Great tires make all the difference in the world. You could have a perfectly setup racecar but without the proper tires putting the power to the ground you wont be performing at your peak. In our many years of racing the G35 we have tried tires in nearly every category from all season street tires to full slicks and everything in between but with the #44 G35 racing in the Limited RWD class in Global Time Attack our tires must be dot approved street tires with a tread wear of 80 or higher. Luckily for us our great sponsor Hankook Tire USA makes the perfect 80 tread wear Ventus TD tire that is the chosen tire for nearly all street tire mandated class teams from World Time Attack to Global Time Attack all over the world. Having run Toyo R888’s the season before I was excited to compare them to the new Hankook Ventus TD and just after a few laps around Road Atlanta on a fresh set of soft compounds I was amazed.
The consistency of the tire at its traction limit is unparalleled and is very responsive to the driver. It takes a good amount to get these unbelievably sticky tires to break loose but when they do it is easily manageable in any weather. After many track hours in every condition possible from pouring rain to damp to hot and dry and on multiple different road courses up and down the east coast the Hankook Ventus TD‘s are by far the fastest and most responsive 80 treadwear tire I have ever driven. Available in both a soft and a hard compound they offer grip like full racing slicks but in a package that is capable of being fast in any weather condition and class legal. In fact I remember laughing in the rain at NJMP when I was passing spinning Corvettes on slicks and Toyo’s while I drove by like my Ventus TD’s were on autopilot.
Not only is the tire consistent in its response to the driver but even the building tire pressures are very predictable and manageable. We usually start a session with 28 psi in the front and 26 in the rear and come back in at 31/30 (depending on the track) giving us multiple laps at the perfect pressure for each session. I will say that with all of the great things I have to say about the Hankook Ventus TD tire there is one issue I do have; available tire sizes. The sizing of these tires are very limited not only in diameter but in width as well, forcing us to actually run a smaller tire this season 285/30/18 front and 295/30/18 rear (down from 295/35/18 and 305/35/18 on Toyo’s and Hoosiers). But even with the smaller tire we seem to have copious amounts of grip so not that big of a deal on our application but may be an issue for some. We look forward to continuing to run our Hankooks and hopefully add to the podium collection for the Ventus TD team. For more info visit the Hankook Ventus TD website and check back for updates to this review throughout the season.