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Bridgestone’s improved semi-slick RE-71RS remains street legal

Bridgestone has improved the formula for its street-to-track semi-slick tyres.

Bridgestone has announced its new RE-71RS tyre will replace the previous RE-71R street-to-track tyre. The new tyre brings a new compound formula and design enhancements to improve degradation, maximum grip, and ride characteristics.

Developed at the brand’s Japanese research and development centre and including track time around Tsukuba circuit (on a Subaru BRZ), Bridgestone says that the result is an average 1.1 per cent lap-time improvement on the old hoops. When really pushing, the improvement is up to 2 per cent per lap, though degradation creeps in faster, of course.

Potenza RE-71RS features a slick shoulder for maximum contact, increasing the tyre’s cornering capabilities

Street legal and designed for use on public roads as well, the new 71RS tyre also brings improved wear and general handling potential, while keeping up shape for weekend entry-level motorsport events. Its 11 per cent larger footprint improves lateral grip, and the rubber contains new polymer compounds which excel in dry situations. The slick shoulder design improves cornering capabilities further too, while deep grooves help shed water when the surface is wet.

Not as aggressive as the RE-11S race tyre (which you can’t use on the street), the 71RS is a more focussed tyre than the sports tyre RE003 and S007A, at least when it comes to outright dry grip.

Clarifying that the new rubber is a good fit for weekend warriors who commute too, Bridgestone sales director Heath Barclay noted that the RE-71RS breaks perception of how many drivers/racers believe semi-slicks should be used.

“Semi-slick tyres are often a misunderstood segment of the market, with many enthusiasts mistaking them as only for track use. In the development of the Potenza RE-71RS, Bridgestone was careful to ensure it delivered the performance track days demand, while also being suitable for day-to-day driving,” he said.

“As a result, the RE-71RS removes the need to have separate tyres for track use as well as a more comfortable set for the rest of the week. Track day enthusiasts will be drawn to the performance of the RE-71RS, while the improvements to grip levels, wear life and everyday noise levels will make it a prime choice for this segment of the market due to its versatility.

“The Potenza RE-71RS is a step up for practical, entry-level motorsport performance, and with a wide range of sizes and good availability, we’re confident customers will reap the benefits of this new tyre,” he added.

Bridgestone’s media statement goes on to mention that the new tyres should also give an extended performance – meaning more lap time – to drivers.

“Enthusiasts will be able to get more laps from a set of RE-71RS, with an improvement of 5 per cent in wear life over its predecessor, due to its asymmetric tread design and uniform contact pressure,” it says.

Available now in Australia, the RE-71RS are available in 27 sizes ranging from 15-20 inch options.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae