When it comes to tires, there are so many facets to consider that it’s rarely fair to pit one tire against another. In this video, Mr. Harris conducts a back to back track test among two cars between their stock delivery tire (of course, he calls them tyres), and Pirelli’s admittedly pretty awesome quasi-race tire, the Trofeo R. In both the Renault Megane 275 Trophy R, and the 991 GT3, Harris manages to drop lap times around the Portimao circuit in Portugal by a decent margin.
The video is quite obviously a paid advertisement by Pirelli, which is all well and good, Harris has to pay the bills somehow. The gripe I have with this is that the test is far from objective. In most cases, a proper tire test should involve a number of laps on the control tire (in the case of the GT3, that would be a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2), then a switch to the optional tire for a number of laps (in this case, the Trofeo R), and then a return to the control tire for another set of laps [Editor’s note: Michelin is a sponsor of FLATSIXES.com]. This allows the test to reduce biases from familiarity with the circuit and with the car, biases in track temperature and weather changes, as well as the minimal biases from ‘rubbering in’ the corners of the circuit. I don’t know for certain that Harris did not do this, but from the video it appears that he simply put down a quick lap on the Michelin PSC2, and then a quick lap on the Pirelli TR, and compared them as apples-to-apples. If that is the case, it seems a wholly unfair comparison to the viewer.
Regardless of how the tire test was conducted, I genuinely appreciated the cinematography and the commentary. I could probably listen to Chris’ voice for hours on end without getting bored with that wondrous accent. And that isn’t to mention the GT3. Goodness what a car that is, and oh that sound. It must have been monster fun to kick that thing around a track for a week, so I certainly can’t fault Harris for taking Pirelli money to fund it. It’s a video worth watching, but just be aware that there are several things to consider when buying a tire that are completely glazed over in this comparison. Outright lap time might be of concern to some, but what about durability, grip thresholds, breakaway characteristics, and even wet weather driving? Certainly things to think about.
Michelin, if you’re reading this, I’d like the opportunity to attempt to break Chris’ lap time around Portimao in a 991 GT3 on PSC2 tires. I’m sure it won’t take much longer than a week.
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