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What is an R-compound Tire?

The “R” in r-compound stands for race, so an r-compound tire is a tire constructed with a racing compound.  R-compound tires are track tires that feature purposeful tread designs, high grip tread compounds and tuned internal constructions to provide the ultimate in acceleration, cornering and braking traction.

When forms of auto racing instituted classes which require DOT approved street tires, some race tire manufacturers began to market tires which superficially resembled their high performance street tires, but with the least tread permissible and with very soft, sticky rubber, intended specifically for competition because the soft tread would wear too quickly for street use. These became known, loosely, as R compound tires. With additional years of progress, this class of track tire has in its turn followed its own line of development, to the point where they have little in common with true street tires of the same brand.

When compared to the “ultimate” or “extreme” performance summer tires offered by all the tire manufacturers, DOT R-compound tires provide significantly more dry traction which results in lap times that are 3-6 seconds quicker when installed on similarly equipped track cars and significantly faster lap times for cars that have been setup to take advantage of the sticker compound of the r-comp track tire.  Typically r-compound DOT tires have tread ratings of 40-80 with the lower ratings indicating a softer and sticker tire which will provide more grip for your track car at your favorite closed course facility.