If you are looking for tyres that will help you to scorch the timesheets at your next track day then Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport are the ones for you! Tyres can seem like the most primitive part of a car sometimes, but they are also one of the most important. They experience a lot of stress when the car is driven at its limits as they get pushed through the corners, along the straights and loaded up under braking. It is also the tyres that keep you connected to the road and a good set will let you know exactly how much grip is still available, allowing you to extract maximum performance from any car.
Tyre technology has come a long way and even regular road tyres are very good these days but nothing can get close to a set of track-focused tyres when it comes to outright performance. Most people don’t have the luxury of buying one set of wheels and tyres for the road and another set for use on the track. Meaning there is a need for track-focused road-legal tyres. These track specialist tyres should be able to deliver a high level of regular road use as well. Keeping all of these in mind, let us take a look at three options from Goodyear’s Eagle F1 SuperSport range.
The Test Car – BMW M2 Competition
The car used for this test had to be important. You can’t use any old model car to test tyres that are meant to be at their most comfortable when pushed really hard. I needed a car that could take these tyres right to the edge of their capabilities repeatedly without breaking a sweat. It also had to be practical and relatively affordable.
The BMW M2 Competition was the perfect answer. In a world slowly moving towards subtlety, the M2 is still a car that is not ashamed of unabashedly announcing its pedigree every time you put your foot down (read our BMW M2 car review here.). Churning out 410 hp and 550 Nm of torque and topping out at 173 mph (with optional M Driver’s Package). This vehicle is a proper performance car and can sit comfortably on the red line all day – perfect for an enjoyable track day!
The BMW M2 handles well with excellent brakes, meaning you can accelerate hard, brake really late and because of its delicate set-up; the car can be balanced very nicely in the corners. How far it can be pushed totally depends on the tyres, which makes it perfect for our needs. So we had a new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres with only around 300 miles on the clock. Find out how we got on below:
Why Do We Need Track Focused Tyres?
You might be wondering why you would need specialised track tyres. The reason is quite simple. Regular tyres have to do a lot of things: they have to be durable, be able to provide decent levels of grip in different conditions varying from dry to pouring rain and in both hot and cold climates.
On normal roads, this is ideal as you do not have to change tyres every time the weather takes a turn. After all, not everyone can house a pit crew along with the car. However, take a model with standard road tyres to a track and even the best handling car on the road can feel a bit vague. This can make cornering and hard braking a bit difficult as precise feedback is very important for this. You could find that your performance car has more to offer you on the track, but you just need the right tyre to help unleash its potential.
That is where track-focused tyres like the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport range really shine.
The Range of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport Tyres
Even those who regularly take their cars for track days have different requirements and that is where the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport range comes in handy. There are three different tyres to choose from. This allows you to choose a tyre that is tailor-made for what you are looking for. The range varies from a more versatile fast road/track option to a really track-focused one. Below is a breakdown:
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport:
Most motorists will be familiar with the association between performance and a harsher ride when it comes to fitting performance-focused tyres. The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport variant offers the perfect balance between great tyre grip performance and an acceptable level of comfort for the road. It is also a great option if you want something that can handle the wet conditions on the road as well as the fast track stuff. This tyre offers superb handling, better stability and better cornering compared to a road tyre.
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport R:
If you are looking for something a bit more focused on dry grip then the Eagle F1 SuperSport R option is a great bet. The steering should feel more focused and it should inspire a lot of confidence around both high and low-speed corners due to the exceptional dry grip performance. This grip is a result of the use of high-friction rubber. Normally, that would mean that the durability would be compromised and using such tyres on regular roads which tend to be rougher and would cause quite a bit of wear, however, the Eagle F1 SuperSport R can be used on and off-track without worrying.
The Eagle F1 SuperSport R will certainly make your car feel incredibly sure-footed on the road but it is on the track where you will notice the big gains. Under extreme cornering, the tyres are designed to stay stable and not to lose shape. The intelligent design also allows for uniform pressure distribution which results in a very reliable feeling under different track situations. This does compromise the amount of water that can be cleared by the tyres and therefore the wet grip. Do not get me wrong. It can still handle wet conditions but the car has to be driven a lot more carefully where excess water needs to be cleared from the tyres.
Eagle F1 SuperSport RS:
By now it should be clear what the Eagle F1 SuperSport RS variant is all about – ultimate dry grip. This is a great option if you are looking for something to go racing with. The grip offered by the Eagle F1 SuperSport RS should be extreme and the stiffness of the tyre means that you can actually push even the most performance-oriented car to the limit.
Don’t forget this tyre is actually road legal. It has enough tread to be certified road legal but for all intents and purposes, it is a track-focused tyre. On the track, this is a beast and will keep urging you to push your car harder and harder. There is really not much to say apart from the fact that this is among the very best tyre options for focused track driving.
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport Testing
A track-focused tyre needs a proper circuit to be evaluated in and the Bedford Autodrome was the perfect spot for it. It is a place frequently used by people who aren’t necessarily professional racers but love to experience the thrills of a track. It also has a mixture of fast-flowing corners that tests the sidewalls and edge grip of the tyre and slower corners where we can test the braking stability of the tyre.
The long straight also allows for a decent assessment of the overall durability and grip on offer. The BMW M2 was also the perfect foil for this test as we mentioned earlier. The car could easily hit around 135mph in the wet at the end of the straight.
We spent around two hours testing the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres on the M2 in mostly wet conditions. Here is what we discovered:
In an ideal world, you would want good weather to get the maximum performance out of your car on the track. You would like a pleasant dry day, but in the UK, that is not the case for a lot of the time.
Running the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres in wet weather for around 100 hard miles, I learnt a lot about how they operate. The tyre grip is obviously less efficient in heavy rain but the important thing is that the car still remains driveable, safe and enjoyable on the track.
In a straight line, the BMW M2 Competition is able to put down its power very well using the car’s electronic aids to get it off to a very fast pace with little drama. Once up to speed and in the corners, the vehicle still offers considerable grip when compared to the other cars on the track. The BMW could hold great pace in the wet corners with sensible inputs from the driver.
Once out of the corners, straight-line speed every time wasn’t an issue at all. I had the opportunity to power the car from 30mph to 135mph in the straight at full throttle and 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears gripped all the way. At high-speed even in the wet, I felt very confident in the car grip levels and I am sure a professional driver could squeeze even more top-end speed around the Bedford Autodrome on these tyres if needed.
When it came to braking in the wet during my testing, I couldn’t really faze the tyres, under harsh braking the car and tyres worked like a perfect combo to shed speed. Not at any point did the car start to lose control or struggle. I was very surprised how much grip was available even in very wet conditions.
The BMW M2 Competition is a phenomenal car by itself but strapping on a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres really brings it to life on the track. The amazing level of feedback and grip means that you will always have a great idea of what the car is doing underneath you and exactly how much further it can be pushed. At times on the Bedford Autodrome wet track, in mid-corner on certain cambers, there really wasn’t much grip in the wet. But at least I could feel this aided by the tyres, then guide the car where I wanted it to go. Once straightened up, I could feel the car was ready and start to put the power back down. Having that little bit more feedback from the car can make a big difference on a track day.
The stability under hard braking and cornering is also great to the point of being almost surprising. Sticking to a racing line is a lot easier and these tyres inspire quite a lot of confidence allowing you to actually enjoy a track day instead of being terrified for your life. Having plenty of time in the car with these tyres meant I had several attempts at some of the more complicated corners and pushing the car harder each time allowed me to really learn how the tyres superior grip helped the car through the corners. The Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres played a big part in me getting the most out of the car without a doubt.
To be clear, my dry testing with this tyre was limited. I had short periods of the racing line on the Bedford Autodrome drying out between downpours, so I can only tell you what I learned here.
You would think that making a tyre with excellent grip in the dry would be really easy, but in actuality, it is not so straightforward. A track-focused tyre would be subjected to an incredible amount of stress constantly. The tyre has to be stiff enough to maintain its shape under hard braking, acceleration, and cornering without being so stiff that the grip is reduced. It also has to provide excellent feedback and it has to withstand the constant cycling between heating and cooling and still not be compromised. So there is a lot to think about.
Goodyear has incredible pedigree and experience when it comes to making racing tyres thanks to its involvement in some of the most popular races around the world. This shows in the level of dry grip available from these tyres.
When I did find some dry(ish) areas of the track briefly, I made certain to push a bit harder in the corners and feel out how the level of grip changed. As you would imagine, with the rain no longer working against the tyres the grip levels go through the roof and I soon learned the Eagle F1 SuperSport has the outstanding ability to latch onto the tarmac and propel the car forward very well.
I only got a glimpse of the dry performance from these tyres, but it was more than enough for me to realise that you could push the BMW M2 very hard and very fast around the track from both the advanced grip and improved handling performance.
Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport Verdict
If you own a car that has a sports pedigree and you want to take your track day experience to the next level, then sourcing the right tyres for your car is essential. In the case of the M2, why spend £50,000+ on the car but miss out on its potential by simply not using the right tyre choice.
The Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport in the wet was incredible. My experience proved that the tyres could deal with 400bhp+ on a very slippy track. There weren’t many other cars on the EVO track day that were able to use as much of the car’s performance as the BMW M2. After putting in the seat time with both the car and tyres, I was very impressed with both the performance and feedback to the driver. At the end of the testing, I left feeling rewarded, exhilarated and quite frankly astonished that the BMW could be so efficient in the wet using the Eagle F1 SuperSport tyres.