South Pacific Tyres, Goodyear Dunlop’s Australian and New Zealand operation, also received a second accolade as the Eagle F1 GS-D3 was joined by the Dunlop Sport Maxx as the best tyre for small to medium cars.
In 2006 the tests were conducted on 17-inch tyres only but this year the magazine editors created two classes one for 245/45R18 tyres, which were mounted on a 6-litre V8 Holden Commodore SS, and the other for 205/55R16 on a turbo diesel VW Golf. Six different brands of tyre, including those fitted as OE, were tested by professional rally and race drivers. The tests comprised slalom, cornering, braking and hot laps on wet and dry roads.
In the 18-inch tyre category the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3s beat the Bridgestone Potenza overall, scoring particularly highly in the wet braking and the wet hot lap. For the 16-inch tyre class, the Dunlop Sport Maxx fitted to the Golf performed particularly well, beating the Pirelli Zero Nero OE tyre thanks to its performance in the dry braking and wet hot lap disciplines.
“Tyre design and construction involves trade-offs in different performance factors. For example, handling, cornering and braking in the wet or the dry can all be altered by the design and construction of the tyre, the tread pattern and the rubber compounds used,” said South Pacific Tyres New Zealand’s general manager of sales and marketing Frank Hughes.
“These tests show that the Eagle F1 in the large size and the Dunlop Sport Maxx in the smaller size offer the best package for the average driver in a wide range of conditions.
“We were especially pleased with the critical wet braking performance which was over three percent better for the Eagle F1 GS-D3 than the Bridgestone Potenza which is the original equipment fitment on the Commodore.
“And The Eagle F1 is a massive seven percent better than the worst tyre in the class. At the point when the Goodyear tyre had stopped the car, when fitted with the worst tyre, it would still be travelling and potentially crashing at 16 km/h,” he added.