A tyre’s ability to cope with wet conditions plays a huge part of the Tyre Test and represents a significant portion of the overall scoring. Why? Because inclement weather is indicative of true conditions a proper road tyre is subject to.
If a dry-running hero falls flat on its sidewalls in the wet, you’d really want to be informed about that when speccing up a daily-driven pride and joy. As water can punish a tyre specifically optimised for dry ultra-high-performance, this test serves to weed out the fair-weather circuit-specialist rubber.
Our Motorkhana is also a particularly sinister course that combines characteristics of both Slalom and Figure Eight configurations. From a rolling 40km/h start, the course presents a series of chicanes under hard acceleration before entering a 12-metre diameter roundabout. After 540 degrees of sustained anti-clockwise cornering the course then deviates into a five-cone slalom and through a flying finish line.
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Like the dry Slalom, each tyre set gets five runs through the Wet Motorkhana course, with the fastest and slowest times dropped and the remaining three averaged to produce a definitive number.
Again, Continental and Michelin set the pace. But the Conti turned the tables on its French rival with an emphatically dominant 24.17sec – over half-a-second quicker than the Michelin’s 24.73sec average – proving wet dynamic brilliance from go-to-whoa.
“The Michelin is one of the fastest in the wet but it doesn’t like standing water,” Luff says. The Bridgestone also drew the same commentary from Luff, with the Japanese tyre pushing the Michelin pretty hard, its 25.03sec trailing by a mere three-tenths.
The Goodyear (25.27), Falken (25.33) and Toyo (25.47) all proved to be quick and consistent on Sydney Motorsport Park’s massive water-drenched skidpan. Luff noted, however, that all three simply didn’t have the wet lateral grip to drag themselves up to the pace of the Continental and Michelin.
As small victories go, Winrun’s humble time of 26.20sec is a small but notable one – at least it wasn’t the slowest Wet Motorkhana time outright.
“The Dunlop really struggles out there on the wet,” Luff says. “It’s quite easy to exceed its modest wet grip.” And that bore out in the Dunlop’s time of 27.23sec, over one second off the Winrun’s pace.
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With the Michelin and Continental showing class-leading form on dry high-friction asphalt, it was interesting to see if the same dominance would continue on the Figure Eight.
Ordinarily, we’d be discussing the field’s wet lateral G force performance right about here.
MOTOR TYRE TEST 2015
Our ultimate grip test again proves that while they may look the same, the levels at which these rings of sticky stuff perform are vastly different.
MOTOR TYRE TESTS
The quest to find the best high performance tyres in Australia.