Skint on money Track day street tyre choice

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joan33987
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Skint on money Track day street tyre choice

Post by joan33987 » 29 Apr 2010, 19:10

Hello y'all
I'm taking my 1996 Renault Clio 1.2 MK1 to Brands Hatch circuit next week. I was wondering should i have my tyres changed before going, or should i bring those new tyres along with me and change them at the track when my current ones are completly destroyed?

I live in Leeds, West Yorkshire, so to travel to brands hatch, it'll 228 mi of driving on motorways.

My current tyres are near about 2mm above the Tread wear indicator.
For the last 14,000 mi i've driven during the past year ownership of this car, I have them rotated. It tends to wear the outside of the tyre, so i dismount them and flip it around and mount it, as the tyre has symetrical pattern.

Current tyres 155/70 R13
front passenger, Michelin Energy XSE, 4mm tread(used to be spare tyre under the car for god knows how long)
front driver, Debica Passio 2, 3mm tread (fitted new by Alba tyres due to unrepairable puncture last year)
Rear left/right passenger Cooper tyres Sportsmaster GLE 3mm tread (came with the car in front wheels before i swapped)

assuming tread wear indicator is 2mm

New tyres that I just bought loose,
4x Chinese "Goodride" H500 Tyres. 25 for each tyre, bargain!! (They even have M+S markings indicating it can be used as all season tyres)

Alright, before anyone here starts to say, "don't use those chinese crap, they don't last and they have no grip in wet", Give me some advice as in should I change them now , OR change it during/after the trackday?

How much should I expect those tyres to wear in a track day?

Thanks, jonathan

HDI
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Post by HDI » 29 Apr 2010, 20:05

Never a good idea to use new tyres on a trackday.

joan33987
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Post by joan33987 » 29 Apr 2010, 22:18

HDI wrote:Never a good idea to use new tyres on a trackday.
Why is that? Doesn't it run-in even quicker than street use?

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Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm » 29 Apr 2010, 22:26

new road tyres have deeper tread and this causes them to overheat when pushed hard, i think its the fussy tread patterns that flex and shuffle sidways while cornering (like a worm moves) and this is what causes the tyres to overheat................overheated tyres = loss of grip and rapid tyre wear!

D

Sl4yer
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Post by Sl4yer » 29 Apr 2010, 22:41

Hi Jonathon.

Good God, what a choice! I've got M+S tyres (albeit Goodyear Eagles) on my Activa, and they run out of grip very quickly when pressing on a bit. I don't think a trackday would be much fun on them, although they do grip very well in the wet. (Saying that, my wife used to have a 1.2 Clio, P reg I think, and I don't think ANY tyres could make a trackday fun in that car - far too much body roll and understeer).

I suppose if anything, the new ones would be consistent whereas the 'old' mixture you've got on might throw up a few surprises. I'd be tempted to put the new ones on before you set off. I doubt you'll run them slick over the day.

James

joan33987
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Post by joan33987 » 29 Apr 2010, 22:42

Deanxm wrote:new road tyres have deeper tread and this causes them to overheat when pushed hard, i think its the fussy tread patterns that flex and shuffle sidways while cornering (like a worm moves) and this is what causes the tyres to overheat................overheated tyres = loss of grip and rapid tyre wear!

D
So does it mean the same applies to track day tyres?
Because for the amount of tread I have in my current tyres, I'll have to change them sooner or later for the sake of safety.

It's my first ever track day, don't know much about tyres.

joan33987
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Post by joan33987 » 29 Apr 2010, 22:49

Sl4yer wrote:(Saying that, my wife used to have a 1.2 Clio, P reg I think, and I don't think ANY tyres could make a trackday fun in that car - far too much body roll and understeer)......

James
You are right, I've put in new pattern shock absorbers with new Spax Sport springs which lowers the car a bit, which improved the handling a lot. But i know that it's not the best car for any sportive driving.

When I told my local garage that I'm taking this car to a track day, he was shocked too, then the boss said "I'm also going on a track day but I'm going on that." then he pointed at his K reg Toyota MR2 turbo. :P

HDI
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Post by HDI » 29 Apr 2010, 22:57

joan33987 wrote:
HDI wrote:Never a good idea to use new tyres on a trackday.
Why is that? Doesn't it run-in even quicker than street use?
deanxm answered the question for me :wink:
Ideally you want tyres down to the last few mm of tread.
Even trackday tyres shouldn't be new when used on track , for the same reason.

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad » 30 Apr 2010, 10:09

Id be a little concered at using your old tyres on a track day, mainly due to the age of the michelin. If its been slung under the car exposed to the weather for years it will have deteriorated. It may just give up when being oushed hard on a track, what with the heat and forces against it.

A good idea would be to get some cheap alloys (must be millions on ebay for clios?) and run them. So long as they tyres are decent and not ancient. Go for a slightly larger size and lower profile. I cant imagine 155/70/13 being much cop at track use? Too higher sidewall = too much flex and narrow tyres arnt good either.

You might also want to look into tyre pressures, a few extra PSI will give less flex and reduce heat slighty. But go too much and grip will be lost.

I wouldnt be using new tyres either. Tyres are put under a lot of stress when pushed and tyres differ greatly between brands. Sidewall flex and grip. If the track is a bit wet on the day you might have issues with cheap brand tyres.

Depending on when your doing the track day, id be tempted to put the new ones on and wear them down a bit. If its soon then your probably best sticking with your old ones.

joan33987
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Post by joan33987 » 30 Apr 2010, 12:23

Citroenmad wrote:.....

Depending on when your doing the track day, id be tempted to put the new ones on and wear them down a bit. If its soon then your probably best sticking with your old ones.
I run 35psi on all tyres when the recommended pressure is 31 for front, 34 for rear. The car feels more lighter with my pressure.

My track day is on 4th May, I've quit my job 2 weeks ago, so the car will be seeing very little use. So I think i'm going to use my current tyres for the track day and destroy them there.

I would really not want to buy Alloys as

a. it will cost me money which means it will turn an odd trackday to an expensive hobby
b. my car doesn't have power steering and it already takes some effort to steer while parking.

I've been running cheapo Granville 5W-40 full synthetic oil for the last 3000 mi of highly stressed stop and go driving (as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver), I might change the oil after the track day.

Brigsygtt
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Post by Brigsygtt » 30 Apr 2010, 13:00

Id change them before, 2mm wont last long. Id be looking at a better brand of tyres myself though, cheapys are no good. You want some decent grip on paddock hill :wink: Brands is a quick track, i done a trackday there earlier on this year.

Ideally you want to go up to 14/15" for better choice of tyre, loads of cheap sets of rims on ebay with good tyres.

Definately change the oil before you go, that should be at the top of the list of things to do. The motor will be under more stress than pizza delivering :wink:

Id be checking the discs/pads & change the brake fluid if it hasnt been done for a while aswell. It will cost you money but trackdays do in my experience.
Last edited by Brigsygtt on 30 Apr 2010, 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad » 30 Apr 2010, 13:23

Its a risky thing trying to do a trackday on a extremely tight budget.

Your current tyres will not last long, and if they are old (obv. the michelin is as its an old design the XSE) they could give up and burst. Have you checked all of your tyres for cracking, buldges and perishing?

If you have to run with your current tyres then keep a careful check on them throughout the day.

Ive not done a track day myself so i dont know how fast tyres will wear. Depending on how many laps your planning on doing.

Id be buying some alloys, its standard 13s will offer little in the way of grip. You can always sell alloy wheels on again. Steering shouldnt be effected that much but you will get more feel through the wheel which is a good thing when pressing on. I bet you would be amased at how much more grip larger and wider wheels make.

Or quality tyres will be better, maybe look into getting some part warms? Somehting sticky like Yokohamas or Toyos. I run Toyos on my C5 VTR and they are extremely grippy in the dry. Though you say you have already bought your tyres?

If you dont like the idea of alloys, then what about these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/14-Renault-Clio-W ... 335c8e8235

14" renault clio steel wheels, have the latest style of michelins fitted with good tread and tidy trims. Cant go wrong for £20!! Wont effect your steering but will handle better!

How does your car normally grip when your pressing on with some good roads?

If you do one thing then change your oil & filter BEFORE your trackday. Fresh oil will be far better than old oil which has mixed with the fuel and lost some of its lubrication. Dont forget oil is also for engine cooling too. Use good quality oil, its not expensive, around £20 for your clio i would think.

Brigsygtts advice is what you should follow. Give your brakes a good check and if they are getting down you will need to replace them before. Brakefluid boils with lots of hard braking so fresh is always better.

In a 1.2 Clio you might not get to go very fast, but you will still be pushing it and needing the tyres and brakes to do their best. Always pays to do everything right and as well as you can.

joan33987
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Post by joan33987 » 30 Apr 2010, 14:21

Now i had new shocks and Spax lowered spring, When I push my car really hard on corners and bends, it's reasonably balanced, the car doesn't understeer much on these tyres, (maybe because I always enter the bends slow and then accelerate fast out of the corner to "feel" the availabe grip during the whole corner, i'm also a motorcyclist), so i never tend to experience much understeer, well, unless there's sand, snow or I enter it at outrageous speed.

Never did "enthusiatic" driving in the rain though. But my impression is the current tyres are fine in wet.

Compared to my dad's car, a 1993 Mitsubishi Space Wagon 1.8 automatic 7 seater on original spring and shocks, even my clio with original shocks and springs, the max cornering speed is higher, yea, lower centre of gravity and lighter.

Ah.... I already bought these nice shiny budget tyres, really not inclinded to spend anymore money to buy another set of wheels/tyres.

About the oil yea, 3000 mi on Fully synthetic, seemed a bit wasted to change it before trackday, i think the fully synthetic are longer life and can handle at least 5000mi?. IF i really change it b4 trackday, should i use Fully synthetic again or Semi syn? seemed a bit waste if i use fully syn as the car will be sitting on road most of the time after the trackday like now.

Checked the brake pads, worn 1/2 already, there's a little lip on the edge of the discs, like about 1mm, they're fine i think, handbrake needs to be pulled up to 9 clicks before it effective stop the car from moving. Rear drum brakes will need adjusting, i know it.

Tyres are alright, no streaks or cracks, but since the michelin was mounted on the spare wheel, which spent a long time under the car, it doesn't seal properly because it has a lot of (surface?) rust, Have to inflate it evert 4 days when i was delivering pizzas, but other than that, the car generally is fine.
Changed air filter and sparkplugs last week, you can already feel the difference in mid and high range rpm.

addo
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Post by addo » 30 Apr 2010, 23:44

Your oil ought to be fine althought I might slightly overfill to minimise starvation risk.. Similarly the new tyres - while not "ideal" will do OK.

Most track days here seem to allow 20-odd laps; not sure if it's different in the UK but if similar then the aspect ratio will be your limiting element; as a result you likely won't push the new rubber hard/far enough to murder it.

Good on you for getting out there and having a go; many talk about it but don't follow through. Pics are expected!

Sl4yer
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Post by Sl4yer » 30 Apr 2010, 23:55

joan33987 wrote:Tyres are alright, no streaks or cracks, but since the michelin was mounted on the spare wheel, which spent a long time under the car, it doesn't seal properly because it has a lot of (surface?) rust, Have to inflate it evert 4 days when i was delivering pizzas, but other than that, the car generally is fine.
OK, I've never done a trackday either, but I wouldn't do one on that tyre! I'd get the new ones on. They SHOULD be safe, and I still think you're unlikely to wear them illegal on the day.

Are you sure the tyre pressures quoted are correct? Higher at the back than the front? I can only think that would be correct if compensating for a heavy load in the boot.

James