it's no comparison.
 
26
35
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Pennsylvania
The slippage was definitely more when cold as they aged. It wasn't an issue for the first five track days (20-ish sessions). I agree that when they heated up the grip was largely restored. However, during the last day (four sessions), they weren't handling the heat as well. When hot, I was getting some initial slippage under hard braking and understeer in tight corners where there hand't been when the tires were newer - perhaps to be expected. If I ran some cooldown laps they'd get their composure back. It's sort of like they lost some consistentcy, but could still perform if not cold or overheated. I'm considering running them for another session only to see how they degrade further. Overall they've been impressive for an endurance tire. I have another set in my garage ready to go.

48 heat cycles is incredible! It sounds like you had a similar experience to me in that I ran my fastest lap on the last lap of my last session.
 

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