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Tire width vs wear vs performance


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I am prepping my newly acquired 1993 C4 Corvette for HPDE tracking. Being a newbie, I will take the advice of experienced track drivers, and initially run on street tires; then as my skills grow, I will move up to stickier tires.


The car is equipped with J55 brakes, brake spindle ducts, heat shields and SS pistons, braided SS hoses, and high quality brake fuid.


So for now, I am running a square 275/40 x 17 set up, on 9.5 saw blades. Once I move up to sticky tires, I will maintain a square set up.


I know that wider tires (315) will give me faster laps, but they will also cost about 30% more (than 275's). This being a very expensive hobby, I am trying to find that sweet spot of max performance for minimum price. I'm not racing anyone but myself.


So, will the 315's last 30% more miles / laps than the 275's, or even more, such that they are the better value (measured as $ per mile)? Or will the higher speeds enabled by the 315's consume the potential extra durability, such that they wear about the same as 275's?


And can we quantify the performance that I sacrifice by choosing the smaller tire? It's obviously not going to be 30% of top speed. My assumption is that it is marginal (maybe 3-4 mph, or a 3-4 seconds of lap time).


Lastly, other than crowding the wheel well and making duct routing more difficult (but that's another topic), does greater tire width affect brake temp / performance? I would assume wider tires yield higher speeds, which in turn results in higher braking demands. Or does less rubber require more braking to maintain control, thus making the smaller tire rougher on brakes? Or maybe both are true, and its a wash......


How do these variables all interact?


Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.

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