Bridgestone heats up trackdays with new Potenza Race tyre

BY Jonathan Lim

Bridgestone’s new Potenza Sport has already proven faster than main rivals in independent testing; Potenza Race to go even quicker

With Singapore and Malaysia now almost fully opening up, Sepang trackdays are already starting to become a thing again. The existing Bridgestone Potenza Sport  is already an excellent choice for fast road and occasional track driving, and the Potenza RE-71RS caters to even more dedicated drivers, but now seriously hardcore trackday enthusiasts have a new option to consider: the Bridgestone Potenza Race. 

Billed by Bridgestone as a semi-slick tyre and its first-ever dedicated tyre for trackdays, it’s nonetheless homologated for road use. But as you can see from the photos, it has an extremely aggressive tread pattern which you probably wouldn’t want to get caught with in the rain.

In addition to the asymmetric pattern with an almost completely slick outer tread block to maximise cornering grip, and a “sporty” (basically squared-off) profile shape to maximise the contact patch and optimise the braking potential, the Potenza Race also features a rubber compound that “enhances dry performance, with high stiffness that boosts dry cornering and straight-line stability”.

These developments have already produced encouraging results against the Potenza Race’s biggest competitors: the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R.

The German inspection and certification organisation TÜV SÜD tested these tyres in 245/35 R19 size at the 6.2km Nardo Handling Course in Italy, using a Mercedes-AMG A45S, and the Bridgestone came out on top in lap times and dry braking, and second in terms of longevity (Bridgestone’s press release did not mention other test figures):

Tyre Lap Time Braking Distance Longevity
Bridgestone Potenza Race 2:35.39 (1st) 32.3m (1st) 100%
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R 2:37.89 (4th) 32.8m (2nd) 120%
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 2:37.87 (3rd) 33.3m (3rd) 80%
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R 2:37.62 (2nd) 34.6m (4th) 60%

The Bridgestone Potenza Race already features as OE fitment on the Lamborghini Huracan STO and Cupra Leon, and will go on sale from June 2022 onwards in 13 sizes between 17 to 20 inches, which is said to cover “the hot hatchbacks and sportscars most commonly found attending track days”.