C5 Corvette Square Setup + Continental Extreme Contact Force 295/30R18 tires

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I found myself in the unfortunate situation at my 29th and 30th track day / time attack at Thunderhill West where the tires I'd come to the track day with where pretty much cooked and I needed another set of tires. While there was a bit of tread left on them... they just weren't gripping as they had earlier in the day anymore.

So I looked everywhere on my phone to no avail, and then decided I'd just go for a spin around the track. Much to my luck a mobile tire vendor was there chilling in his space. I popped in, inquired about the tires I wanted... to which he said he didn't have my exact size, but he had a barely touched set of Extreme Contact Force's available in 295/30R18. The price he then offered me was exceptional, so I proceeded to switch my tires over at the end of the first day of tracking!

The tires were a bit shorter in overall height than my 315/30's, but I was immediately impressed by their width and exceptional tread depth compared to the Falken 615's I was coming off of. These seemed like a pretty stout tire! I got one last session in for the day where I was developing a feel for the tires along with scrubbing them in. The previous owner had done a half day and then switched tires, so these seemed pretty new still to me. With a full session of heat cycle in them, I let them cool off for the night and came back the next day.

You can read all about how the second track day went in the trackday article, but suffice it to say I managed to maintain the same pace as I had with my 315's on these 295s and they provided a much improved turn in feel. The tires did alleviate a notable amount of understeer early to mid turn that I would get before, but did loosen up the rear a bit as well. Depending on how you've got your car setup for balance and what tires you are coming from, these may balance a bit different, so consider making some suspension adjustments such as softening the rear sway bar, adjusting rake, etc etc.

Overall compared to the Falken RT615K+ or any other 200TW tires I've used, these compared favorably. The tactile feedback was exceptional, the grip was great, and while they did suffer from heat eventually, the falloff wasn't horrible either. I will say the falloff was more noticable on these tires than the Falken 615k+, but I think that was because the car needed to be adjusted balance wise to soften the rear up just a bit.

Overall, this is not the right tire size for the C5 Corvette, but it gave me a great taste of just what the Continental Extreme Contact Force is up to!

These tires wear exceptionally well and have great tread depth, leading me to believe I will get as many track days from these as the the 615k+ tires. The grip level was exceptional as well, precisely what I am looking at for starting to get competitive locally in Time Attacks with 200tw tires. Sure, I could get some cheater tires that fall off a cliff after 4-5 laps... but these seem to be a healthy compromise of grip, fun and heat resistance.

Overall, these tires were was so promising that I've already got a set in 315/30R18 on their way to me to try out! Look for that post after a few track days with the tires!

Support the Blog & Save money! Buy 3 get 1 free on Continental Extreme Contact Force. Use promo code SHREDJESSEB3G1!