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Wheels and tires for aggressive track use

Hi, I am new to forum. I have a 2011 Mustang that I am putting together for when our local track opens next year. Car has a built NA coyote with stage 3 cams and goodies, Motion control coilovers, watts link, sway bars, rear control arms, brembos, track pads, etc. I have a ton of road racing experience over the past 20 years (a few years at lower pro levels). I have stopped racing and will be doing track 5-10 track days a year with this car. Car currently has APEX 18.9.5 wheels with 275/40R18 Indy 500s. I have another car that I can use the Indy 500s on and want to buy track-oriented tires for the Mustang. I might drive street drive it a 500-1000 miles a year so the 200 treadwear tires are a good match.
My question is two-fold. First, do I keep the 18X9.5 Apex wheels and find a 275-285 wide tire or Should I step up to a wider wheel and go 305 wide (sounds like that requires more camber/rolled fenders and spacers). Second, what tire can take the abuse/heat of an experienced/fast driver in a heavy car like the S197?

Terry Fair from Vorshlag has posted in various places that the Hankook RS-4 is one of the only tires that can take the weight/heat and post consistent fast lap times. Any other choices? I see new tires from companies like Zestino, Maxxis, as well as the better know budget and top tier brands. Thoughts?
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Blair, Nebraska
Part of the problem is you really need a lot more tire on the machine. Many of us have gone to 315/18s with just a little adjustment and have to believe a Apex 18X11 with a 25 mm front spacer would fit your beast with the MCS suspension. You are definitely undertired and there are quite a few choices. Below are a few of the 200TRW tires ;
BFG Rival S 1.5
Yokohama A052s
Falken RT 660 - near future

Frankly TMS has probably the best scenario, keep the current Apex rims, put your street tires on them and drive to the track with a set of used race slicks on a set of 18x11s. Three in the back seat, one in the trunk ,and still room for your helmet ,jack and more stuff. Then if you decide to go door to door racing , you have the rims to go with a Hoosier R7 or A7, or BFG gforce R1Ss.

Blacksheep1 will often come on here and he is the Race Tire Guru for the super successful Phoenix Performance Race Team. Please do not ask me to list all their SCCA National Championships, World Challenge wins , etc. as even as much as I type that would take way too long. Suffice it to say he will politely tell everyone that the single biggest issue with the Stang is it is undertired. Put some on some big meat and the Mustang will be hard to beat.
 

Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
711
Exp. Type
HPDE
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5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
The S197 can take 18 x 11 on all four corners, but unless you run spacers up front you won't be able to find an offset that will work for both front and rear once you go past 10". 11" will support the use of DOT sizes from 275/40 & 275/35 up through at least 305/xx. Should work equally well for racing sizes with comparable dimensions (I'm not too familiar with these).

If your car isn't lowered too much, around -2° camber works up front with the F14 Forgestars sourced through Vorshlag with no other changes for tires at least up through 285/35-18. The fronts do poke a bit, but don't rub. I'm pretty sure the same holds true for Apex'es in 18 x 11, except that they do use spacers up front to permit 4-wheel rotation schemes. 285/35 MPSS tires measure out to about 300-wide (section width) on 11" wide wheels.

Sneak Preview 800x600 web.jpg

IMG_2181 - web.jpg


The car has been lowered about half an inch up front and ~5/8" in the rear from this \/ \/ \/

IMG_2178 web.jpg

Hope this helps.


Norm
 

Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
711
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
Suffice it to say he will politely tell everyone that the single biggest issue with the Stang is it is undertired. Put some on some big meat and the Mustang will be hard to beat.
This ^^^, and it's more people than blacksheep that'll tell you the same thing.

285/35 MPSS's are actually a fair bit on the small side and definitely a bit less grippy than the 200-treadwear specials, but can still do reasonably well. This turn (T12, NJMP/Thunderbolt) is flat enough to where I don't think the accelerometer is being overly optimistic. I've seen peak numbers in the 1.3x range . . .

15-2-4 T'bolt T12.jpg


Norm
 
Roger that, wider wheels needed. Once at 305 wide do the tires that are listed take the heat?
Anyone run a cooling duct to the front tires? I have done some late-model oval track racing and we ran two 3' ducts to each brake and one 3' duct to the right front to help cool it.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,842
5,909
Exp. Type
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Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
You will get varying comments on the 200 Treadwear tires , and the Falken is not available yet ,so the jury is out. The Yokes go really quick on the Autocross course so not likely a long session tire. The BFGs folks I know tell me they last a bit longer before they get greasy than say a Bridgestone RE71 ( another great tire but you would need 19x11 for those ). I guess I am wondering with your extensive racing background if you plan on doing HPDEs or if you are planning on Time Trials. The tire choice may depend on if you are going to do Time Trials and then it is a question of what the rules allow?
 
I'm super impressed with NT01s this year. I'm running the 305s on a apex 18x11. Seem to have a lot of grip and don't fall off at the end of the session. I have no experience with takeoff race tires but the NT01s I can definently recommend.
 
4,835
5,584
the single biggest issue with mustangs is that it is undertired

With some ingenuity you can stuff some 315s under the stock sheetmetal, most likely the best you're gonna get is about 305s,that being said, a big tire can mask a lot of other issues, like lack of camber.
I think you need to look at the long term goals for that car, where do you want to be in a year or two?. If it just to have fun and do some HPDE, then by all means run some 200 treadwear tires, work on technique and have fun, If you want to do competition, you will really need 2 sets of tires, and probably cut the shock towers for camber (if your rules allow it). At that point, buying take off race tires will become a better way to go in most cases, then that morphs into a trailer etc..etc. Just look at the rigs some of the guys have on here.
If you do that, then the next move is a rule book.
It has one of those wattsy things on it doesn't it?
 

APEXRaceParts

Race Proven, Street Approved
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955
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Bay Area, CA
18x11 opens up a ton of tire options for you as others have mentioned, and it allows Mustangs to really get settled down with 305-315s at all four corners. The Nitto NT01 is still our favorite HPDE tire because of how consistent it is not only throughout a 20 minute session, but also throughout the life of the tire. They get faster as they wear! Again, for HDPE use we haven't found anything else that can match it's speed, longevity, and consistency. They certainly can be street driven in nice weather, I've done it before in my personal car when heading to the track that's only about 20 minutes away. I would run either 305/35-18 or 315/30-18, depending on your gearing. They provide the same level of grip between 305 vs 315, so don't worry yourself about the width.

If you're competing for time, there are many better options. In a single flyer lap, a 100 TW NT01 will get outpaced by all other 100 TW tires (except for R888R) and almost all of the heavyweight 200 TW tires, but those others will not last near as long.

We produce an 18x11" that has a +52mm offset. This is a direct fit in the rear and requires a 25mm spacer with extended studs up front on most suspension setups, and will not poke out when you run around -3* or more of camber, which your tires will likely be calling for anyways. What you're left with is a truly rotatable 11" wide setup that provides massive grip and longer tire life vs a setup that cannot be rotated. More bang for your buck is always a good thing :) Don't be concerned about "massive spacers" on track either, we have thousands of customers running this setup every day without issue and I've never seen a stud failure on an S197/S550 when using ARP studs with quality hubcentric spacers from someone like OPMustang.com.
 
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am not afraid of spacers, I run 20mm on my 350Z drift car. Watching for a sale or group buy on Apex 18x11s. I Like the idea of being able to rotate. Tire wise, I am looking at the RS-4 and NT01 to start and then might go with 100TW or take off slicks. I have a trailer for getting to the track if I go that route.
 

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