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Old 07-29-2013, 03:08 AM   #1
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Heat Cycling for DE Track Tires

I'm purchasing a set of Nitto NT-01 for my stock '01 Boxster S, to be installed on dedicated track rims for DE events. Comparing prices on the web, Discount Tire Direct has the best price, shipped, AND offers heat cycling for $15/tire. I drive my car to the track, so I can't heat cycle them myself without losing a track day. Any thoughts on the importance of this? Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:29 AM   #2
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I would argue that if you are driving to the track on them then heat cycling is irrelevant. Although perfectly acceptable (given that I presume you have no choice) the driving back and forth is not the "right" way to treat them in terms of maximizing their effectiveness. Since its a DE (and microseconds in performance difference don't matter) just put them on, enjoy them and throw them out when your not happy with them anymore.

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Old 07-29-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by iaincamp View Post
I'm purchasing a set of Nitto NT-01 for my stock '01 Boxster S, to be installed on dedicated track rims for DE events. Comparing prices on the web, Discount Tire Direct has the best price, shipped, AND offers heat cycling for $15/tire. I drive my car to the track, so I can't heat cycle them myself without losing a track day. Any thoughts on the importance of this? Thanks.

After chewing through a dozen sets of NT-01 tires I do think a heat cycle/rest period helps with consistent grip and longevity. As soon as I get a new set I take them for a mountain drive. I start gradually and work up to speed to get heat in them. I then take an easy cool down drive home and remove them till next track day. I am chasing every 1/10th in a TT series so it's more critical than DE days. I have not paid for the HC service from Tire Rack.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone. After talking to my race-prep guru and knowledgeable sales rep, I am convinced that heat cycling is worthwhile and best left to the pros. I can't wait to see how my times at Lime Rock change with the new tires.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Generally, driving to/from the track won't heat cycle a set of tires - they will get warm but not really hot enough - a good mountain drive, yes.

In my experience, there was no benefit to heat cycling NT-01's. I tried two sets heat cycled and two without and could not tell any difference in handling or lap times. Fastest lap times came within the first 8 heat cycles either way. Your experience may vary.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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I have no idea why you would worry about it in DE. Honestly, I don't really even see a need for R-compound tires in DE, especially on a stock car. You would be better off with a less expensive, higher tread wear tire during DE.

Something like this would be a better choice IMO..http://falkentire.com/tires/car-tires/azenis-rt615k
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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I have no idea why you would worry about it in DE. Honestly, I don't really even see a need for R-compound tires in DE, especially on a stock car. You would be better off with a less expensive, higher tread wear tire during DE.

Something like this would be a better choice IMO..Azenis RT615K | Falken Tire
I would suggest that it depends on where you are in your DE driving career and what your goals are. Of course, a novice doesn't really need r-comp tires but many drivers progress through basic DE to advanced driving and time trials where every 1/10th of a second counts. In this case, the drivers skills have become high enough that they can "out drive" performance street rubber.

In my case, I moved to r-comp tires on my stock street Boxster after about 25 DE's when I was at the top of my stock class (based on lap times) and felt held back by the grip limit of street tires.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:34 AM   #8
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I would suggest that it depends on where you are in your DE driving career and what your goals are. Of course, a novice doesn't really need r-comp tires but many drivers progress through basic DE to advanced driving and time trials where every 1/10th of a second counts. In this case, the drivers skills have become high enough that they can "out drive" performance street rubber.


In my case, I moved to r-comp tires on my stock street Boxster after about 25 DE's when I was at the top of my stock class (based on lap times) and felt held back by the grip limit of street tires.
Well said--if you do enough DE's, track your lap times and mod the car to better your performance, eventually you will want to try r-comp tires at some juncture.

I've done DEs for 10+ years on the 986/987 platform and used max/extreme tires during that period ranging from PS2, Mxx3, KumhoMX, Kumho XS and Nitto NT05. All--save the MX--were good tires for DEs...to a point; at some juncture street tires overheat during a session--just like the Falken 615--and your driving pleasure during the session falls off as they get greasy.

The XS and Nitto were the best of that bunch, but on our new 981S I've gone to the NT01 mainly to max the handling/braking of the car during an entire session, but also for longevity--I'm expecting more heat cycles from the an r-comp tires compared to a max. performance street tire.


You may have a situation where you need to drive to the track on your "track" tires you because you don't trailer the car; that is where the extreme perf. tires really shine--like the RE-11. They perform well at the track and they can get you back home without drama if you get caught on a wet road. They aren't cheap, though--about the same price as the NT01.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:55 AM   #9
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The XS and Nitto were the best of that bunch, but on our new 981S I've gone to the NT01 mainly to max the handling/braking of the car during an entire session, but also for longevity--I'm expecting more heat cycles from the an r-comp tires compared to a max. performance street tire.
This part will probably be a disappointment. I get about twice the life (heat cycles) from the Hankook RS-3 as I do from Nitto NT-01. Grim reality but the NT-01 is still my tire of choice most often.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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This part will probably be a disappointment. I get about twice the life (heat cycles) from the Hankook RS-3 as I do from Nitto NT-01. Grim reality but the NT-01 is still my tire of choice most often.
Hmm--well I had my hopes up .

The last set of NT05 I had ended with 10 track days--probably 4 session/day, so 40 heat cycles? They still were at 4/32 tread but on days under 70 deg., I slid way too much; surprisingly, the last 2 sessions were in 80 deg. temps on a sunny day and they weren't to bad.

The big issue I'm having is finding a tire size in 18" that will fit on the 981; the 245-275/40/18 seems to work fine on stock 987 rims. I really don't want to go up to the 19" sizes.

I can't get that rear size in the RS-3; The RE-11 does have that size at Costco, but not at TR amazingly. Pricing is about the same as the NT01.
The NT05 does come in that size and is a decent tire, but it trails the Hankook in performance from what I've read. Hopefully, Hankook will bring out additional sizes in the RS-3.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
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The point that I was trying to make, was that if all you are doing is DE (which is defined as driver's education and not a competition in any way) then what's the point of running an R-Comp tire? You're not competing against anybody, there's no contingency programs, and a lot of clubs won't even record lap times, so unless you have your own lap timer, you have no idea how fast you're going anyway. If your goal is to try and turn the fastest lap time possible, then move up to time trials and make your effort actually mean something. Why not? If you've got a lap timer in your car during your DE run and you're trying to compare your lap times against your fellow DE drivers, then you aren't using DE for it's intended purpose. I can't imagine being satisfied for 10 years just doing DE and never moving up to any sort of competitive group.

Also, the O.P. stated that he was going to be using the R-Comps on a stock Boxster. Seems like there should be about 4-5 other suspension modifications that I would consider first before moving up to a better tire.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
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The point that I was trying to make, was that if all you are doing is DE (which is defined as driver's education and not a competition in any way) then what's the point of running an R-Comp tire? You're not competing against anybody, there's no contingency programs, and a lot of clubs won't even record lap times, so unless you have your own lap timer, you have no idea how fast you're going anyway. If your goal is to try and turn the fastest lap time possible, then move up to time trials and make your effort actually mean something. Why not? If you've got a lap timer in your car during your DE run and you're trying to compare your lap times against your fellow DE drivers, then you aren't using DE for it's intended purpose. I can't imagine being satisfied for 10 years just doing DE and never moving up to any sort of competitive group.

Also, the O.P. stated that he was going to be using the R-Comps on a stock Boxster. Seems like there should be about 4-5 other suspension modifications that I would consider first before moving up to a better tire.
A couple of thoughts:

Why R-comps at DE's? How about they give you more consistent performance over a 20-30 minute session? Same with high performance brake pads. Street tires/pads and brake fluid eventually will succumb to the heat generated on the track; I enjoy the extra capability of driving a complete session without dealing about slowing down because my tires or brakes are becoming less effective.


Lap timers:
I use my phone as a lap timer to determine if I'm getting better at a particular track with changes in tires, brake pads or a technique. I continually experiment on my technique and note what works or what does not. My lap timer gives me speeds through various sectors, where I braked, where I turned in and where I was on the track. Over time, you should improve your lap times as your knowledge about the track and familiarity with the car improves.

I see the DE experience as largely self improvement (of driving skills) rather than a competitive exercise. Everyone wants to be fast and be competitive with other drivers, but measuring my own performance against my previous times lets me know how I'm doing and if I'm getting better. This may not work for everyone but it works for me.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:06 AM   #13
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The point that I was trying to make, was that if all you are doing is DE (which is defined as driver's education and not a competition in any way) then what's the point of running an R-Comp tire? You're not competing against anybody, there's no contingency programs, and a lot of clubs won't even record lap times, so unless you have your own lap timer, you have no idea how fast you're going anyway. If your goal is to try and turn the fastest lap time possible, then move up to time trials and make your effort actually mean something. Why not? If you've got a lap timer in your car during your DE run and you're trying to compare your lap times against your fellow DE drivers, then you aren't using DE for it's intended purpose. I can't imagine being satisfied for 10 years just doing DE and never moving up to any sort of competitive group.

Also, the O.P. stated that he was going to be using the R-Comps on a stock Boxster. Seems like there should be about 4-5 other suspension modifications that I would consider first before moving up to a better tire.
KC, wouldn't the logical conclusion of your argument be that we should all do our DEs in VWs rather than choose a high performance vehicles? I've got no issue with the adoption of R compound tires as part of the learning process. The faster your car travels (which should be the result of using better tires) the faster you have to think and react and and that is part of the learning of DEing.

I used my DE experience (along with a number of weekends with Dennis Macchio at Bertil Roos) as a way of getting my skills to a level required to allow me to race however I've known lots of DEers who had no intention of ever going racing. They just liked the opportunity to drive their car in the conditions that it was designed to enjoy. No competition in it. Just fun, learning and safety improvement. I have no problem with that.

I do however fully agree that R compounds used with stock suspension settings are somewhat wasted. And since we are talking about the order of things, I hope the first money spent was on getting all of the safety gear up to the highest possible standard.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:21 AM   #14
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Why R-comps at DE's? How about they give you more consistent performance over a 20-30 minute session? Same with high performance brake pads. Street tires/pads and brake fluid eventually will succumb to the heat generated on the track
Mike, not argueing with your desire to go quicker by changing tires but be aware - in my experience, R tires will definitely NOT be more consistent over the length of a session than your street tires. They are designed to work extremely well when certain parameters are met but are horrible when they are not met. R comps can be both too cold and too hot. Your street tires are designed to work consistently in any conditions.
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