2012 Sport Auto Track Day Tyre Test

235/35 R19. 305/30 R19. A 997 911 Carrera S and 5 sets of the newest track day tyres designed to give you the ultimate driving pleasure. It sounds like our dream test, so quite how we missed its publication last year we'll never know.

In 2012 Sport Auto put this ideal combination of things on test. In comparison to their smaller sized tyre tests, they've ignored the duller qualities of a tyre, such as rolling resistance and ride comfort, and instead focused on the features you want from a track day tyre - lap time, steering feel and even tyre weight.

The Results

The test wasn’t kind to the UKs favourite track day tyre, the Toyo R888. Potentially showing its age, the R888 was described as almost undrivable in the wet, it was the heaviest set of tyres on test, slowest in the dry and subjectively dull.

The other four tyres have all been launched fairly recently, with the new Pirelli P Zero Trofeo narrowly beating the also new Continental Force Contact and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+. The fourth placed Dunlop Sport Maxx Race was the strongest tyre in the dry, but a slightly weak wet performance left the Dunlop a few points behind the leading three.

1st: Pirelli P Zero Trofeo

Pirelli P Zero Trofeo
  • 235/295 35R19
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 211
  2. Dry: 140
  3. Wet: 43
  4. Subjective: 28
Dry:56.9 seconds
Wet:85.7 seconds
The best balance of wet and dry performance on test. A very manageable tyre in the dry, when pushed the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo reacts with a little understeer. Strong rear stability in both the dry and wet.
Misc:44.6 kgs

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2nd: Continental ContiForceContact

Continental ContiForceContact
  • 235/295 35R19
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 205
  2. Dry: 136
  3. Wet: 45
  4. Subjective: 24
Dry:57.2 seconds
Wet:85 seconds
The Continental Force Contact is the strongest tyre on test in wet conditions. In the dry it lacks a certain subjective sharpness, but this doesn't affect the ultimate lap time in the test. A fast tyre, characterised by a little understeer and a little soft at the limit.
Misc:41.8 kgs

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3rd: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Plus
  • 235/295 35R19
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 208
  2. Dry: 139
  3. Wet: 39
  4. Subjective: 30
Dry:57.3 seconds
Wet:87.3 seconds
The sharpest tyre on test, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ is extremely direct with quick steering response and a high level of grip. While this makes the Michelin feel the purest race tyre on test, it also means you have to be a capable driver, as it can be snappy on the limit and the rear can break quickly in the wet.
Misc:44 kgs

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4th: Dunlop SportMaxx Race

Dunlop SportMaxx Race
  • 235/295 35R19
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 200
  2. Dry: 142
  3. Wet: 31
  4. Subjective: 27
Dry:57 seconds
Wet:90.2 seconds
The new Dunlop Sport Maxx Race is a strong dry weather tyre. One of the fastest lap times, it has a beautiful neutral balance and is extremely strong on the brakes. It seems to have traded a little wet performance for the excellent dry handling, as when the track gets wet the grip levels fall away and the handling gets a little snappy.
Misc:44.2 kgs

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5th: Toyo R888

Toyo R888
  • 235/295 35R19
  • 3PMSF: no
  1. Total: 155
  2. Dry: 127
  3. Wet: 9
  4. Subjective: 19
Dry:57.9 seconds
Wet:102.4 seconds
In the wet the Toyo doesn't perform, nearly 20 seconds slowest than the fastest tyre, and leaving the car snappy and difficult to drive. In the dry the R888 lacks the steering precision of the other tyres on test, and leaves the rear of the Porsche loose.
Misc:50.8 kgs

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