Race Tyre Set-up Advice

The R888 has a semi race construction (very stiff) and a race tread compound. The optimum tread temperature range is between 71C and 105C measured using a probe type pyrometer, and ideally a maximum difference across the tread of 15C. The maximum hot pressure we recommend is 40psi. Camber angles up to 5 degrees negative (normally between 1 – 3) are permissible but the final setting will depend on tread temperatures. It is advisable to have as much positive castor as practical as castor induces a beneficial camber change during cornering. It is recommended that the tyres be put through a heat cycle before hard use, this will scrub them in and remove any mold release agent.

The pressures you use will initially depend on the weight of the car, too little pressure on a heavy car can lead to over deflection of the tyre and subsequent failure.

Below are some basic settings:

VEHICLE WEIGHT        COLD PRESSURE      HOT PRESSURE
Very Light < 800kg                 17 - 22 psi               22 - 29 psi
Light 800kg - 1000kg             20 - 26 psi               24 - 32 psi
Heavy 1000kg - 1400kg         23 - 27 psi               28 - 40 psi
Very Heavy > 1400kg             27 - 35 psi               37 - 40 psi


As a tyre gets hotter the pressure increases, this is due to the moisture in the air. The cold pressure you set to achieve a desired hot pressure will depend on the conditions on the day i.e. ambient and track temperature, wet or dry. If the day/track is cold you will need to start with a higher cold pressure as the tyre will not get as hot therefore the pressure increase will not be so great.
Hot pressures must be balanced side to side. Once the tyres have cooled you will find that you will have a difference in pressure side to side, if you have been racing on a right hand track you will find the offside pressures will usually be higher than the nearside.

Changing hot inflation pressures by small amounts can be used to fine tune handling.

Reduce Oversteer: Reduce rear pressures or increase front pressures
Increase Oversteer: Increase rear pressures or reduce front pressures
Reduce Understeer: Reduce front pressures or increase rear pressures
Increase Understeer: Increase front pressures or reduce rear pressures


Achieving the required tread temperatures will depend again on the conditions on the day i.e. ambient and track temperature, wet or dry.

You often here competitors saying “My tyres started to go off towards the end of the race”, this is usually due to the tread getting to hot.

The tread temperatures are constantly changing throughout a race, hotter when cornering and cooler when on the straights and cooling even more when you are slowing to come into the pits. Therefore the temps you record in the pits will be lower than those during the race. So if you record temperatures within the range given above the probability is the temps will be too high during the race.

Increasing your tyre pressures will cause your tread temperatures to increase, more pressure stiffens the tyre’s casing which results in the tread having to do more work resulting in the tread getting hotter. Lowering your pressures will cause them to decrease.


Inevitably changing one thing will affect other things, the whole set up of your car is a compromise between anything that is adjustable.

 
 


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