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AP1 vs. AP2 wheels for AP1 Solo Car

Old 12-29-2018, 04:13 PM
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Default AP1 vs. AP2 wheels for AP1 Solo Car

I have both AP1 & AP2 wheels for my 2003 S2000, (AP1=205 + 225, AP2=225 + 255) I drive on both steet and track (High Plains Raceway, Colorado) with both.

While the wider tires would logically provide more surface interface, it just seems the smaller wheels feel more responsive. AP1's corner more responsively, the AP2's feel sluggish. I'm still pretty amateurish on the track, so I don't see any significant lap time difference. The AP1's do turn in more responsively, but the AP2's seem to hold steadier from apex to corner out. I can brake later with the AP2's, but I don't know if this is a significant amount. Even with a SC (300 rwhp) wheel spin is NEVER an issue, still not enough power to break traction with either set.

I'm going to try out Solo racing this year, so I'd like to know what the general concensus is among those who have tried both around cones. I've found plenty of threads related to this, but the focus isn't handling as much as tire choices, rolling fenders, offsets and things I don't need to worrry about. I'd like to purchase a good set of solo tires (for next year probably) and I'd like to know if I should put these on the AP1 or AP2 wheels. I'm not planning on competing nationally (ever), so I don't think the locals will care much about which set I'll be using, either. I'll be in the SSM class, so I'll need every advantage to NOT be last place. Thanks!

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Old 12-30-2018, 06:57 AM
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I don't have the experience you are looking for so I will not comment on your question. But, if you end up deciding to use ap1 16" wheels, consider the BBS JDM 16" forged wheels. If you need a set, shoot me an e mail or PM. They are not easy to find. I have a spare set that is in very good shape. I'm beginning to think one set is enough for me, so I could be persuaded to let the spare set go.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:27 AM
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I don't exactly have the experience you're looking for but have close to it and some general knowledge. I competed in an 03 AP1 on 205/225 and 225/225 and now have an 06 with 245/255's. The AP2 is noticeably softer sprung, more body roll, but higher overall grip. There have been plenty of examples and studies showing that wider tires are an advantage and produce quicker lap times. Therefore, the AP2's should be your answer. To my knowledge, nobody makes a top tier autocross tire in a 16" diameter that is wider than a 225. The AP2 wheels are 17's and you can squeeze 245's on the front with 255's on the rear. I can tell you, from experience, that the 245's offer more grip but slightly less feel. However, my comparison is all on RE-71R street tires where you can run race tires in SSM and those may be available in 16's.

Your question isn't super direct in that it seems you want to quantitatively improve, not getting last in SSM, though you talk about qualitative data like feeling from the car. I think there is enough quantitative data out there to show that wider tires are faster. Qualitatively, it depends way too much on other factors about your car.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:49 AM
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Thanks, Jub...
What you say makes sense, wider tires with more contact obviously provide more grip, and a better time (& feel heavier). If I could use Mini Cooper wheels, it would probably FEEL very responsive, even twitchy, but not better my time. I'll use the AP2s this year for solo/track, and probably put my stock AP1 wheels up for sale, then use that $$$ towards a set of lightweight wheels that I can wrap in an R compound and dedicate to track and solo (if all goes well). I appreciate your well-thought-out response.
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