The chosen tyre for the latest iteration of the Porsche 911 GT3 road car is still the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, though it’s been completely re-developed for better wear and more grip.
Compared with its predecessor, Michelin claims the new tyre lasts 50 per cent longer on track and gives faster lap times, thanks to the company’s ongoing work in motorsport.
Initial development of the tyre started with the Porsche 918 super hybrid and included an exhaustive test program with more than 50 evolutions of the tyre before the final product was produced.
There was also 150 hours of testing, 4000 kilometres of track time, 550 prototypes and 200 specifically designed tyres for tuning purposes.
Porsche’s wish list for the latest 911 GT3 represented a challenge for the French-based tyre manufacture, as it needed to have high grip levels in wet and dry conditions, safety on a wet road, minimised fuel consumption and long tread life.
In order to produce a tyre that brought together such a range opposing benefits, Michelin needed four key ingredients to gel: Bi-Compound Technology – the compound on the outer shoulder and the inner shoulder are actually different and found in the N2 family of tyres used in the Porsche Carrera Cup.
There’s a unique bead area, one that is 10 per cent wider that that of traditional sports tyres for better cornering.
The new tyre also gets Michelin’s Track Longevity Technology 2.0 – a race-inspired shoulder construction, reinforced to withstand cornering punishment, lap after lap.
And finally, in the interest of producing a safer tyre for wet conditions, the tread depth of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre has been increased by 20 per cent.
Michelin say the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre is about as close as you’re going to get to a road-legal race tyre and have the results to prove it.
In the dry, they claim the new tyre offers a 1.8 second faster lap time over five laps compared with the Pilot Sport Cup + on the Jerez circuit in Spain. In the wet, there was a 1.2-second gain recorded on the Ladoux track, in France.