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Big sports tire test 2015 (235/35 R19): Semi-slicks in the test

Dino Eisele
Big sports tire test 2015 (235/35 R19)
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The rules in the sports tire test 2015 by sport auto make the challengers. The rule is: 20-70-10. While for regular sport auto- summer tires t ests the valuation ratio 40% wet, 50% dry and 10% rolling resistance and noise applies, sports tires with road approval - also called semi-slicks - have their own rules. They are primarily built for use on dry racetracks, the ratio of 20% wet, 70% dry and 10% environmental and durability issues should therefore do more justice to the intended usage profile.

Sports tires for the track day - and back

This is exactly what the road-legal semi-slicks are intended for, not so much for exploring border areas on public roads. Because that can easily go wrong. As with any good sports tire, grip in the semi-semis only comes from a tread temperature of around 70 ° C, so usually only after two to three laps on the circuit. When driving in accordance with the law, this becomes difficult on country roads, even for ambitious pilots. On top of that, the tire pressure should also be adjusted accordingly for the best grip - even that cannot be regulated at every corner on the road.

Sports tires are afraid of water anyway. It is not without reason that the manufacturers warn to be careful and, above all, to drive slowly when it rains. In view of these calculated wet weaknesses, they would have to be vastly superior to current street athletes in the dry. How much? That is what the big sports tire test 2015 with the Pirelli P Zero, the test winner of the last sport auto tire test, should show ( Here it goes to the summer tire test 2015).

On The start is the current Dunlop SportMaxx Race, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 and the broad-shouldered Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R. The size of the semi-slicks in the test: 235/35 R19. Why aren't the Toyo Proxes R 888, the Yokohama Advan A 048, the Kumho Ecsta V70 or the Conti ForceContact also represented in our 2015 sports tire test? Well, because these outdated tires are already expecting a successor in the foreseeable future.

High-performance road tires get sports tires wet

Wet first: Even during the braking tests at speed100 on the irrigated track, the street athlete Pirelli P Zero sets the bar high for the semi-slicks and brings the VW Golf R to a standstill after just 56 meters. As the best sports tire, the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R needs almost 10 meters, the Dunlop SportMaxx even 13 meters more. Even in the aquaplaning test, the less strongly profiled sports tires (semi slicks) do not come close to the safety of road tires in our test. The pure numerical values ​​of the objective measurements, however, only reflect the more harmless part of what happens in the test drive on the wet handling track.

While the all-wheel-drive VW Golf R burns through the tangled bends of the road on the Pirellis as if on rails , the driver with the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R had his hands full in the 2015 sports tire test. A brisk pace is still possible, but sudden floating, poor cornering and unexpected load change reactions with violent oversteer make the journey an adventure.

Similarly, Dunlop's SportMaxx does not show any ambitions in the wet: cold it tends to oversteer significantly, this effect is reduced a little when warm, but there is still a lack of cornering, stability and aquaplaning safety. Only Michelin's Pilot Sport Cup 2 left the safest impression in the 2015 sports tire test within the scope of his possibilities and with the exception of his limited braking performance.

Sports tire test 2015 - Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R in the dry top

For Admittedly, the all-wheel drive of the VW Golf R also ensures safety and speed, and things would look even more critical on powerful rear-wheel drive vehicles. When propulsion and cornering tasks occur at the same time, the rear axle moves to the side too quickly. But what do we care about wetness, that's definitely not what the three semi slicks in the test are built for. Dry tracks are the subject. And when it comes to asphalt contact, every square millimeter of rubber counts. Tread grooves improve the aquaplaning behavior, but reduce the ground contact area.

Therefore, the flatter the tread notches and the fewer the number, the better the stability within the tread. This high positive proportion in the profile has a performance-enhancing effect on traction, braking, cornering and cornering stability - but only on a dry track. The optically highest positive component, combined with the smallest tread depth, is shown by the Pirelli with the P Zero Trofeo R.

In contrast to the road P-Zero, which easily achieved full points in our relative evaluation in the wet, shines The Trofeo R on the dry handling course in our sports tire test 2015: Its direct steering, high agility and steering precision and stable driving behavior are just as impressive as the good grip when braking.

Michelins Pilot Sport Cup2 with minor signs of wear

With lap times of just under a minute, it manages to take two seconds off its street counterpart per lap. Just a blink of an eye behind it: the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. Despite its largely closed outer shoulder, it doesn't quite match the precision and steering dynamics of the Pirelli on the all-wheel drive VW Golf R.

In terms of driving stability, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 shows a somewhat more active, but still manageable rear and can thus be driven around the course one or two tenths faster than the comparatively good Dunlop SportMaxx Race, the Due to its high safety reserves with a wide limit range, well-balanced balance and easily controllable load change reactions despite poor grip when braking before corners, the Pirelli clearly has the lead in this group of three, with the sharp lap chasing at the soft Italian rubber leaves clear traces. Visibly less worn in the 2015 sports tire test (semi-slicks): the Dunlop SportMaxx, which shows significantly fewer signs of wear after the same number of laps. Michelin's Pilot Sport Cup 2 seems to be able to cope with the high load a little better. Its even wear pattern in connection with the high residual tread depth make it ideal for longer stints.

Which tire pressure for the race track?

It is no secret that in the ambitious pursuit of lap times, not only the tires but also the right air pressure is important. But which pressure is the right one? The vehicle's standard air pressure is already a good guide for cold tires. But even during the first few laps, the tire temperature will rise individually at each wheel position, depending on the route, braking points and vehicle performance. Once the temperatures have leveled off, the air pressure can be adjusted by releasing it.

A pressure lower than the standard air pressure (cold) by up to 0.3 bar can also be a first step for warm tires. Then it's time to fine-tune. The balance of the vehicle can be influenced by making corrections in the range from 0.1 to a maximum of 0.3 bar. In many cases, slight oversteer can be corrected by lowering the air pressure on the rear axle, while slight understeer can often be eliminated by lowering the pressure on the front axle.

Experienced pilots choose the air pressures so that the tread temperatures of the tires are between 70 and 90 ° C during racing. More information is available from the tire manufacturers' sports departments. But be careful: changes in air pressure within the scope mentioned can only have a corrective effect. Greater effects have to be achieved by changing springs, anti-roll bars or by correcting toe and camber values ​​- but that's another story.

This is how we tested

In order to ensure the best possible accuracy and reliable results in our 2015 sports tire test, as far as possible, all experiments in this test carried out several times. In all criteria, the products are rated according to a predefined pattern.

In principle, the best tire in a test receives the maximum possible score of 10. The assessment scheme itself follows a progressive mathematical function, which ensures that high-quality , products that are close to one another can be evaluated with sufficient precision in terms of their properties.

This scheme applies equally to the objective evaluation by measuring devices as well as to the subjective rating by the experienced test drivers, which is for example when assessing the comfort and the Handlings comes into play. When handling on wet or dry tracks, balanced, safe driving behavior that meets the expectations of the presumed target group leads to an optimal grade. Relative weaknesses in driving behavior or driving stability, such as excessively pronounced load change reactions at the limit, lead to points being deducted.

The aquaplaning tests, separated in longitudinal and transverse directions, provide information about the reaction of the tires, for example when driving through deep ruts. The level of the critical floating speed when driving straight ahead or the achievable lateral acceleration when driving through water should indicate the safety reserves of the tires.

The rolling resistance of the tires was determined on the roller dynamometer. The basis of the assessment is the European legislation on tire labeling, which is also relevant for the tire label.

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