How to improve on perfection?

While track day tyres are sometimes undrivable in the wet, they provide excellent grip when all is well and dry. It’s inescapable that the more tread blocks you take away, the more hydroplaning you’ll get. In his latest video, Jonathan Benson of Tyre Reviews takes a detailed look at the differences between the Michelin Cup 2 and Cup 2 R tyres fitted to a Porsche GT3 RS.

The French tyremaker granted Benson, use of its testing facility in Ladoux, France. Located just north of its offices in Clermont-Ferrand, the location features 20 proving circuits and 45 kilometres (28 miles) of tarmac to play on. Like many tyre testing locations around the world, the tarmac can be soaked at a moment’s notice to have a look at wet weather driving characteristics.

As such, wet handling was looked at first on the Cup 2 tyre. Of course, you could say it’s a bit silly, but hitting a sudden storm while driving home from a track day on these tyres is a real possibility. The biggest difference between the two is the Cup 2 R’s further lack of tread and depth making it very difficult to manage in the rain. 

While it may not handle the wet weather so well, the Cup 2 R was designed with Porsche to propel the GT3 RS to the fastest possible time around the Nurburgring; this engineering prowess shows with dry weather performance. What the higher-spec tyre lacks in degradation it makes up for with outright speed. Although the Cup 2 provided excellent results, Jonathan Benson of Tyre Reviews said the Cup 2 R’s braking performance and front-end grip were vastly superior.

While both of these tyres are immensely capable and fast, they are made for two very different purposes: the Cup 2 R is great for outright speed, but its little brother is the better tyre if you daily-drive your track car.