It’s hard to determine what tire pressure to use at the track. Sure, your friends might tell you 30psi, 28psi, or some other random number. But let’s be honest here – that’s just their best guess, or what they use. In this article, we will tell you the appropriate way to set your tire pressures or how to find out what tire pressure range is optimal for you.
One thing to keep in mind, some individuals may run on Nitrogen where others will run on Oxygen. While some report that Nitrogen keeps the tire pressure more consistent, we recommend running with whatever you find best suits your driving style.
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- We recommend Joe’s Racing 0-60PSI Tire Pressure Gauge
- Tire Pyrometer
- We recommend Joe’s Racing Pyrometer with Adjustable Probe
- Mechanix Gloves
- We recommend Mechanix Wear M-Pact Gloves
Great! Now that you’ve got the gear you need, you should be ready to go. Follow these steps and you’re on your way!
- Have a friend at the track that is willing to help you out.
- Take COLD tire pressures and record them before you get onto the track. This is absolutely essential.
- Come into the paddock after getting your tires hot. Once you get into the paddock have your friend ready with the pyrometer and have them “stick” the the inside, center, and outside of the tire as quickly as possible while recording the numbers and their respective location.
- Make sure that the probe is going in a few millimeters deep to ensure that you are getting an accurate reading.
Now it’s time to assess your recordings. Look at your readings, and you want to follow these guidelines:
- Is the outer number higher?
- This means you are rolling out towards the sidewalls, you need to add more camber so that you can distribute the heat more evenly among your inner and outer contact patch. You may also check your toe settings here if you aren’t running much camber.
- Is the center number higher?
- This means that your tire is over inflated. You need to drop your pressures slightly.
- Is the center number lower?
- This means that your tire is under inflated. You need to add some pressure into your tires.
- is the inner number higher?
- This means that you have too much camber. You need to adjust the camber more positively to adjust for the uneven heat distribution so that your inner and outer contact patch are even with one another. You may also check your toe settings here if you aren’t running much camber.
Keep in mind here that you are trying to get your numbers as close to equal as you can. Once you’ve got your numbers right where they’re supposed to be, leave them there and let the car cool down completely. This will give you your new cold temps for your second day at the track.