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Bridgestone has unveiled its latest top-performance compound aimed at track day enthusiasts: the Potenza Race. And according to the tire manufacturer, this new semi-slick compound will outdrive the top compounds from Pirelli, Goodyear, and Michelin. At least based on independent testing on Italy's Nardo circuit.
According to Bridgestone, the Potenza Race tire will be available in 13 common sizes ranging between 17- and 20-inch diameters. And it's designed to be common fare on popular street-and-track platforms by Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Lamborghini, BMW M, Audi RS, Mercedes-AMG and more. Well, at least ideally, if and when they leave the garage.
Independent testing by German firm TÜV SÜD at Nardo was performed utilizing a Mercedes-AMG A45s (nice) with the Potenza Race, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect, and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R all in 245/35/19. No notes on whether these were squared, meaning the same size at all four corners, or not.
But in that testing, the Potenza had the second-shortest stopping distance, the fastest average laptime over three laps, and ranked second in track longevity. That said, Bridgestone hasn't published what the Potenza Race's treadwear rating will be. This is a crucial indicator of overall performance and life, as well as in competition classing where 200 treadwear-and-higher tires have become common in various amateur, club-level wheel-to-wheel and time attack series.
Though, the fact that the brand calls it a semi-slick, combined with its competitors' treadwear ratings, could mean it'll be sub-200.
The brand also boasts that its own virtual testing helped it predict how the rubber will hit the road in varying conditions before creating real-world prototypes. This saved as much as 33 percent in raw materials during development, as well as allowed it to bring it to market much faster than in the past. Granted, it's got plenty of know-how in the arena already with other current and previous models, such as the venerable Potenza RE 71RS and RE 71R.
The Potenza Race will take to the streets as original equipment on the Lamborghini Huracán STO and Tecnica, proving Bridgestone's point about it being a very focused compound for very focused performance vehicles. On the more modest end of things, if we get our hands on a set for our own on-track independent testing, we'll report back extensively on our findings.