What are the best Porsche track tyres?
Let’s get one thing straight, pretty much all modern (E rated) tyres are incredible. The advances in technology in the past 20 years has meant that cars with historically scary reputations have been tamed by the simple use of good, grippy, well-engineered rubber.
High-grip tyres have been around for a long time. However, tyres with a high dry grip limit, daily usability in all weathers, progressive transition from grip to slip and good length of life didn’t exist. Since the introduction of Michelins ‘Cup’ range of N-rated tyres, it has allowed owners of Porsche models to utilise this combination of desirable features and drive their Porsches faster and safer than ever before. With tyres, some of the feedback given to the driver can be subjective, however, we have consistently found that Michelin tyres have given the best performance across all of these measures. Something that Porsche themselves concur with, proved by the use of Michelin tyres in setting almost all of their road car lap records.
So, what are the best Porsche track tyres? Well, here are the answers from Michelin…
Cup2 ‘R’ – The Ultimate
The Cup2R tyre was launched in 2019 and was lauded as the ultimate track tyre available. This crown has not slipped since! This tyre has Michelins ‘Motorsport’ tyre compound (which is essentially stickier rubber), provides a 10% larger contact patch to the road over the Cup2 and to be able to cope with this the tyre itself has stiffer side walls to manage this increase in load. Michelin predicts circa 1 second per KM can be gained, simply from the tyre alone. From the driver’s point of view, you can tell instantly that the car has more grip even to the extent that it then demands more from the suspension whilst cornering. Every aspect of cornering is enhanced from the initial turn-in to the power exit. The tyre wear is slightly faster than that of the Cup2 (probably in part due to the fact that you are driving the car faster anyway) but there are no negatives in terms of increased noise or harshness of ride. The Cup2R isn’t a tyre that can be used all year round, in low temps or pouring rain. Damp/drying tracks are okay but caution is best advised!
Prices from £696* per rear 991 GT3 tyre.
Cup2 – The Workhorse
The Cup2 tyre provides performance within 5/10% of a Cup2R tyre, whilst also providing the driver better wet weather performance and better tyre longevity. The tyre is designed for high levels of grip and track endurance. Michelin uses multiple compounds across the tyres and stiffer tyre walls compared to the Pilot Sport range to achieve this. When driving the car, the overriding feeling is of great feedback and predictability. As with the Cup2R tyre, when the grip limit is reached and the car begins to slide, this happens in a progressive manner and feels very controllable rather than spikey and scary. In the wet, the tyre is not in its element but can handle a damp circuit. Standing water is best avoided as the larger contact patch on the outer edge of the tyre cannot disperse water as well as a Pilot Sport.
Prices from £480* per rear 991 GT3 tyre.
Pilot Sport 4S – The All Weather Tyre
Whilst the Pilot Sport4S has been designed predominantly for road driving, the tyre has the ability for occasional track use due to the use of bi-compounds across the tyre and also Michelin’s ‘Dynamic Response Technology’, all helping to provide a great hybrid tyre for wet and dry performance. If you look at the tread pattern compared to the Cup series, it’s actually very similar but has more grooves cut into it to allow for better dispersal of water. The rubber compounds are slightly harder, allowing for the tyre to last longer too. Generally, we find that with clients who run two sets of wheels on circuit, we mount the 4S tyres to the spare set in case it rains, and Cup or Cup 2R tyres on the car for the dry weather. Incidentally, we have run GT3’s on Pilot Sport 4S tyres on dry/hot summer track days and have found them to be brilliant. The only significant downside is that they will get hotter quicker (because the extra grooves in the tyres allow the tread blocks to move around more and increase temperature) so will ‘go off’ quicker!
Prices from £368* per rear 991 GT3 tyre.
* Prices correct at time of publication and are subject to change.
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If you would like help with purchasing and fitment on Porsche track tyres, contact our team today on +44 (0)1296 663 824 or send us an enquiry online.