Project S2000 Part One, Wheels and Tires

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 Bridgestone RE11
 The new Bridgestone RE11 is an ultra high performance summer street tire.  This is as close to an R-Compound DOT race tire as you are going to get for a daily driver.  The RE11 does well in ST, STS and STX classes of autocross as well as the street classes of Time Attack.

What makes you stop in shorter distances, accelerate harder, and turn faster?  Better tires!  Tire selection is one of the most important, if not THE most important, modification you make to your vehicle.  It doesn’t matter if the car has 800hp, triple-adjustable Motons, and carbon brakes, it’ll be slow if the wrong tires are on the car.

The recently released Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 is the tire of choice for Project S2000.  Bridgestone is the sole tire supplier for the fastest forms of 4-wheeled and 2-wheeled motorsports, Formula 1 and MotoGP.  Needless to say, Bridgestone knows a thing or two about tires and going fast.

After the release of the Potenza RE-01R tire, the predecessor for the RE-11, it became a common site at auto-cross and track days across the nation.  Bridgestone estimates that 50% of the RE-01R owners participated in some form of motorsports, so they knew the RE-11 would be used hard.  They also knew that the RE-11 had to substantially outperform the RE-01R.

To achieve this, Bridgestone fundamentally changed the design of the tire.  The RE-01R was a symmetric tire meaning that the thread pattern and construction were the same across the entire tire.  The RE-11 has an asymmetric design; the construction and tread pattern are different for the inboard and outboard sides of the tire.  The advantage of going with this design philosophy is allowing the optimization of the tire thread pattern and construction for the unique loads of the inboard and outboard sides of the tire.  In other words, no performance compromises!

RE11 tread pattern
Besides the obvious drainage of water reasons, the unusually shaped stealth groove next to the outer row of tread blocks helps the tire conform to the surface laying down more tread for better grip.

The main visual feature of the RE-11 tire is the ‘3D Seamless Stealth Tread Pattern’ on the outboard shoulder.  This design allows for large outer tread blocks for maximum grip, higher tread stiffness for improved feel, all the while allowing for good water evacuation (this is a street tire after all!).  Furthermore, the stealth groove was designed to improve contact pressure distribution as the tire deforms under cornering loads.  This translates into more grip!

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