Why Are Racing Car Tires So Smooth When They Need All the Traction They Can Get?

That’s precisely why they’re smooth. Regular tires waste a lot of their potential road-grabbing surface by having grooves, which act like gullies to channel out rain and mud.

But racing cars usually compete in good weather, so the rain-and-mud grooves aren’t necessary. They’re just wasted space that can better be used to add more road-grabbing rubber for better handling in turns and better braking response.

To get even more road-grabbing surface, the tires are made much wider than those on your family chariot. And they’re made of a softer rubber that wears off like crazy onto the track.

You think you don’t get good tire mileage? Why do you think they’re always stopping to change tires?

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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