From street to track: Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS on-sale now

Bridgestone Potenza

Go from street to track: Bridgestone has announced the release in Australia of its street-legal semi-slick Potenza RE-71RS tyres.

Bridgestone reckons it’s next-generation Potenza RE-71RS street-legal semi-slick tyres are a big step ahead of the old RE-71R rubber. Promising, “increased grip levels, improved handling, and better wear life (improved by 5% in mixed use) over its predecessor, the RE-71R, while retaining practicality for everyday use”.

The Potenza RE-71RS is more focussed than the road-oriented RE003 and Soo7A tyres and is considered an entry-level track tyre. But the benefit of this tyre is that you won’t need a set of street and track tyres if you’re a track day regular.

Sales Director at Bridgestone Australia, Heath Barclay, said “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.

“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.”

According to Bridgestone’s boffins, the RE-71RS boasts a larger contact patch (up 11%) than the previous generation tyre. Looking at the tyre’s face you can see the slick outer shoulders designed for dry road grip with the deep grooves intended to shed water.

Testing and development for this tyre was conducted at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, utilising a Bridgestone Motorsport test driver and a modified Subaru BRZ. “RE-71RS demonstrated an improvement to the average lap time of 1.1%, with a peak lap time improvement of 2%. A further 8000km of durability testing was conducted, with tyre rotations conducted at every 2000km to validate the 5% wear life improvement in extreme conditions,” Bridgestone said.

Bridgestone is launching the RE-71RS in 27 sizes ranging from 15-20-inch options, all warehoused locally. Price will depend on the retailer, so, shop around.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.