Nankang AR-1 Testing Data & Review
Posted by on 22nd Jan 2019
Nankang AR-1 Tire Test
Test car: '01 Honda S2000 210whp, 2750lbs with driver. GC Coilovers (Front-600/Rear-500lb) Camber- Front -2.7(max), Rear -2.5. No changes or adjustments were made to the car. Always went out with a topped off tank of fuel.
Track: Barber Motorsports Park. 16-turn, 2.38-mile (3.83 km) road course, designed by Alan Wilson. Lots of elevation and banked corners. The driver front tire will typically see a lot more abuse than the rest.
Tires: 255-40-17 Brand new Nankang AR-1 255-40-17 Bridgestone RE71, 50% tread and have seen a few track days. (estimated 20 heat cycles) Both tires mounted on 17x9 TRM wheels Air pressures on RE’s were set at 27psi cold (mid 30’s hot). We tried a few different cold pressures on the AR1’s throughout the weekend and
Test Method: Saturday was used to get re-familiarized with the track and car. The afternoon ended up raining, so no real data was collected. It should be noted however, the AR1’s seem to have plenty of grip in damp conditions. Sunday’s weather was more cooperating.
1st session: [Nankang] Track was slightly damp but seem to dry up during this session. Everything felt good and we set the quickest time so far this weekend.
2nd session: [RE71’s] Track became fully dry. We already know RE71’s does not like heat, so we went out and did 3 flyers. 3rd lap being the best with a 1.40.615.
3rd Session: [Nankang] went out for the entire session. Best lap came on lap 7 with a 1.40.437.
4th Session: [Nankang] stayed out again for the entire session, with best lap coming on lap 6 with a 1.40.095.
All Lap Times:
Best Lap Comparison:
RE71 Lap [3rd lap on the 2nd session of Sunday] vs AR-1 Lap [6th lap of session 4 on Sunday]:
Looking closer into the data shows the significant time gains on AR-1’s are in the braking zones. Its possible this is credited to being more familiar with the track later in the day. It would have been nice to get one more session on RE’s to verify this data.
Thoughts and Opinions:
We’ve always been a fan of the grip levels and single fast lap times of the RE71. However, the Re’s just do not take heat well and fall off after a few laps. The heavier the car the worse it becomes. The AR-1’s took heat and multiple laps VERY well. Full 20-minute sessions and the last lap was still on pace with the first few laps. Everyone that drove on the AR-1’s enjoyed the feel and feedback of the tire. Cold grip was impressive for a tire that took heat so well.
As a 100tw tire and at its price point, I’d highly recommend this tire for HPDE and Track Mod competitors. It has RE71 lap times without the drawbacks of the RE71.
Post Event: Wear was good. These tires saw about 50 hard laps at Barber and still look ready for another few events.
Thank you to Andy Smedgard and the guys from ASMotorsports for providing this test data and review. The pre-order for Nankang AR-1 100tw tire will be starting soon, please stay tuned for more info regarding sizing and pricing. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact us directly with all inquiries, we'd be glad to help!