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In Gran Turismo 5, each tire type comes in three different compounds (hard, medium, soft). Softer tires have better grip but wear down quicker. This seems to suggest that in some long races, harder tires are better.

However my personal experience is that the difference in durability is minimal, something like 10%. As an example, if you can go 30 laps on racing soft tires, you get 33 with racing hard. Soft tires mean better lap times, so hard tires should really do a lot better than that to be useful—it seems to me, at least.

Am I overlooking something? Are hard tires useful? (other than for drifting or for being cheaper)

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if your race is 32 rounds, it can save you a pitstop. – alexanderpas Dec 17 '11 at 21:27
@alexanderpas that's true. Is there any such race in A/B-spec or seasonals? – dancek Dec 17 '11 at 21:35
Yes. There are races as long as 24 hours ... for endurance races, tire wear would probably be a significant factor. – Dave DuPlantis Feb 21 '12 at 19:33
@DaveDuPlantis have you actually tried? Often you just get so much better laptimes with softs that it's still better even if you have to pit a little more. – dancek Feb 29 '12 at 9:04
Tyre strategies aren't what they used to be in earlier GT's. :( – XTL Mar 22 '12 at 6:48

The differences in a harder or softer tire compound include not only the maximum amount of grip available, and a theoretical maximum distance on each set that was identified by both you and Wonea, but most importantly compound affects how quickly the tire will heat up.

The speed in which the tire heats along with the track temperatures will make most of the decision regarding which tire compound to use. Typically for higher temperature tracks, if one chooses a soft compound tire, it will start to overheat too soon causing a reduction in traction and an increase in the number of pit stops required. In the opposite case, a hard compound tire on a cold track will have trouble reaching its optimal operating temperature range reducing the maximum grip available. As a general rule the driver's, or his crew's, goal is to use the softest compound the track conditions, the drivers driving style, and the length of the race will permit.

It will take some experimentation with varying track temperatures to see which compounds work best for you. As a good starting point, since you are playing GT5 and not killing your actual tires(man have I blown money on those), on the same track, with same temperatures, using each compound, monitor your tire temperature after 1-10 laps. Try to make some qualitative notes on handling characteristics, and if you can, speeds at corners. After that, try a different track temperature. Notice which tires are in the good operating temperature zones and on which laps.

After some experimentation, here is a site where we discuss tire dynamics at track events. Happy Racing!

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Is track temperature simulated in GT5? I haven't noticed, but you might be right. – dancek Feb 29 '12 at 9:05
I believe the track temperature is set based on the track location, ambient temperature, and weather type in GT5. I don't think they go so far as to simulate local hot spots in the track haha. – djdoerr Feb 29 '12 at 21:38

Tyre wear depends on many things, such as;

  • How you drive, passive or aggressive?
  • How hard do you drive?
  • What car are you driving?
  • The race length

Depending on those points determines whether to pick hard tyres. I would agree hard tyres should last longer, although patch 2.02 adjusted the tyre wear. Might be more fair, I'll need to test myself.

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OF COURSE HARD TIRES ARE USEFUL TOO. Soft tires hold the road so strong that you cant drift and it makes it hard to pass oppenets at bends. I personally choose hard tires because they are cheaper and more proffesional in my opinion (also more aggresive)

NOTE: You wont be able to drive with hard tires as you can drive with soft ones. Because single mistake in a bend or a crush will make you spin, before you use a hard tire, ı suggest to go to (quick,or fast game ı think) and practice. So you can understand how the vehicle reacts to your maneuvers at the bends with hard tires)

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Thanks for the answer! I did phrase the question as Are hard tires useful? (other than for drifting or for being cheaper). I didn't consider that drifting might be a useful technique for racing or passing. I'm not entirely sure I believe that, but it's a point to consider. – dancek Aug 22 '14 at 11:52

Every tire is a balance of characteristics. If you change one characteristic, such as traction, you're sure to get other changes along with it, for better or for worse. You will seasonal tires and specific season tires for winter, summer etc.Hard tires runs longer than soft tires but they have less grip.

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