There are numerous differences between racing tires and regular tires, in design, purpose, and efficiency. While every tire is built with a general idea towards performance in mind, this will differ from tire type to tire type. Before spending the money, it helps to know which tires is going to suit your vehicle best for the type of performance you expect from it.
Because stability and grip is crucial on the race track, a racing tire is made from a special polymer compound and two layers of particulate carbon. These tires must be made to withstand very high forces along with air resistance and loadings, while still maintaining a very light weight. They aren’t expected to last as long as a regular tire will, because with each turn at the track the ideal is the highest performance and not longevity. High heat is also a factor and the tire must be able to withstand the hot temperatures of the track. Slick tires are racing tires that are made with no tread. This is helpful on a track as more of the tire surface is in contact with the road and offers an even better grip; crucial at high speeds and when going around corners. It is impossible to get the same contact and control on a treaded tire that a slick tire offers. Another important factor with regards to racing tires is wet and dry conditions. Racing tires are made specifically to handle either one condition or the other. With regards to pressure, some racing tires are filled with nitrogen gas to help keep inner temperatures cool and increase the lifespan of the tire.
Regular tires are made using a durable rubber and aren’t expected to withstand the same pressures as a racing tire is capable of, but then, they aren’t exposed to that much pressure with typical city, highway or even off road driving. Partly due to their makeup and partly due to the use, regular tires tend to have a much longer lifespan than racing tires. Temperature isn’t as big a concern when it comes to regular tires, although pressure can certainly be affected and should be monitored during the colder and warmer months of the season. Regular tires must have a specified tread depth to be legal, and this is strictly adhered to. It differs from tire to tire depending on performance expectations and even between winter and summer tires, but there is a minimal tread depth regulation. Wet or dry conditions are each handled rather well by regular tires although they aren’t as masterfully handled as a racing tire which is built to handle either one with perfection. Regular tires are filled with air as a simple way to maintain pressure and performance.
The differences between regular and racing tires are numerous, as the tires are used in such incredibly different ways. Within each type lie still more variants, but this gives you an outline of the strengths of each.