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NASA HDPE Event Weekend Warrior Tires and Wheels Setup

16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Hey guys - I'd like to have a separate set of wheels and tires for NASA HPDE Events. I drive a 2017 Mustang GT performance package currently (19 in. staggered setup). I don't have any modifications on the wheels or body around the wheels.
I'm in group 2 and race probably 3+ times a year. I'm looking for tires that will do well on the track but last several events if possible.
I'd like to have mustang-styled wheels and I'm looking at the Nitto NT01 tires because they are said to last quite a while (5-6 track days) but I'm unsure of what kind of wheels to get or what sizes on any of it.
I'm quite inexperienced with tires and wheels. I would greatly appreciate some feedback and recommendations so I can get them ordered and ready before the next event (Oct 23rd-24th). Thanks!
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
7,074
4,442
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Illinois
Casey

If you have a chance, look at the Apex site and threads. They have a ton of data on what fits, what does not fit and why.

In general, bigger is better. If you can fit an 11" wheel on your car and in your budget, do so. I ran NT-01s and liked them for their durability and lack of surprises. They communicated well and had good grip. They were the tire of choice a few years back. You may be able to find something better today.

Tracy
 
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69
71
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale
If you drive it a lot on the streets, I would recommend MPS4S. It is a great 300 tread wear tire and they really are pretty good. I ran those for my 1st full year. I just switched over to the Hankook RS4's. They are suppose to be great 200 tread wear tires but time will tell. They are hard to get and had to order directly from Hankook Competition. Only took 3 days to get them dropped off at my door. My normal tire guy could not get them.
 
453
545
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
Apex are the best affordable track wheels. Another even more affordable option are LMR's SVE brand wheels. All flow formed, strong, and light weight.
Agree with @TMSBOSS 11" wheels +50mm offset front and rear is the way to go but it'll require extended studs on the front and 25mm spacers. If you don't want to deal with that, some 10" wheels with around +35mm offset will fit front and rear and be rotatable.
285/35 tires for 10" and 305/30 tires for 11"

There are several great HPDE tire options out there. Nitto NT01, Hankook RS4, Goodyear Supercar 3, BFGoodrich Rival S 1.5, ect. There are more but those are some of the more popular ones. All grippy and all last a good while
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Thanks, I have been reviewing Apex for wheels, but am not sure about the threads - I just learned about this site this morning.
Okay, that makes sense, more rubber, more grip. I'm not looking to modify the car at all so I'm hoping to find something that's big enough but fits well within the housing. On the NASA group forum I am apart of, they suggested sticking to a 300TW tire over the NT01s until I'm in at least HPDE3/4+ because of lack of communication and less punishment for my mistakes, but those are the tires I was looking at. Someone else just suggested 275 Federal RSRR tires for now since they are cheap and work well. Thoughts?
Casey

If you have a chance, look at the Apex site and threads. They have a ton of data on what fits, what does not fit and why.

In general, bigger is better. If you can fit an 11" wheel on your car and in your budget, do so. I ran NT-01s and liked them for their durability and lack of surprises. They communicated well and had good grip. They were the tire of choice a few years back. You may be able to find something better today.

Tracy
 
69
71
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale
I run the square set up Apex 19x11 wheels on mine and have been really happy with them. I did have to change out the front studs and run a 25mm spacer in front.
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
If you drive it a lot on the streets, I would recommend MPS4S. It is a great 300 tread wear tire and they really are pretty good. I ran those for my 1st full year. I just switched over to the Hankook RS4's. They are suppose to be great 200 tread wear tires but time will tell. They are hard to get and had to order directly from Hankook Competition. Only took 3 days to get them dropped off at my door. My normal tire guy could not get them.
I don't drive a ton on the streets, but I don't want the street tires to also be the track tires. I was unable to get the MPS4 and ended up with the MPS A/S 3s last time due to availability, but those burned up in 2.5 days (no camber currently) Thanks for the recommendation!
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Apex are the best affordable track wheels. Another even more affordable option are LMR's SVE brand wheels. All flow formed, strong, and light weight.
Agree with @TMSBOSS 11" wheels +50mm offset front and rear is the way to go but it'll require extended studs on the front and 25mm spacers. If you don't want to deal with that, some 10" wheels with around +35mm offset will fit front and rear and be rotatable.
285/35 tires for 10" and 305/30 tires for 11"

There are several great HPDE tire options out there. Nitto NT01, Hankook RS4, Goodyear Supercar 3, BFGoodrich Rival S 1.5, ect. There are more but those are some of the more popular ones. All grippy and all last a good while
I've been looking at Apex and LMR this morning. I will probably pick a set from one of them today, but I'm not sure how wheel size factors in to tire size. I have stock 19x9.5 wheels on the back and 19x9 on the front (daily driver). I want to run a square setup for the track, does it matter if I still go with 19" wheels or would there be a specific reason to go down to 18"? I'm pretty new to wheels/tire configurations, so I'm not really sure what it means to offset the wheels and what spacers are, would you mind giving a simple explanation or pointing me to something I can read about? I don't really want to get too crazy with it because I'd like to just take the wheels off at home and put on my daily drivers without much else required. I'll be adding a camber that will be decent enough for track and street. Do you need spacers if you have a 275 tire? Thanks for your feedback!
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
7,074
4,442
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Illinois
The primary reason folks run 19" wheels over 18" wheels is brake clearance, will the wheels fit over your rotors and calipers and then appearance. Some like the look of the 19's over the 18's. Tire availability and cost usually favors the 18's.
If you will be on track much, camber plates, I know this sounds strange, pay for themselves. Burn up a set of expensive tires because you have stock camber and the cost comparison becomes real. Swapping a set of studs for longer studs is not a huge modification and one I would recommend for safety.
Yes, it can be a slippery slope. Take slow deliberate steps. If the track is in your future, go wider now. Avoid buying narrower wheels you will grow out of. Unless of course if you want to buy my used staggered setup. :banghead: 🤭
 
Last edited:
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
The primary reason folks run 19" wheels over 18" wheels is brake clearance, will the wheels fit over your rotors and calipers and then appearance. Some like the look of the 19's over the 18's. Tire availability and cost usually favors the 18's.
If you will be on track much, camber plates, I know this sounds strange, pay for themselves. Burn up a set of expensive tires because you have stock camber and the cost comparison becomes real. Swapping a set of studs for longer studs is not a huge modification and one I would recommend for safety.
Yes, it can be a slippery slope. Take slow deliberate steps. If the track is in your future, go wider now. Avoid buying narrower wheels you will grow out of. Unless of course you want to buy my used staggered setup. :banghead: 🤭
Haha, trying to get away from my staggered setup as well! Thank you very much for the explanations. I'd like to stick with 19s for that look as well. Are the camber plates something that allows me to adjust the camber on my own before track day pretty easily?
Going to the track is a slippery slope lol, but I'm really enjoying it. When you say go wider , do you mean 11" wheels, rather than 10"?
Is this something you'd recommend?
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
7,074
4,442
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Illinois
I have no experience with Steeda camber plates. I have MM on my Boss and factory plates on my GT350R. The MM plates came with a bunch of used parts I bought years ago. I was going to pull the trigger on Vorshlag when a guy listed his for sale after running his car for 6 months. Had to save the cash.
if I was buying plates, I would go with those made by Vorshlag. Adjusting between events would depend upon your skill level and a few tools. Although plates from Vorshlag appear to have marking you could use to adjust off of once your alignment shop set up both street and track alignments. Give them a call and discuss options with them. They are a supporting sponsor here and are a wealth of knowledge.
And yes, 11” wheels. They should fit with little work beyond studs and likely camber plates.
 
242
267
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
20+ Years
NC
The Steeda ones would be set and forget. There are no gradient markings on them like the Vorshlag units. If the go fast crack pipe affects you in the same way it did me 30 years ago, then you may want to look at big 19x11 wheels with 305-30/19 tires for max grip. Although you may do just fine with a 19x10 with a 285-35/19 tire.
Apex fitment guide will hopefully answer some of your questions https://support.apexraceparts.com/h...5483093-S550-Mustang-Wheel-Tire-Fitment-Guide
https://support.apexraceparts.com/h...3-Tech-Article-Will-You-Need-Negative-Camber-
For the $300 a set difference, I think I would take a long look at the Goodyear Supercar 3 https://www.tirerack.com/tires/Tire...9&rearWidth=255/&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17 , https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/nitto-nt01. I know for a fact they will last at least three HPDE's if not double to triple that depending on track surface and style of track.
 
453
545
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
SoCal
I've been looking at Apex and LMR this morning. I will probably pick a set from one of them today, but I'm not sure how wheel size factors in to tire size. I have stock 19x9.5 wheels on the back and 19x9 on the front (daily driver). I want to run a square setup for the track, does it matter if I still go with 19" wheels or would there be a specific reason to go down to 18"? I'm pretty new to wheels/tire configurations, so I'm not really sure what it means to offset the wheels and what spacers are, would you mind giving a simple explanation or pointing me to something I can read about? I don't really want to get too crazy with it because I'd like to just take the wheels off at home and put on my daily drivers without much else required. I'll be adding a camber that will be decent enough for track and street. Do you need spacers if you have a 275 tire? Thanks for your feedback!
2nd above on the Vorshlag camber plates. They are amazing. Give them a call and they can easily answer all your questions.

You could call Apex wheels as well and they can give you info on what wheels to get for your specific use case. 19x10 wheels with 285/35 tires will be fine to have fun but if you catch the track bug, you will wish you went with 19x11 with 305/30 tires from the get-go. Extended studs and wheel spacers allow you to run the same exact wheel front and back so you can rotate your wheels/tires and make them last longer. You could also get 19x11 wheels with different offsets so you have 305 tires all around without the need to use studs and spacers but you will not be able to rotate your wheels/tires front to back. (you have different clearances front and rear, hence different spacing requirements)

1633619160456.png
 

TymeSlayer

Tramps like us, Baby we were born to run...
3,777
2,704
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Brighton, Colorado
Get the extended studs and for now I would agree with what your NASA guy said about tires. I run 200TW on 19x11 Apex wheels and generally run in HPDE2. I would suspect you might have better choices in rubber at 300TW. Like TMSBOSS, I run MM caster/camber plates and it's worth the investment to save the tires. I was able to squeeze out -2.7 up front with this setup.
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
You guys are all really great. The information has been very helpful in my understanding of wheel setup. I've reached out to Apex to get a one on one and figure out what will be the right choices for me and am looking into getting the Vorshlag camber plates. I'll post back here once I've got my new setup. :)
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Hey everyone,

Here's what I ordered:
  • Apex Race Parts - 4x ET52 EC-7 19x11 Wheels, Finish: Anthracite
  • Apex Race Parts - 25MM Mustang Spacer Kit
  • Tire Rack - 4x 305/30ZR-19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 XL
  • Vorshlag - S550 (2015-up) Mustang Camber/Caster Plates & OEM Perches
  • American Muscle - Ford Performance TPMS Sensors and Activation Tool Kit; Set of 4
  • American Muscle - Ford Performance Open Ended Lug Nut Kit; 14mm x 1.5; Set of 10
  • American Muscle - Ford Performance Extended ARP Wheel Stud Kit; Set of 10
I ended up communicating with someone from Apex over e-mail to get a lot of questions answered, but something I didn't get answered was whether or not I needed extended lugs. Would you guys be able to answer this with the above setup?

Edit: Ordered list has been updated to include full list of parts now.

Thanks!
 
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471
503
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Snowy North
Now set front camber at neg 2.5+ and rear at neg 1.5. I like zero front toe unless you run on crazy tight tracks. I like 3/32" toe in at the back...you have lots of tire to keep it stable.

Of course...your results may vary...especially on PP1 suspension. And enjoy the descent to insanity that is track ops :D:D!
 
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Thanks! Going to go with ARP studs and open ended lug nuts. Do I need x20 extended studs for all wheels or just x10 for the front wheels?

Edit: I updated my post and went with the studs, censors, and lug nuts from AM. I will have all of this professionally installed, so I didn't get the stud installer, but I did look it up and now know what it is and how it works. :) Thanks!
 
Last edited:
16
31
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Scottsdale, AZ
Now set front camber at neg 2.5+ and rear at neg 1.5. I like zero front toe unless you run on crazy tight tracks. I like 3/32" toe in at the back...you have lots of tire to keep it stable.

Of course...your results may vary...especially on PP1 suspension. And enjoy the descent to insanity that is track ops :D:D!
Will do! Thanks haha, really looking forward to this new setup!
 

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