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13" tires for autocross/track/street


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My 97 Caterham needs new tires for autocross, track and street. Rims are 13x7 rear and 13x6 front. Recommendations? Avon ZZR vs. ZZS?

 

If you are aware of this having been discussed recently please direct me to the appropriate thread. Thanks.

 

-Jeff

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I think your best choices will be between the Avon ZZR or ZZS. They really seem purpose designed for the Caterham. The Avon ZZS was the partial replacement for the CR500 which used to be standard equipment on a Caterham.

 

The ZZR is more track focused. It can be purchased in two grades of compound. For me the less sticky ZZR compound it was worth about 2-2.5 seconds a lap over the CR500 on the same track with the CSR going from 15 inch wheels to 13 inc wheels plus the change in tire. I think Seb had the stickier compound of ZZR and I lost sight of him.

 

However, the ZZR has minimal tread. I would be concerned if you were on road and found rain or a wet road. So depending on your mix of driving then the ZZS may be a better option. I think this is the standard Caterham equipment tire for new kits now? I run these on my UK based Caterham and they are good. They definitely slide earlier than ZZR but they are a performance tire and breakaway progressively allowing you to anticipate and catch it.

 

I tend to stick with the Avons as treaded tires for a Caterham as they have a lighter design which works well with our cars. They are always in stock at Roger Krause and they ship them east at a reasonable cost. I know others have use Bridgestones or Yokohamas so hopefully they chime in here with their views.

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Having done 8 years of Autoxing before I started taking the car to the track, I'll share my thoghts

 

When I autoxed, the Caterhams were classed as DMod if 2.0L or less and EMod if larger. In Mod classes, the standard tire was a 13 x 10 inch Hoosier slick in the soft compound. Usually 10 inchers at all for corners. Sticks great. :driving: 10 inch tires up front require either Clamshells front fenders or you to run without or wider cycle wing fenders.

 

That was the set up needed if you wanted to be competitive, and PAX well. If you are just out to have some fun and don't care about your points standing, then the Avons will be fine.

 

On track, I used the same 10 inch all around set up and it worked great, but I did switch to a taller tire to get better gearing, as the smaller diameter tire was limiting top speed.

 

YMMV but that's my experience. Good luck Tom

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I think your best choices will be between the Avon ZZR or ZZS. They really seem purpose designed for the Caterham. The Avon ZZS was the partial replacement for the CR500 which used to be standard equipment on a Caterham.

 

The ZZR is more track focused. It can be purchased in two grades of compound. For me the less sticky ZZR compound it was worth about 2-2.5 seconds a lap over the CR500 on the same track with the CSR going from 15 inch wheels to 13 inc wheels plus the change in tire. I think Seb had the stickier compound of ZZR and I lost sight of him.

 

However, the ZZR has minimal tread. I would be concerned if you were on road and found rain or a wet road. So depending on your mix of driving then the ZZS may be a better option. I think this is the standard Caterham equipment tire for new kits now? I run these on my UK based Caterham and they are good. They definitely slide earlier than ZZR but they are a performance tire and breakaway progressively allowing you to anticipate and catch it.

 

I tend to stick with the Avons as treaded tires for a Caterham as they have a lighter design which works well with our cars. They are always in stock at Roger Krause and they ship them east at a reasonable cost. I know others have use Bridgestones or Yokohamas so hopefully they chime in here with their views.

 

What did a set of ZZS end up costing you from Roger Krause to East Coast? I remember considering them and going with ZZR/ZZS out of preference until I came across the 888r's from TireRack and it was too reasonably priced and much easier to get this off the "to do" list by going that route.

 

However I'm not entirely happy with the sizing thats available for 888rs and still considering other options (225 vs 245 for rear and taller profile on front). I'd need 13's and I assume you're 15's with the CSR but ballpark pricing will be close enough.

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The ZZR on the CSR are used on the my 13 " wheels

 

I can only use CR500 on the 15" wheels on the CSR - nothing else fits with the front wings. They still make the CR500

 

No idea of cost - was not memorizing it since you cannot buy them from anyone else and the Toyo 888R does not fit on my 13" wheel on the rears. Just give Roger Krause a call - I find they are fairly competitive.

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Roger Kraus CR500 and ZZR/ZZS price/spec sheet for 2019: https://rogerkrausracing.com/pdfpricing/Avon%20ACB9%20CR500%20ZZR%20ZZS%202019.pdf

I have used Yokohama A048 (now discontinued) and Toyo 888 variants, and never been disappointed. I've been considering swapping DeDion ears and trying ACB10 bias ply tires, but I'm told the tramlining is significant. When the time next comes for me to get tires, I'll probably research the ZZR/ZZS line for about a week, strongly consider them at the higher price, or maybe the ACB10, only to then give in to the low price on the 888 again.

 

I think 215 to 225 is about as wide as you'd want to go on the rear for R street tires. You'll want them to at least get warm.

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Thanks everyone for your educational responses. I called Roger Kraus, and it ends up I have 3 ZZR/S options (which I realize now is what Croc says above):

 

ZZR A24 compound (softest)

ZZR A64 compound (harder)

ZZS A84 compound (still harder)

 

From reading I was ready to pull the trigger on the ZZS, as I could hit rain on the street (or autox or track, for that matter). But before I do, I want to get more thoughts on just how dangerous either ZZR would be if (ok - when) I drive in the wet. Thoughts?

 

Of course I am replacing 14 year-old CR500s, so I'm sure anything will be a vast improvement.

 

Also - I am committed to buy one set of tires for all uses for now. After a season or two with the car I'll decide if I want to get a set that's optimized for autox or track.

Edited by BlueBDA
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Early in my Autoxing days, while I was still on the CR500's, I did get caught in a downpour, the course had some HUGE puddles and as I was driving, I could hear the announcer saying, "There goes Tom in his Catermaran 7" :smilielol5: I went thru a puddle and the water wave crested right on top of me. I wasn't running with a top and I got a little wet.

 

On the way home, the clouds opened up again, and I can confirm that the water comes off the front tires and ends up all over you.

 

Lesson learned, Nothing good happens in the wet. If it rains during a track day, I just head to the bar.

 

Tom

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  • 1 month later...
My 97 Caterham needs new tires for autocross, track and street. Rims are 13x7 rear and 13x6 front. Recommendations? Avon ZZR vs. ZZS?

 

If you are aware of this having been discussed recently please direct me to the appropriate thread. Thanks.

 

-Jeff

 

 

Limited selection in 13". In addition to the Avon, you have Toyo RA1, R888, or Federal SS-595 for road tires, and if you want DOT slicks, you have Hoosier A7 and R7.

 

I've had 13" on my autocross Honda for 5 years, selection has been dwindling. Currently I use Avon slicks I get used. A7s stick better but I can buy 4 sets of Avons for the price of one set of Hoosiers.

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  • 2 years later...

Rather than start a new topic I'll ask here:  has anyone tried both ZZR compounds?  I'd like to get a set of dedicated track tires and live here in the PNW where temperatures are usually mild and if I encounter a moist day I'll switch to the ZZS.  Avon has both the A24 and A64 as a medium-hard compound, but the description seems to indicate the A24 might be for lighter cars which is counterintuitive to me given Caterham exclusively sells the A64 version.

 

image.thumb.png.7cd1096fb530b65449890cdfd35d7e38.png

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35 minutes ago, Pokey said:

Rather than start a new topic I'll ask here:  has anyone tried both ZZR compounds?  I'd like to get a set of dedicated track tires and live here in the PNW where temperatures are usually mild and if I encounter a moist day I'll switch to the ZZS.  Avon has both the A24 and A64 as a medium-hard compound, but the description seems to indicate the A24 might be for lighter cars which is counterintuitive to me given Caterham exclusively sells the A64 version.

 

 

 

 

@PokeyI have done both sets of ZZR compounds and so has Seb @SK400

 

Not much between them.  A24 feels softer.  Its a little quicker - maybe as much as a second a lap.  It feels like its a softer sidewall but same rubber compound.   The only thing is the ZZR is not a rain tire.  Even damp you are running a big risk.  Using the ZZS as the wet tire works well - its fine on track in the snow, sleet and rain.   

 

For a dry tire, I ended up migrating to Hoosier slicks.  Last about the same as the ZZR.  Slicks are much quicker.  Hoosiers are cheaper and easier to get than the ZZRs.  Only downside is that they are little more snappy at the limit.  But the grip is good!  :classic_biggrin:

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8 minutes ago, Croc said:

 

 

@PokeyI have done both sets of ZZR compounds and so has Seb @SK400

 

For a dry tire, I ended up migrating to Hoosier slicks.  Last about the same as the ZZR.  Slicks are much quicker.  Hoosiers are cheaper and easier to get than the ZZRs.  Only downside is that they are little more snappy at the limit.  But the grip is good!  :classic_biggrin:

 

Thanks Mike.  Did you opt for the R7 or did you go with the A7?  I had considered and then discounted the R7 on the basis that I couldn't replicate the ZZS dimensions that my car is setup for.  Guess if the difference turned out to be material then I could setup around the Hoosier and live with the result on the street with the ZZS.  Sounds like I'm talking myself into a decision...

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5 hours ago, Croc said:

@Pokey I use R7.  I did not need to change set up but then I have a completely different suspension to your average Caterham.  

For what it is worth, the A24 ZZR tires are absolutely outstanding, some of the best DOT approved / race compound tires on a Caterham.  I think I took 1.5 secs off Lightning changing between the A64 and A24. They do wear quite a bit faster though.. especially when scrapping through the bowl !!

A stock R400 on A64 at limerock will run in the low 59s. With A24s, managed 57.8s..   

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@SK400 If I recall, some of that 1.5 secs was because you changed how you attacked the Lightning bowl entry.  But that takes nothing away from the tire as its grip allowed you to hammer into the bowl with a throttle lift and no brakes.  However.....  

 

@Pokey  The A24 ZZR wears REALLY quick.  I destroyed a set in 3 hours of driving on the Lightning Circuit at NJMP.  The Hoosiers are much longer lasting.   You can get a lot of track days out of them as our cars do not really heat cycle slick tires.  I can squeeze a year's worth of track days out of them.  

 

Both Seb and my tire wear experience with the A24s was done on one track notorious for eating tires.  Your track is unlikely to be as bad.  Why not try a set of those as your dry track tires and keep the ZZS for road and wet track?  No set up issues then.  You can then decide if you like them and more importantly if your wear is as bad as a couple of degenerates like Seb and myself.

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@Croc, that is/was/is the idea, a set of ZZS for road and wet, and a set of ZZR for dry track.  Caterham only sells the ZZR in the A64, but while looking at the Roger Kraus Racing website I found they also list the A24 compound, hence my questions.  Having said that, I had already explored Hoosier R7's rather than the ZZR as they can be sourced easily where the ZZR isn't currently available from Caterham and I'm anticipating RKR not having stock.

 

I should have confirmed rather than assume, but those of you that use the R7 are on 13" wheels, right?  The R7 is available in a 205/50x15 which will fit the rear, but I don't see a 15" option for the front.  For 13" wheels it looks like the 185/60 in the front and for the rear only the 225/45 will fit the Caterham 8" wheels.  The former is slightly taller than the 185/55 ZZS/ZZR, and the latter is slightly wider and a fair amount shorter (0.7" smaller radius).

 

Edited by Pokey
0.7" smaller radius not diameter
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Honestly and if for track only, the Avon full slicks with Kevlar belt construction are …. unreal.  I have them on my new image wheels and dropped  another 1.5 secs at thunderbolt from my a24 and I’m far from the tire limits.  Roger Kraus will know exactly what tires these are. They fit our 13” front and back caterham wheels perfectly.  They are also 9 to 10 lbs each … only.  

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20 hours ago, Pokey said:

I should have confirmed rather than assume, but those of you that use the R7 are on 13" wheels, right?  The R7 is available in a 205/50x15 which will fit the rear, but I don't see a 15" option for the front.  For 13" wheels it looks like the 185/60 in the front and for the rear only the 225/45 will fit the Caterham 8" wheels.  The former is slightly taller than the 185/55 ZZS/ZZR, and the latter is slightly wider and a fair amount shorter (0.7" smaller radius).

 


@PokeyYes on 13" wheels for me and Seb.  Hoosiers - Fronts are 185/60 and 225/50 in the rear.  I am using a Caterham CSR stagger wheel set up with 8" in the front and 9" in the rear.    Rears do get a touch of the negative cantilever effect.   Seb @SK400 is all round 8" from memory - he'll chime in to confirm shortly.  

 

Given I only drive for fun now, I am happy to use the Hoosiers for dry track days.  No supply issues unlike the Avons and the wear rate is excellent for track usage plus they are cheaper and I can get them locally without having to freight them from Roger Krause.  

 

However, if you are like Seb chasing the last fraction of a second, then follow his advice as he is quick!

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@Croc and @SK400, thank you both immensely for all of the info, really got me thinking about other options.  I thought 13" wheels would be limiting, but for the track that certainly doesn't seem the case.  No decision yet, still waiting on the wheels, but researching further it looks like Hoosier bias slicks will retain the same ride height as the ZZS/ZZR.  I find this attractive as switching back and forth won't require suspension changes.  Don't suppose anyone has an opinion regarding the Hoosier bias rather than DOT slicks?

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