"This is the sort of track where the BRZ could make life absolutely miserable for more powerful cars."
Although the BRZ's odometer only added 1381 miles in the last month, there were a few very intense miles in that mix. You see, it took about an hour for someone to find a track day after we remounted the stock summer tires. Of course we signed up.
Associate editor David Zenlea booked the track day and signed out the car before anyone else even realized that Waterford Hills Raceway was open for the year. Once we caught wind of his plans, we forced him to test out our 245/35 R18 Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position tires mounted on a set of 18x8 OZ Ultraleggera Bright Silver wheels. We ordered this wheel and tire package from the Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier, last summer when the BRZ arrived.
After a few days of street driving, Zenlea headed to the track to see how the bigger wheels and tires compared to our stock tires and the Dunlop Star Specs that we ran last year: "I've driven the car at Gingerman with both the stock tires and the Star Specs. These Potenzas provide a middle ground. They certainly have more traction than the stock HPs and stood up well to four twenty-minute sessions. But they don't stick like the Star Specs. That's probably not a bad thing for a beginner like me. The Star Specs were so good that I got the sense they compensated for my overdriving. The Potenzas, on the other hand, let me know when I got the line wrong. If it were my car, I'd probably have Star Specs mounted on the stock wheels during the summer."
As expected, the BRZ was perfectly matched to the track at Waterford: "It's a very tight, technical track that can be run almost entirely in third gear. This is the sort of track where, in the hands of a skilled driver, the BRZ could make life absolutely miserable for more powerful cars."
Back on the road, the staffers were split on the 18-inch Potenza package. Some would have the stock tires and wheels for street driving with an even more aggressive set of tires and lighter wheels for track days. Others just want to run Star Specs all summer for track and street use. Associate web editor Jake Holmes gives the OZ Ultraleggera wheels credit for "looking awesome" but he prefers the ride quality with 17-inch wheels. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio had nothing but praise for the new tires, calling them "completely planted, unperturbed, and not prone to sudden changes in grip at any speeds that a sane person should attempt on a public road. In other words, a lot of fun."
The bottom line is the 2013 Subaru BRZ is an absolute rock star on the track, no matter the tires. The chassis is good enough to make a tire upgrade worthwhile for drivers looking to turn faster laps, but stickier tires certainly aren't required to make track time enjoyable for a BRZ owner. But, just to make sure, we probably ought to take our BRZ to at least one more track day....