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2013 Bridgestone Racing Academy

Ever find yourself cruising along the highway and notice you’re sitting exactly in the middle of the lane? In other words, your car finds itself a little too far over to the right in the lane. Ever think this is the race car driver in you imagining yourself in an open-wheel, single-seater race car barrelling down the back straight of a track?

I got a taste of the real deal. I got to experience what it feels like to have my ass mere inches off the ground, sitting square in the middle of four poking wheels with an elongated, protruding nose sticking out ahead. The experience is unlike anything else.

Before I go on about my days perfecting apex clipping, late braking, and flat-out acceleration, allow me to say a few words about the reason why I got to do this.

Bridgestone is one of if not the largest supplier of tires in the world. It offers all types of tires from those looking for ultimate performance on the track (RE-11A) to the most unimaginably large tires used by the mining industry. They are also a huge OEM tire supplier, which gives them a fair amount of street cred.

The scope or spectrum of the rubber they produce makes them a foremost expert on the subject and one of their favourite activities is going fast and thankfully, they make great tires for this exact purpose.

Mathieu St-Pierre

The tires
The Bridgestone RE-11A is the selected tire of choice that equips our $70,000+ Van Diemen race cars. The catch phrase for them is: “Faster on the track, dependable on the street.”

Although these tires have an identical tread pattern to the RE-11s, the RE-11As now uses a grippier compound that enables improvements to wet and dry cornering and helps improve dry lap times in the process. These improvements come at no significant cost increase.

This tire is designed for high-performance driving and is actually “geared” towards sport-compact import cars. It is available in V and W speed ratings and in 15”-18" sizes.

The Stealth Blocks, or tread blocks, both increase the tread’s stiffness as well as offer up great water evacuation. As it was nearly 40 degrees Celsius and sunny trackside, I did not experience this aspect of the RE-11As. Other features include large outer tread blocks and an asymmetrical construction all in the name of improving traction and working on going quickly.

Mathieu St-Pierre