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Formula Motorsports

Tire Application

Not your typical tire care article in print form, for more of what you are jonesin’ for and perhaps the most complete collection of technical tire articles, visit: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/tiretech.jsp?tab=All

Every weekend Sportscar fans are bombarded with advertisements for tires. For grand prix weekends F1 fans get Pirelli, sportscar series fans the likes of Continental and the Michelin man, Yokohama at clubs, with Goodyear rounding it out for drag. Big Tire like Big Tech is a multibillion-dollar industry control by relatively few. Sure, the real cheese may be in government contracts and such, but prestige and ego drive these companies. For example, Formula 1 is funneled hundreds of millions via Pirrelli , 400-million actually and doesn’t hold a candle to Petronas @ around 700-million. All this on a sport that spends $30000 on torque wrenches and 50-million-dollar hospitality centers, not exactly charitable. Fortunately for the tire company margins are phenomenal on tires, so being frugal is not a priority. Yes, me and you ultimately foot the bill on $2500 Cup 2’s so the FIA guys get free fancy embroidered tee shirts, but I’d have it no other way. Also, I have no idea who ultimately does the PO’s on the shirts. So, should you feel like an F1 driver and purchase Pirelli? It all depends on application, availability, and value.

Application is the first decision to make when purchasing a tire. Remember, just because your car came with Michelin Cup 2’s or their Dunlops counterparts, it may not fit your purpose. R compound tires, especially those with barley legal tread such as the Michelin Pilot Cup 2 or Dunlop that people tend to immediately toss on their GT3, work terribly in the wet and cold. Changing over to an alternative Ultra High-Performance tire may just fit the bill. Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, all make ultra-high performance street variants for typical NY use year round, albeit not driving like Mario Andretti. And yes, I heard, they may be purchasing Sauber, shocker. As far as inclement weather goes, and I speak from experience on this, a full winter really does work wonders on an all-wheel drive 911 variant from 991.1 onwards. Not so much that I would give up my Cayenne, but in a pinch, you’ll get where you need to go, or evade whomever it maybe you are evading.

The opinions above are consideration for the Porsche sportscar lineup and NOT SUV/Sedan/Electric variants. There are many other considerations in that space such as Elect tires for Taycan and so forth. Should you be a Cayenne driver the best year-round tire is without doubt the Pirelli Scorpion Verde Plus, and for our rear wheel only drivers, honestly, you’re not going to make it far even with chains. Keep you prized possession covered and cozy for the spring should there be white stuff on the ground.

Far too often people do not consider production and ultimate availability, which has only gotten worse post covid. The DE guys hear me on this one, rears for 997.2’s are almost always on B/O through rack, winter tires are almost always having supply issues (so basically ordered now), and the not so popular 356 specs offer similar challenges. Be sure when choosing a tire, it is from a name brand and has availability year-round.