Got a growing track addiction? It can be a little too easy to quickly modify a street-going track car into a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. Faster than anticipated, a comfortable road car can lose its road manners in the pursuit of precious lap seconds.
Quickly, a choice emerges:
- go all out on a track-only missile
- live with a slower track car or race car-like comfort on the street, or
- build an inventory of switchable parts that make the car do both, well.
For most, the choice will be option C.
Adjustable fuel maps, boost controllers, adjustable suspension, track exhausts, bolt-on aero pieces, bucket seats – they are all parts that can be used to transform a vehicle from traffic trooper to track weapon without too much hassle.
Dollar for dollar the easiest bolt on/bolt off performance builders are track wheels, with track tyres.
Proxes R888’s longevity, wear resistance, easy management and pace-setting performance make them the ideal tyre for the club racer.
As we noted in part one of Toyo’s using semi slicks series, semi slicks have a window of peak performance that starts counting down once the tyres go through their first heat cycle.
Keeping your R-compound tyres for the track and using road tyres on the street is a sure-fire way to maximise longevity and performance.
For the club racer, track time isn’t an everyday occurrence. Proper storage of semi-slicks between track days means it’s essential to know the enemies of your go-fast rubber.
Mark Povey knows semi-slicks. Owner and operator of SA Motorsport Tyres and a keen motorsport competitor himself, Mark knows racing from both sides of the fence. He has campaigned his WRX in a range of disciplines over the years and offers track-side tyre support to competitors in South Australia.
He gave us advice for semi-slick storage after arriving home from a track day.
“After you remove them give the wheels and tyres a clean with lukewarm soapy water. Remove any build-up and any debris and inspect your rims for possible cracks and your tyre condition, look for any materials that may be protruding into the tread surface and remove. Closely inspect sidewalls making sure no damage has been caused during your day out. ” says Mark.
“You want them out of the weather, away from changing temperatures and out of the sun. A cool, dark garage is ideal. Wrap each wheel up; a black garbage bag will do the job. You want a covering toget them out of the atmosphere and shade them from light.
“After they are cleaned, wrapped and you have found an appropriate place to store them, go ahead and stack them on top of each other until your next track day!”
For the best results when storing competition tyres, it’s important to know thine enemies.
Temperature – We already know that your semi-slicks are sensitive to temperature. Exposure to heat can put the tyres through a mini heat cycle, reducing their longevity. When it comes to temperature, it’s best to treat competition tyres like wine. Cool and dark is best.
Ozone – The colourless gas will attack double bonds in rubber chains, a process known as Ozonolysis. In layman’s terms – ozone can make your tyres go off faster. Ozone is produced during electrical discharges, like sparking, so store your tyres well away from heavy electrical equipment and welders. Don’t store them near pool chemicals either.
Ultraviolet light – Light means heat and we already know that’s bad. UV also degrades rubber and when combines with ozone, it accelerates ozone’s impact on the degradation of the tyre.
Chemicals/dirt/debris – Race tracks and roads are covered in oil, petrol and all manner of acidic chemical detritus. Keep those tyres clean.