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Pirelli P-Zero Corsa evaluation

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by John B, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. John B

    John B Formula 3

    May 27, 2003
    1,516
    NJ
    A number of you had asked me to post an evaluation of the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa's after putting them on my car. Bottom line, Awesome!

    Background:
    I ran my car, a '99 Modena, at it's first track day this spring at Pocono.
    I found two problems. 1) The car had too much oversteer exiting medium speed corners, kind of fun but not fast. 2) The brakes faded badly after about 15 minutes of lapping. The pedal would hit the floor and I had to pump them up before reallu using them. Away from that I was extremely impressed by the car on the track. I am an active racer and generally am not impressed by street cars in track conditions. This car felt like a racecar and was pretty quick. I love the way it turns in.

    The changes:
    In an attempt to alieviate some of the oversteer I opted for a set of Pirelli P-Zero Corsa's. These are basically soft compound slicks with minimal tread. I think the Challenge guys use them for intermediate rain tires. I went 20mm wider in the rear to 295mm and kept the fronts at 235mm. I mounted them on a set of Challenge wheels.

    To try to improve the braking situation I switched to Ferrodo DS2500 pads (Street/track) and Castrol SRF fluid, which has the highest boiling point available.

    The results:
    I took the car to a track day at Lime Rock last Friday. Wow what a difference! I started off easy as I recalled how the rear would come out at Pocono and Lime Rock has a lot of intermediate speed turns. The car felt planted and I picked up the pace in the next session. The oversteer was almost completely gone! After the tires warmed they had a tremendous amount of grip and good feedback as they approached the limit. They wouldn't just suddenly throw you over the edge of adhesion.
    I used 30 pounds front and 29 pounds rear for pressures. The car now inspired the confidence to be driven at 10/10's.

    In the brake department, the changes also worked very well. I experienced zero fade during a full day of hard lapping.

    I highly recommend these changes for anyone running a Modena occasionally on the track, they really transformed the car!
    I got down to 1:01's which I saw would put me in the middle of the GT Grid for qualifying when Grand Am was there in 2001. Pretty good for a street car!! Conditions were good, about 50 degrees and sunny.

    I initially thought I would only track my car once to see what it was made of. It was so much fun I'll definately be back with it. The next thing I need to work on is that pesky check engine light. It comes on during track days and indicates a misfire although the engine runs great. I replaced the ECU's and sensors last time which cured the problem on the street but the problem is back after another track day.
    Does anyone have any experience with this problem?
     
  2. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
    2,684
    East Coast
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    Jon K.
    John,

    Thanks for the write up on the PZero Corsa. I have heard from others it's a middle of the pack R compund tire somewhere between a Yoko at the low end and the Hoosier at the high end.

    That being said however, your lap times are a bit past optimitic for a street 360 on street rubber (R compound is still street rubber).

    No way a street 360 on R compound can get anywhere near 1:01. The fastest race lap at this years 360 Challenge race at Lime Rock was set by Challenge champion Doug Peterson at 1:00.59. I was at the race and track conditions were optimal at 85+ degrees.

    The fastest laps for a 360 Challenge are about 59 1/2 in the series set in 2000 I think. I have run there in my 355 Challenge and do 1:01-1:02's on race slicks (the same event that Peterson did a 1:00:59). The fastest 355 Challenge time is a high 59 by 5 time Champion Steve Earle.

    Also the 2001 times for Grand Am you quote are from a weekend on a damp track (rained for the feature GT race). A good 996 GT3RS can do a 56 second lap with a competant driver (Pobst, Law, Borcheler etc..)

    No way an R compound tire on a street car weighing 250-300 pounds more than a 360 Challenge on real race rubber is going to be less than a half second slower. At most tracks the difference between a 360 Modena and a 360 Challenge on EQUAL race rubber (race slick) is about 4-5 seconds. Check the old Forze magazine (or Rosso story) at VIR on the 360 Modena, 360 challenge and the 360GT. I seem to recall that the Challenge car was 6 seconds per lap faster than the Modena and the 360GT was a total 14 seconds faster.

    I was at Summit Point in June 2000 when Ferrari of Washington had a 360 Modena on hand for some press people from one of the major magazines. They had a well known Skip Barber instructor and successful opne wheel racer from Europe doing laps in the 360 at 10/10ths. He was on street tires but still only managed a best of 1:24. An R compound tire might get the car down to low 1:22's or high 1:21's with a professional. The fastest time for a 355 Challenge at Summit is high 1:17 set by Challenge champion Jim Kenton (my fastest is a high 1:18). The 360 C is a further 1 1/2 faster.

    There is absolutely no way a steet 360 is ever going to breach 1:20 at Summit Point.

    Not trying to start an arguement but your times are off!

    regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    1995 F355 Challenge #23
    www.flatoutracing.net
     
  3. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    3,637
    Los Altos Hills, CA
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    Gary B.
    Thanks for the report! Couple questions...how wide are the Challenge wheels? And were your tire pressures set to 30F/29R cold or hot?

    Thanks again,

    Gary
     
  4. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    Nov 6, 2002
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    John William H.
    I put the Corsas on my 355 and I am simply amazed at the tire. I ditto the comments of the tire being between the Yoko (I've run through about 6 sets of these and am very farmiliar) and the Hoosier (which I race with in SCCA. Very very good track tire.

    But what amazed me the most is that these tires are entirely comfortable on the street (whereas the yokos will beat you up). Very impressive tire.
     
  5. Artherd

    Artherd F1 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2002
    6,588
    Bay Area, CA
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    Ben Cannon
    Are these usable cold on the street? How's the adhesion?

    Best!
    Ben.
     
  6. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    10,213
    San Antonio
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    Russ Turner
    Great evaluations. Really interested in the cross use aspect.

    I'm really looking forward to a comparison when the new line of Michelin F1 developed 4 groove tires come out next year.

    As they say in Economics class - free-market competition fosters innovation and development.

    Thanks again
    rt
     
  7. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    Nov 6, 2002
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    John William H.
    The impressive thing about these tires is that they are fantastic on and off the track. I've run DOT approved race tires on my Ferraris and other cars for years, and the tires are either unusable on the street (hoosiers) or very stiff and uncomfortable on the street (Yokos). These tires are fantastic on and off the track. On track they are way better than the yokos ( 6 years later tire tech.) and are to me, indistinquishable from street tires on the street. The fact that they work great on late model Ferraris is no surprise. They were designed specifically for the street/racer Stradale.

    As for the new mich. tire, you just have to ask yourself if you can live with putting a mich. tire on a ferrari. Yikes.
     
  8. 355f

    355f Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    305
    interesting.

    When i phoned Pirelli technical services about replacement tyres for my 355 they specifically sais that they would NOT reccommend anything other than standard p zero for the car. Ie NOT corsa or anything else pirelli makes.

    So those of you using these cars for road use I would ask pirelli direct
     
  9. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    that's b/c they don't want a deluge of phone calls, letters, faxes and hate mail in two months, after making the reccomendation to use the corsas, that the tires are : bald after 6000 street miles, noisy, hum on the freeway and don't have a supple enough ride to maintain comfort; most consumers, 355f, don't have the foresight to understand the premise of using a tire like the corsa on a daily driver.

    to the guys using the corsa: i hear they HATE heat, and that they also do'nt like too much camber; what pressures (hot) and camber are you guys seeing to keep them from chunking , and to keep wear even across the shoulders?
     
  10. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    Nov 6, 2002
    2,042
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    John William H.
    I spent 4 days with the president of Pirelli North America and the VP of marketing and they both indicated that the CORSA was designed for off road AND road use. They designed the tire as original equipment on a US road legal car: the Ferrari Stradale.

    The person at Pirelli that recommended you not use these on the street was either uninformed, overly conservative, or was recommending that for your individual use you use the regular Pzeros. Will the regular tire give you better wet weather performance and longer wear? Yes. But if you want max performance there is only one tire: the CORSA.

    I use these on a daily driver 355 and can attest they are great on and off track( and are very good even in the rain-although my tires are new and I'm not down on the wear patter). I also use them as a daily driving tire so I have really tested the on road manners of these tires.

    I couldn't recommend a better tire for a Ferrari, especially for someone who was using the car as an occasional/weekend sports car. These tires were tailor made for a max performance late model Ferrari road car. If you are looking to re-tire, can you ask for more?

    As for them hating heat, I've not experienced that. I did experience some slight chunking and uneven wear, but I punished these tires for 4 days of the French Quarter Classic. I ran two tanks of gas through the car on the track day, in hot weather, driving very very hard, had a very high speed spin, and gave the car to Eric VDP to do donuts and burnouts on Burbon Street for the Sunday parade. If I had a set of hoosiers on this car they would have been toast after the one spin alone. As for the uneven wear and chunking, I did not pay much attention to tire pressures, so it was probably my fault.

    My experience with these type of competition DOT tires is that if you are gong to punish them on the track you need to watch pressures. But all in all even with hard use, they held up very very well.
     
  11. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    3,637
    Los Altos Hills, CA
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    Gary B.
    I'd love to see some impressions of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and the Toyo RA-1, two other tires very similar to the Corsa. The PSC is delivered on the M3 CSL, and I know there are a number of Porsche drivers using the Toyo as a dual purpose street and track tire.
     
  12. John B

    John B Formula 3

    May 27, 2003
    1,516
    NJ
    Jon,

    No offense taken. fortunately I have video shot by a passenger who was riding in the car, which I'm sure makes it even more unbelievable as it adds an additional 200 pound penalty. The 1:01 time was taken by my son on his digital watch and I have not actually checked the times on the video. I will try to post a couple laps If I can figure out how. Conditions were about as good as it gets though, 50 degrees and sunny. In my experience that can be quite a bit faster than 85 degrees. Times on that track, like many, vary a lot with track temperatures. I have seen times vary by a couple seconds just from morning to afternoon sessions as track and ambient temps increase.

    There was a 355 Challenge car there. Earlier in the day we were running pretty much neck and neck. By the end of the day when I was really moving I was able to get by him and he couldn't catch me.

    Anyways, I'll review the tape with a stopwatch and let you know. It's pretty cool footage as it's hand held and bumpy which adds to the impression of speed. Often in-car footage looks slow. It also has great sound. My car has a Tubi exhaust and sounds nice.

    Gary,

    The Challenge wheels are 8" x 18" front and 10.5" x 18" rear. I think those are a little wider than stock but I forget the exact stock specs.
    30f/29r were cold pressures. They built up to 39 hot.
     
  13. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    3,637
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    Gary B.
    Thanks, John, I believe that is 1/2" wider than stock in both cases.

    Gary
     
  14. docapl

    docapl Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 26, 2002
    236
    SF Bay Area
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    Anthony
    The early CS cars that I saw had tires that read "Pirelli Corsa" but the tread pattern was significantly different from the Corsa R compound tire that is sold by Pirelli through Tire Rack etc. The version of the Stradale had vertical grooves around the tire and did not say R-compound anywhere that I could see. Perhaps this is why it is recommended as a street tire ? I have not seen an actual production/customer Stradale, so I dont know if the tires are different from what I saw.
     
  15. docapl

    docapl Karting
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    Apr 26, 2002
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    Anthony
    This is the tire on the Challenge Stradale
     
  16. docapl

    docapl Karting
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    Apr 26, 2002
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    Anthony
    This is the R-Compound Pirelli Corsa which is not on the Stradale:
     
  17. India Whiskey Charlie

    India Whiskey Charlie Formula Junior

    May 24, 2001
    554
    Way Out West
    Tony,

    The Stradale Corsa's are indeed different from the R-compound we have know for quite some time. They are called the P-Zero Corsa System and include a Direzionale and an Asimmetrico tread just like those used on the Porsche GT3-RS.
     
  18. mw575

    mw575 F1 Rookie

    May 30, 2001
    2,924
    Lake Oswego,Or
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    Martin J Weiner,M.D.
    Drove Lime Rock in the early 80's with my AM Vantage-I know there is a big difference between doing 1:01 or 1:02 but in either case those are great times!
    Never got close to that but loved that track.
     
  19. docapl

    docapl Karting
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    Apr 26, 2002
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    Anthony
    Thanks Viken,

    Do you know when we may get the new P Corsa System tires in 18 inch sizes ? I think these would be perfect for street and a little track time.

    Here is a better view:
     
  20. John B

    John B Formula 3

    May 27, 2003
    1,516
    NJ
    #20 John B, Nov 11, 2003
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,821
    socal
    Be careful guys on your warmup to hot pressures and hard driving. I blew a bead before full hot temp under hard driving. I was runnning kumho victoracers on a slow 348 lighter than challenge spec with challlenge exhaust spec. Porsche guys tell me that this happens to tail heavy cars and that the MPSC tire was designed to also avoid this. However, the MPSC does not come in all sizes as it was designed for Porsche sizes. The Hoosier s03's have notes on one tire size that also has been known to blow and they recommend 40psi hot I think...it on their site. Pirelli being or course Italian will probably let you find this out for yourself then tell you it has only happened to you. Interestingly the 2004 hoosier claims to be about a second faster than last years. Hoosier is the standard that everyone comapres to...you might as well use hoosiers. I have run DOT R compound tires on the street...what a waste. In fact I think driving a Ferrari on the street is a waste bit that is just me. If you have to drive on the street at sub 80mph stick to full street tires. Put the R's on at the track and have fun! You will never know what you are missing in the Ferrari experiance until you put the car on the track.
     
  22. F355Bob

    F355Bob Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    What sizes are you running and on what wheels?
     
  23. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    5,029
    Northeast
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    Tim
    I hate to burst your bubble, but i'm pretty certain that your 1:01 was run on the course WITHOUT the chicane on the hill after no name straight, which IS there for grand am races. Even so, 1:01 is a good time. Last spring, a fellow Fchatter took me for some 0:59 laps in his F355 Challenge.
     
  24. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
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    Nov 6, 2002
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    John William H.
    That would be pretty funny if the president of Pirelli and the VP of marketing got this wrong. Interesting.

    Are you certain that the US stradales imported today are not using the r compound CORSA?
     
  25. Boxer12

    Boxer12 Formula 3

    Jun 1, 2003
    1,672
    Nobody asked for it, but here is my tire report: I have 18" P-Zero Asimmetrico (FR 235x40, RR 285x30's) tires, and just had the pleasure of a 6 hour trip in wet 50's weather on varied road conditions in southern IN. I had no trouble going 75-80 mph in rain, and 60-70 on 40 mph turn zones. I have also had them in absolute torrential rain...the downpour after the F1 qualifying this year. I have about 6000 mi on them. They are excellent in the rain, and have very good grip. They take some warmup. They are very good road tires, but the occasional 1" concrete step at construction zones are killers (like hitting a big pothole) if going too fast. I haven't had them on the track as I assume they would not hold up too well in racing conditions. :)
     

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