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Help me Decide on my Tires and Pads for the Track.

jashton

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Hi TMO Members-

I have a couple of quick questions regarding my upcoming tire and pad setup for the track.

I just picked up a square set of 19x11 track wheels and can’t make a decision between the Michelin PS4S or Nitto NT01.

My plan is to turn my GT350 into more of a dedicated track car. I currently don’t have a trailer, but that could change soon.

PS4S Breakdown

Pros:
-Florida weather is temperamental and can rain at any time
-Easier to drive to and from the track
-Better wear on the street
-I’m still newer to tracking in general and actually enjoy the feedback of a street tire
-Better Rain Tire

Cons:
-I’ve noticed edge wear is much more significant compared to the center of the tire. Maybe related to running 28psi?
-Likely won’t last near as long due to wear pattern
-Not as much grip, but this may not be a bad thing at this point in my track journey

Nitto NT01

Pros:
-Better Grip
-Better Track Wear

Cons:
-Driving to the track
-Worse wear
-Getting caught in the rain
-I can’t swap wheels at the track since I have a 4 point roll bar
-Wouldn’t run this tire in the rain

Track Pad Consideration

I really enjoyed the stock pads on track, but burned through about half a pad in one day on a short track, so I feel like this upgrade is a necessity. I am leaning toward DSUNO front or ST43 front and leaving the stock pads out back. Can anybody confirm with certainty that the stock pads are made by Ferodo? I’m heavily leaning toward the DSUNO route to avoid scrubbing my rotors. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard of too many people actually running this pad.

Any input/feedback would be greatly appreciated. I’ve got Sebring coming up an a month, but may sneak in another day out at the FIRM before then.

Thanks,

-Jeff
 

Dennis DiLucente

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Jeff,
I run 19 inch squared Bridgestone RE-71s (200 UTQG) on my 2012 Boss 302 while using Brembo 380mm GT rotors w/Brembo Sports/HP2000 pads.

The Brembo GT system has been a confidence inspiring upgrade. They are costly but I get about 7-8 HPDE track days @ Fontana (high speed ROVAL) between pad replacement in front and 9-10 track days on the rear. One caveat, my Mustang is a daily driver so these track day figures equate to 2 years and 8,000 miles between front pad replacements. I think Hawk pads are more economical and believe a lot of TMOers will weigh in on the subject.

The tires last 4-5 track days with 2.5 degrees of camber @ 26-27 psi. My Mustang has not been lowered but the increased camber did decrease tire edge/shoulder wear. A lot drier here in SoCal but the car is driven to/from the track and the tires are average in wet daily driver weather. Full disclosure, I have never tracked the Boss in wet weather. Good luck.
 

Mad302

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Have you installed C/C plates yet? if not those need to go in with a proper track alignment. Most shops who deal with track cars will set your camber for both street and track at around -2.5 or so. The PS4S is really one of the best all around tires made providing you have correct alignment and keep an eye on temps. Sure the RE71R will be faster but it also wears quicker. The NT01 is also a great tire but not exactly great in the wet.

For pads the stockers are more than capable depending on your skill level just make sure you have better DOT 4 fluid since florida is warm. I would give @OPMustang Tim a call and he get setup with pads and fluid if you really decide to change pads along with the 19 non drilled rotors.

Seat time is going to be the best bet though.
 

JAJ

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Just wondering why this would preclude wheel/tire changes?
I'm guessing, but likely there's no room left to carry four extra tires. I think the usual layout is one in the front seat, two in the back seat and one in the trunk. I used to do that in my S197 but I've never done it in my GT350.
 

jashton

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Jeff,
I run 19 inch squared Bridgestone RE-71s (200 UTQG) on my 2012 Boss 302 while using Brembo 380mm GT rotors w/Brembo Sports/HP2000 pads.

The Brembo GT system has been a confidence inspiring upgrade. They are costly but I get about 7-8 HPDE track days @ Fontana (high speed ROVAL) between pad replacement in front and 9-10 track days on the rear. One caveat, my Mustang is a daily driver so these track day figures equate to 2 years and 8,000 miles between front pad replacements. I think Hawk pads are more economical and believe a lot of TMOers will weigh in on the subject.

The tires last 4-5 track days with 2.5 degrees of camber @ 26-27 psi. My Mustang has not been lowered but the increased camber did decrease tire edge/shoulder wear. A lot drier here in SoCal but the car is driven to/from the track and the tires are average in wet daily driver weather. Full disclosure, I have never tracked the Boss in wet weather. Good luck.
Thanks for the input Dennis!

Have you installed C/C plates yet? if not those need to go in with a proper track alignment. Most shops who deal with track cars will set your camber for both street and track at around -2.5 or so. The PS4S is really one of the best all around tires made providing you have correct alignment and keep an eye on temps. Sure the RE71R will be faster but it also wears quicker. The NT01 is also a great tire but not exactly great in the wet.

For pads the stockers are more than capable depending on your skill level just make sure you have better DOT 4 fluid since florida is warm. I would give @OPMustang Tim a call and he get setup with pads and fluid if you really decide to change pads along with the 19 non drilled rotors.

Seat time is going to be the best bet though.
Yep! I already have MM camber plates installed and Castrol SRF waiting to go in. Alignment is happening immediately after my track wheels go on.

I’m leaning toward the PS4S as I’m re-thinking my own thoughts. I won’t drive on an R compound in heavy rain, already been down that road (nearly totaled a car). So I guess that really answers that until I can start hauling the car.

My other concern with upgrading pads to DSUNO or ST43 is the stronger initial bite paired with the PS4S. Can anybody weigh in if the tires and pads would work well in conjunction?

I’m going to probably just wear out the front rotors before picking up a set of 19 rotors.

Seat time is the number one goal, going into the end of 2019 and into 2020. I really wanted to address safety first, so I’m a little ahead in that regard.

Thanks for the response!

Just wondering why this would preclude wheel/tire changes?
Can’t fit them in the back unfortunately with the cage as JAJ mentioned. No other reason. :)

I'm guessing, but likely there's no room left to carry four extra tires. I think the usual layout is one in the front seat, two in the back seat and one in the trunk. I used to do that in my S197 but I've never done it in my GT350.
Exactly. :)
 

blacksheep-1

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As you guys are aware, I try to be as lo buck, user friendly as possible, IMO money spent on the car is money that is not being spent on track entry. So, I'm gonna throw this out there, you can take it or leave it.
Give me any tire..any tire.. and by jacking air pressures I can pretty much guarantee you about 2 seconds on any given day over an identical set of tires.( Of course, slicks are always going to be faster, but we're talking street tires here.) The first 4 laps of a tire's life will ALWAYS be it's fastest, run 6 laps with a 200TWR tire, I can beat it with another brand of 200 TWR tires that are brand new, if you don't care about tire life, I can prolly find more than 3 seconds by shaving the tread, so IMO the whole argument about which tire is "faster" is kind of moot, any tire, can be faster, (or slower), than the one you have on the car right this minute.
You don't need a "fast" tire..you need a consistent tire.
A north American endurance series just went to a spec tire, it was made by BF Goodrich, (G force, Comp 2s maybe? I forget) because they like cars on track, and minimal maintenance they spec'd this tire out for 3 reasons,
It's pretty fast in the dry and works in the rain as well.
It's consistent over it's life span, which is really far more important than people realize.
You can run it for 24 hours without changing it unless you have some really messed up suspension setup.
THAT is the tire you need to be on.
There is crap loads of magical stuff that can make a car go faster for a few laps or over a longer period of time, none of that you will do unless you are at the pointy end of professional racing. Go with a consistent tire that will last.
 

jashton

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As you guys are aware, I try to be as lo buck, user friendly as possible, IMO money spent on the car is money that is not being spent on track entry. So, I'm gonna throw this out there, you can take it or leave it.
Give me any tire..any tire.. and by jacking air pressures I can pretty much guarantee you about 2 seconds on any given day over an identical set of tires.( Of course, slicks are always going to be faster, but we're talking street tires here.) The first 4 laps of a tire's life will ALWAYS be it's fastest, run 6 laps with a 200TWR tire, I can beat it with another brand of 200 TWR tires that are brand new, if you don't care about tire life, I can prolly find more than 3 seconds by shaving the tread, so IMO the whole argument about which tire is "faster" is kind of moot, any tire, can be faster, (or slower), than the one you have on the car right this minute.
You don't need a "fast" tire..you need a consistent tire.
A north American endurance series just went to a spec tire, it was made by BF Goodrich, (G force, Comp 2s maybe? I forget) because they like cars on track, and minimal maintenance they spec'd this tire out for 3 reasons,
It's pretty fast in the dry and works in the rain as well.
It's consistent over it's life span, which is really far more important than people realize.
You can run it for 24 hours without changing it unless you have some really messed up suspension setup.
THAT is the tire you need to be on.
There is crap loads of magical stuff that can make a car go faster for a few laps or over a longer period of time, none of that you will do unless you are at the pointy end of professional racing. Go with a consistent tire that will last.
Pretty spot on with my thinking. I'm not concerned about track times at the moment, but would like to eventually use it to judge my progress (with the car remaining in the same form). My main concern with the tire is usable lifespan, since tires aren't cheap (consistency was a great point as well). I'm also concerned about getting to and from the track on one set as I mentioned in the OP.

This went over my head, but I'm not exactly sure what you were implying about jacking air pressures? Are you referencing running the wrong tire pressure affecting lap times?
 

TMSBOSS

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Jashton

Do be concerned about track times.....Your Track Times. Record them with a track timer like Harry's. Its cheap and reliable. I have every track time I have run, on my phone.
Follow BS-1's advice and get a tires which will work, is predictable and DOES NOT BREAK THE BANK. Driver mods are as important if not more important then car mods. When the driver is maxed out, meaning you run consistent laps, then worry about making the car faster.

I run Nitto NT-01's on the street and on track. I also have slicks which I run. They are takeoffs which are fast.....for me. If running in the rain is a possibility, the 01's are not the best choice. I did run a set of NT-05's on a wet track. They did OK but there are better tires for dry to wet than the 05's.
For pads I went with Pagid Pads which I could run on the street or on the track. I get several track days out of these. The exception was Road America. If you run a weekend on that track, be ready to trash your brakes.
 

jashton

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Jashton

Do be concerned about track times.....Your Track Times. Record them with a track timer like Harry's. Its cheap and reliable. I have every track time I have run, on my phone.
Follow BS-1's advice and get a tires which will work, is predictable and DOES NOT BREAK THE BANK. Driver mods are as important if not more important then car mods. When the driver is maxed out, meaning you run consistent laps, then worry about making the car faster.

I run Nitto NT-01's on the street and on track. I also have slicks which I run. They are takeoffs which are fast.....for me. If running in the rain is a possibility, the 01's are not the best choice. I did run a set of NT-05's on a wet track. They did OK but there are better tires for dry to wet than the 05's.
For pads I went with Pagid Pads which I could run on the street or on the track. I get several track days out of these. The exception was Road America. If you run a weekend on that track, be ready to trash your brakes.
Thanks for the input, I guess this still leaves me with the question of which tire should I go with?

Is there a comparable tire to something like the PSS or PS4S for less? I can get a set of four brand new 305-30-19 for $1,208 shipped after rebate. Tire pricing on 19s is no joke.

Which Pagid did you go with?
 

blacksheep-1

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[QUOTE="This went over my head, but I'm not exactly sure what you were implying about jacking air pressures? Are you referencing running the wrong tire pressure affecting lap times?[/QUOTE]

You can find lots of time with air pressure changes, lots and it's mostly free, it just comes down to record keeping and experience. There's qualifying pressures, race pressures, tuning pressures, it all adds up a tenth of a psi at a time. It's basically what I get paid to do.
 

SavetheManuals

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Completely agree that consistency is the most important factor unless you are really chasing lap times, so between those 2 tire choices the NT01 will be incredibly consistent throughout a session and will also be faster. Since you will have enough camber they should last a while, only problem is getting to and from the track (or rainy track days). It's actually not terrible in the rain until you really wear it down as long as you drive reasonably.
If you are still concerned about the rain I would also recommend looking into the Hankook RS4, it's a decent compromise between those 2 choices; more grip and consistency on track than the MP4S and better in the rain than the NT01 (not amazing, but driveable). Should last a while too; Badger had a set that lasted 10 or 11 track days + daily driving on an S197 (no rear camber) and he drives like a lunatic (in a good way).
As far as tire pressures go, a temperature probe or IR gun can help you make pressure adjustments by reading temperatures across the tread, and as Blacksheep mentioned keep track of everything.
For pads, I've heard good things about the ST43 and have gotten recommendations to try the ST45 next for our heavy cars. Some people swear by aggressive rear pads but my stock rear pads lasted FOREVER (40,000 hard miles and 13 track days) and I haven't noticed too much of a performance improvement by upgrading the rear to track pads. Keep using the stockers on the rear until you feel they are limiting you (or you are wearing through them like crazy).
 

jashton

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Completely agree that consistency is the most important factor unless you are really chasing lap times, so between those 2 tire choices the NT01 will be incredibly consistent throughout a session and will also be faster. Since you will have enough camber they should last a while, only problem is getting to and from the track (or rainy track days). It's actually not terrible in the rain until you really wear it down as long as you drive reasonably.
If you are still concerned about the rain I would also recommend looking into the Hankook RS4, it's a decent compromise between those 2 choices; more grip and consistency on track than the MP4S and better in the rain than the NT01 (not amazing, but driveable). Should last a while too; Badger had a set that lasted 10 or 11 track days + daily driving on an S197 (no rear camber) and he drives like a lunatic (in a good way).
As far as tire pressures go, a temperature probe or IR gun can help you make pressure adjustments by reading temperatures across the tread, and as Blacksheep mentioned keep track of everything.
For pads, I've heard good things about the ST43 and have gotten recommendations to try the ST45 next for our heavy cars. Some people swear by aggressive rear pads but my stock rear pads lasted FOREVER (40,000 hard miles and 13 track days) and I haven't noticed too much of a performance improvement by upgrading the rear to track pads. Keep using the stockers on the rear until you feel they are limiting you (or you are wearing through them like crazy).
Damn, I finally decided on the RS4 after talking with a buddy of mine who runs them and he was echoing exactly what you said. Extremely durable and pretty consistent in dry weather. They are still drivable in the rain, which made them a winner. The problem is they don't exist anymore, yet Hankook still has them listed on their website. I called Tire Rack and a few other places and they "aren't expected back in." I tried calling Hankook today to find out more, waited on hold for about 10 minutes, and then was sent to voicemail.

I'm back to square one I guess, any other recommendations for durability and consistency?

The FIRM and Sebring, which is likely where I'll be tracking most, are a two hour drive. Maybe I'll rent a trailer or borrow one if it's looking like rain and go with the NT01. Then I can bring my stock setup, for if it rains, in the back of my truck.
 

OH GT350

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What did you go with or any further thoughts? I am in the same spot while waiting for the wheels I ordered to be made.
 

jashton

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What did you go with or any further thoughts? I am in the same spot while waiting for the wheels I ordered to be made.
I'm between the RE71R and Nitto NT01 right now. The RE-71R isn't as durable and also isn't as consistent from what I've been reading. The big positive for the RE-71R is that it's not going to kill you in the rain like the NT01. I would go with PS4S, but this is a dedicated set of track wheels, so I figured why not get something more durable and consistent for the track? That is until it rains...

My head is going to explode thinking about this. I'm super analytical, so making a decision is always a big conundrum. I nearly totaled out my 2016 GT on R compounds getting caught in the rain. $17,000 in damage from hydroplaning at 50mph. In fairness that was on an NT05R with a 0 treadwear rating. I should've pulled over, but I guess you can't fix stupid sometimes (face palm).
 
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jashton

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I'm between the RE71R and Nitto NT01 right now. The RE-71R isn't as durable and also isn't as consistent from what I've been reading. The big positive for the RE-71R is that it's not going to kill you in the rain like the NT01. I would go with PS4S, but this is a dedicated set of track wheels, so I figured why not get something more durable and consistent for the track? That is until it rains...

My head is going to explode thinking about this. I'm super analytical, so making a decision is always a big conundrum. I nearly totaled out my 2016 GT on R compounds getting caught in the rain. $17,000 in damage from hydroplaning at 50mph. In fairness that was on an NT05R with a 0 treadwear rating. I should've pulled over, but I guess you can't fix stupid sometimes (face palm).
Already quoting myself, just to show how analytical I am (haha).

From you more experienced track guys, does anybody think it would be a hindrance to my progression to move to a more aggressive tire this early?

Here's a video of my first day out with the car:
 

VUDU V8 Steve

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Stock tires give you less grip but more feedback when on the early part of the learning curve. Expensive streeters to burn at the track, however. NT-01's are no question the best drive up tire- fantastic grip and hold up well ; Nitto's are the intermediate step-up to better grip as you exceed the limits of street tires, then graduate to pull-off slicks..You will know when you're driving well enough to run out of grip..
Yes, you can huck 4 wheels, a jack, and what you need for track days in a GT350- I do it every time..
 
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