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Calder Park Test Day :: Bridgestone Adrenalin POTENZA RE003

Gripshiftslide was lucky enough to score a special invite to a private test day for one of Bridgestone’s latest products. Other guests to be invited to the event included Full Boost, DownShift, Justin Fox, ClubItr and many more.

Originally scheduled to be held at Norwell Racetrack in Queensland the event was moved to Calder Park because of a large tropical cyclone! Good thing it was moved because on the day we were expected to be on track the entire Norwell Racetrack got flooded.

I could not wait to get behind the wheel of the new WRX! Of the two cars we were using to test Bridgestone’s new tyre the WRX was the one I was more keen to test with.

The reason we were all summoned was to test the brand new Bridgestone Adrenalin POTENZA RE003. The third in a series of great tyres the RE003 combines all the greatest aspects of the tyres that came before it.

With some time to kill before briefing I took the time to take a closer look at the all new WRX. This particular demo car was wearing its big brothers shoes! That’s right some STI wheels! The WRX continued to stare at me and practically begged me to drive it!

At briefing we were invited to learn more about the tyre we would be testing on the day. This included a presentation on the benefits of this awesome new tyre such as improved road contact pressure over the preceding RE002 model. Check out more features HERE.

The boys quickly checked out the tyres before hitting the first track test. The RE003 has a cool lightning bolt pattern down the right side of the tyre. The fancy name for this is the connection block and it helps to increase rigidity and transfer power in dry conditions.

Starting on the back straight we had the challenge of negating a slalom at 3 different speeds in two VW Golf GTIs. One car was running the new POTENZA Adrenalin RE003 tyres and the other Golf was running an expensive competitor tyre.

We started the slalom at 50kph on the competitors tyre. This test was easy and the tyre preformed relatively well. It was when we took the tyre over 65kph that things began to change! Having to be more aggressive with the wheel at a faster speed the tyres had to work a whole lot harder. When we raised the speed again, now at 75kph, the competitor tyre really started to scream in pain and many cones were knocked down!

Then we jumped in the other Golf GTI equipped with the Bridgestone POTENZA Adrenalin RE003 tyres. The first thing I noticed about this tyre was as soon as I gave the car the beans it bit into the road and launched the car faster than the competitor tyre. The control was much greater especially when you took the tyre to its limit.

Next we tested the tyres in the wet! Finally it was time to drive the new WRX. I was expecting a crazy rush of acceleration as I put my foot to the floor however there was nothing. It was just a very calm launch lacking excitement. Yet again we started the exercise with a car running the competitors tyre. Taking it through its paces I noticed a fair bit of understeer when turning in heavy.

It was time to swap cars and after having one experience with the Bridgestone tyre already I was beginning to trust in the tyre. Still I was unsure on how it would translate in the wet? I jumped in the car anticipating some understeer but in actual fact the tyre cut in so well I ended up oversteering! It was almost like I had too much control.

The tests were not over! Bridgestone wanted to make sure we put their new tyre through its paces! This was the second last test and it involved racing down the hill into a tighter slalom in the WRX.

Knowing that the WRX felt slow in comparison to the Golf GTI I started to mess with its many sport driving modes. Finally I found a mode that pushed the tyre harder and now that I had confidence in the tyre I was really beginning to give it hell! From lock to lock I accelerated as hard as the traction control would let me and still the tyre was predictable and totally in control.

It wasn’t only me who was impressed! Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the tyres performance. The tyre really preformed well on extreme direction change. The competitor tyre would tend to lose speed yet the RE003 had the ability to grip when others would just fade.

In both FWD and AWD the tyre was outstanding! I did however come out of these tests scratching my head at the fact that the GTI Golf was out performing the new WRX. You heard right! The Golf was fun and the DSG was super fast. The WRX on the other hand was sloppy; the suspension was too soft which in turn created body roll. Its off the line performance was sluggish and it only really felt good over 70kph.

The last test was designed to show us a real-time comparison between the Bridgestone POTENZA Adrenalin RE003 and a equivalent competitor tyre. We took part in two hot laps with one on each tyre chasing each other at the same speed.

This test really showed how at the same speed the competitors tyre would cause the car to understeer while the Bridgestone RE003 would grip and gain on the car in front.

All in all this tyre is the perfect sport tyre and is great for spirited driving or the occasional track day. Even after a host of Australia’s best car bloggers tortured these tyres for a full day there was no visible wear or tyre delamination on the RE003. I would not hesitate to recommend this tyre! Want to know more? Register your interest for the new POTENZA Adrenalin RE003 HERE and receive information as it becomes available!
Thanks for reading,

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The drift obsession runs deep! Watch out I may even try to battle you on Assetto.

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