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After out test of three different types of LeCont slick tires, with diverse IRHD hardness degrees, we have decided to long test them. We actually decided for the mid performing tires, the LH03, so to have the average performance of the LeCont range we had tested (on www.lecont.com you can find the complete offer of tires by LeCont). We believe in fact that tires, especially for high performing but still leisure categories, like Rok, must give good performance, but most of all perform well and constantly for many laps. It is not sufficient to have high performance but quite fast decline, as we have somewhat experienced on Bridgestone tires.
Start of test
The LH03 LeCont tires have 54 IRHD hardness degrees. We had already used the set of tires on our last track testing, running 20 laps with quite a constant behaviour. Best lap set at 61.09 sec with very poor track conditions and really no rubber and grip on the asphalt. Tire tread showing very little wear and just very small signs of tear of the rubber.
We reached the same Viterbo international track, three karts already running maybe giving the track a little more grip. Asphalt temperature measured equal to 52°C, extremely hot! We started our test with exactly the same kart and setup as last month. Tire pressure set at 8.5 psi, except for the rear left tire that was the one working the most along curves as the track runs clockwise, which was set at 8.0 psi.
First session: 20+20 laps
First session was ran for 20 laps with best performance at 60.17 sec at lap 9. So such lap time was already 0.83 sec faster then previous month testing, showing the track was nearly a second faster. All other laps more or less were ran at very similar times. Only difference was made in some laps when pushing extremely hard. In some occasions I made some small mistakes and on such track with low grip times went up immediately of 3-4 tenths of a second. After the first 20 laps tire surfaces looked pretty good, with just some tearing of the tread surface on rear left tire. The tread worn especially, as it often happens, in the internal part. Front tires also showed some very limited tear on the internal part of the tread, but wear was very even and limited. Considering low track grip and very high temperature of the asphalt, finally behaviour of the tires seemed to be excellent.
Second session: 40 + 20 laps
We decided to go on with a second session. Another 20 laps to bring the long run to 60 laps total, considering the 20 laps already ran the first test one month prior to this test. The performance of the tires was incredibly good. Grip was immediately available and already the first lap gave good performance, maybe also thanks to the high asphalt temperature. This same aspect was also the reason for having the best lap performance always in the first 10 laps. This time best lap performance was set on lap 6 at 59.97 sec. Again a stop to check the tires. The look of the tread was incredibly good, with surface showing some grains indicating grip was sufficient, even if not at best level, and there was no real tearing or wear on the tires. The rubber was worn evenly on both front and rear tires, with just some tearing on the internal part of all four tires. This is something acceptable and normal on any kart tire.
Third session: 60 + 20 laps
We were not happy yet and wanted to find the limit of the tires. They had to stop giving constant performance and loose some strength along the way. We set up the last session of the day. Another 20 laps just before the track closed at 18:00 o’clock. Well, mission failed! We ran another 5 laps and best lap time was 59.76 sec! Laps went on, no more fast laps as lap 5, but always around 60 sec. Tire wear seemed to be constant and similar to previous session. Finally LeCont LH03 tires seem to be a very good choice for any high performance leisure category. Of course LeCont in its range has more tires for even best lap performance. LH01 we tried one month ago surely gave nearly one second of lap time improvement on Viterbo track. Still the LH01 seemed to suffer a little more wear after the first 20 laps and maybe could be used for other categories. What is sure is that running 80 laps with a set of tires and still be able to obtain best lap performance at lap 65, is an extremely good result. It would mean having the possibility to do testing on Saturdays, qualifying and race with the same set of tires. This is what we can call great saving of money and great fun and possibility for more and more people to get close to karting in an easy and economical way.