Bridgestone have just released their new Bridgestone Potenza Race road-legal semi slick, and according to initial data, it looks to be an exceptional dry weather tire!
New semi-slick track day tires are a rare occurrence, with the last major release being the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport R in 2019 and the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect in 2020, so the new Bridgestone has a few years on the existing products. Even considering that advantage, the data looks good!
The independent testing organisation TUV tested the new Potenza Race against the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R in 245/35 R19 using a Mercedes AMG A45S using the (extremely long) Nardo handling circuit.
The average lap time of three laps:
TUV also tested dry braking from 100 km/h, which was similarly favourable to dry handling with the Bridgestone stopping in 32.3m, Michelin 32.8m, Pirelli 33.2m, and Goodyear 34.6m.
Tread wear is a difficult metric to measure, however TUV reported that the Goodyear was the best, with 20% better longevity than the Bridgestone, Pirelli had 20% less than the Bridgestone, and the Michelin 40% less the Bridgestone!
It's worth remembering that while these tests were conducted by TUV, Bridgestone were able to pick the testing conditions such as tire size, location and temperatures, but even with that in mind, the new Bridgestone Potenza Race looks mighty impressive!
Tire Reviews will be performing a semi slick test as soon as possible to verify this. For now, here's the press release from Bridgestone.
Bridgestone, a global leader in tires and sustainable mobility solutions, has today announced the launch of its new semi-slick Bridgestone Potenza Race tire. The tire delivers lap times that beat all main competing tires1, along with the best braking performance in dry conditions2. Homologated for public roads, but with performance focussed on track days, the Potenza Race also provides outstanding longevity3, helping drivers to enjoy more time on track.
The Potenza Race is the latest addition to Bridgestone’s iconic Potenza tire range – itself born from Bridgestone’s long association with Formula One racing – empowering motorsports enthusiasts to remain in control at speed. Benefitting from this heritage and the expertise gained during the development of Potenza Race OE fitments for the high-performance Lamborghini Huracán STO and SEAT Leon Cupra hot hatchback, along with the Huracán STO Tecnica supercar launched recently, the Potenza Race is Bridgestone’s first-ever dedicated replacement tire for track days.
Engineered for track days and circuit use
Leaning on Bridgestone’s vast experience in high performance tires, the new Potenza Race completes Bridgestone’s ultra-high performance tire line-up, providing a track-focussed tire ideal for driving enthusiasts.
According to tests carried out by independent TÜV SÜD, the Bridgestone Potenza Race posts the best lap times ahead of its main competitors on the track.1 The Bridgestone Potenza Race tire also offers the shortest braking distance on a dry surface, once again beating main competitor tires.2
The Bridgestone Potenza Race tire has also been engineered to provide outstanding longevity.3 All of this makes it a great choice for drivers willing to perform and push their limits on track.
High performance enabled by tread pattern, construction and compound
The Bridgestone Potenza Race’s advanced performance is enabled by a collection of new technologies in its tread pattern, construction and compound.
The tread design applies an asymmetric pattern, with differentiation between the outside and inside of the tire to maximise cornering power and braking potential while still guaranteeing suitable usage on wet roads.
Asymmetric wall angles on the Potenza Race tire further increase lateral stiffness and reduce block deformation, and a special rear tread pattern with an increased shoulder rib provides maximum dry performance with optimised braking and block stiffness.
To achieve its outstanding track performances, the Potenza Race also incorporates a sporty profile shape, helping to increase the contact area and maximise braking potential. An optimised contact patch helps to improve steering feel and controllability, increasing driver confidence.
The Bridgestone Potenza Race also benefits from a new compound, with innovative mixing to improve chemical reaction control, balancing the reinforcing mechanism and rolling resistance. The result is an optimised formula for enhanced dry performance, with high stiffness that boosts dry cornering and straight-line stability.
‘Completing the range for track lovers’
The new Potenza Race has been developed using Bridgestone’s ground-breaking Virtual Tire Development technology. This enables a digital version of an in-development tire to be created and tested, helping Bridgestone to predict how a tire will perform in different conditions before physically building prototypes. As a result, Bridgestone can test far more variants in a virtual world, which cuts tire development time by up to 50% and delivers a host of environmental benefits including a reduction in raw material consumption due to the need for fewer prototype tires and tests.
Commenting on this launch was Emilio Tiberio, COO & CTO of Bridgestone EMIA: “The Potenza Race adds an additional dimension to our iconic Potenza range. The existing Potenza Sport has been an incredible success since it launched, and now the Potenza Race takes things a step further by offering unrivalled performance to track day enthusiasts. Many have already seen and experienced what the Potenza Race original fitments can do on the Lamborghini Huracán STO and Seat Leon Cupra – we’re thrilled to be bringing it to the replacement market for more drivers.”
Developed and manufactured in Europe, Bridgestone’s new Potenza Race will be available in 13 popular sizes between 17 and 20 inches from June 2022, supporting the hot hatchbacks and sportscars most commonly found attending track days.
This project aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment that serves as the axis to drive management while earning the trust of future generations. The Bridgestone E8 Commitment consists of eight Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) that Bridgestone will commit to creating together with employees, society, partners and customers to realize a sustainable society. This project aligns with “Emotion: Committed to inspiring excitement and spreading joy to the world of mobility”.
 Lap time at Nardo circuit (6115 meter), average time over three laps in seconds: Bridgestone (2:35,39), Pirelli (2:37,62), Michelin (2:37,87), Goodyear (2:37,89).*
 Dry braking distance (100 km/h to 0 km/h) at Bridgestone EUPG, distance in metres: Bridgestone (32.3), Michelin (32.8), Pirelli (33.2), Goodyear (34.6).*
 Ranked second for track longevity at Nardo circuit, rating in %: Goodyear (120%), Bridgestone (100%), Pirelli (80%), Michelin (60%).*
*Tests carried out by TÜV SÜD on the request of Bridgestone in November 2021 and March 2022 at the facilities Bridgestone EUPG (Italy) and Nardo (Italy) for tests with Mercedes AMG A45s, on tire size 245/35 R19 Potenza Race compared to the performances of main competitors in the same segment: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supersport R, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect, Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R. TUV Report No. 713231330.