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.
Surfaced with slippery low-friction concrete and with its long, medium-radius corners, it really amplifies a tyres’ attributes when subjected to sustained cornering load.
Here, the AMG proved the perfect test bed: its all-wheel drive virtually eliminates irregularities in power-down traction, its even-to-front drivetrain torque bias allows maximum attack while focusing load across the front axle, and its sweet adjustability allows rear grip to factor into the performance.
Due to irregularities in the course itself, however, the Figure Eight is a fairer indicator of a loaded tyre’s ability to cope with bumps than it is at providing a genuine, sustained G force figure. Like last year’s event, we decided to exclude G from the overall scoring.
And like last year, each tyre set was subjected to three consecutive flying laps from a rolling 60km/h start, after which a combined three-lap time was recorded as gospel.
To no-one’s surprise, both the Michelin and Continental were the pace-setters, though you’d need a crystal ball to predict they’d clock identical 65.03sec passes. And given their performances in the Slalom, both models look untouchable in providing both highly reactive turn-in and supreme loaded grip on any type of dry surface.
The big improver was the Toyo, which didn’t demonstrate much in the way of heroics in the Slalom but nailed an impressive 65.57sec to nab third-quickest on concrete.
It was the thick end of a full second between the quickest trio and the next four competitors. And, you could have thrown a blanket over the Dunlop (66.40), Bridgestone (66.48), Goodyear (66.85) and the Falken (66.97) – their collective times separated by a spread of just half-a-second in total over three combined laps.
In fact, their times were so close one must conclude that there’s nothing in it between the four for tangible sustained cornering prowess.
The same can’t be said for the Winrun, however, though its tail-ender 67.45sec effort was, to be fair, a mere half-a-second off the Falken.
THANKS TO: THE WHEEL MEN
They’re the engine room of MOTOR’s Tyre Test, so thanks is due to the blokes from JAX Tyres for refitting all nine sets of competitor and control tyre sets with precision like they could freelance on an F1 pit crew. Meanwhile, thanks to Eagle SMF for trucking their tyre-changing equipment to Sydney Motorsport Park and keeping up the crack of beading tyres. If your tyres are starting to look like Peter Garrett’s head, give JAX’s new website a stab, where you can book to have the tyres you’re after fitted when it suits you. Hit up jaxtyres.com.au, call or drop in to a JAX store – they’ve been around since 1949 so there’s likely one near you.