Published May 2013
For a long time it has been Metzeler and Pirelli that have ruled the ‘barely road legal’ track tyre roost with the Racetec and Diablo Supercorsa respectively, the two nearly identical tyres offering arguably the best outright performance for road legal track rubber.
Following close behind we have Michelin’s Power Ones, and in recent times Bridgestone have joined the party with their very well received R10, but there’s always room for more competition.
Enter, Continental’s Conti Race Attack Comp.
Continental were very keen to compete in this end of the tyre market, so much so that they actually poached some of the team behind the Metzeler Racetec, and with that team came all the design knowledge that made the Racetec what it is today.
Because Continental wanted to go head to head with Metzeler, and they have the team behind the Racetec at their disposal, it’s no surprise that the Conti Race Attack shares the exact same profile as their German rival company’s tyre, as well as a similar compound structure.
The Conti Race Attack comes in three compounds for the front (soft, medium and endurance) and two compounds for the rear (medium and endurance). The soft and medium compounds are much like the Racetec’s K1 and K2, while the edurance compound has been likened to a K2.5, being a little harder than the K2, but not quite as hard as the K3 road biased tyre.
The Conti Race Attack Comp tyres have been out for a little while now and have been used by riders on the club racing scene with many good words coming as a result. I was eager then to give them a try given that they are a fair bit cheaper (at the time of writing) than the Metzeler Racetecs I have been using for a while now. With that, it was off for a day at Brands Hatch to give this fresh rubber a go.
Having previously run K1 (front) and K2 (rear) Racetecs, I was keen to give the harder endurance compound (front and rear) a go to see if they would give me a few more track miles, and as a 600 rider with a throttle hand that’s on the gentle side I am confident they can give me those miles.
Turning up to a cold, breezy and damp Brands Hatch I was happy that I had picked the endurance compounds knowing that they wouldn’t need as much heat to offer good grip.
As I tip toed out onto a still drying track on fresh rubber, I was careful not to go too hard too soon. Given that the track was still drying I took the session purely as a “scrubbing up” session, but even so I didn’t feel at any point that there was any serious lack of grip.
By the second session the track was dry and I was able to press on and start to test the tyres a little more, though I was still cautious in the early laps as I felt how well and how quickly the grip from the tyres became available.
Around Brands it felt as if the Conti Race Attacks took a little while longer to get up to temperature. I’d say it was probably an extra lap before I felt the grip was fully there. However, I do feel that a lot of that could well be attributed to the cold and breezy weather.
Once the tyres came up to temperature though I felt I could push just as hard around Brands Hatch as I ever have on Racetecs, and I actually went quicker in that second session than I ever have around the Kent circuit – the tyres showing no signs of budging under hard acceleration, and feeling equally as stable on the brakes during my time on track.
This shows that for a mid-pack fast group rider these tyres will perform to the same level as the ever popular tyre from Metzeler.
The rest of the day was much of the same. Once I had taken the extra time to heat the tyres, they offered all the grip I needed to get round the track at the pace I wanted to go, all with zero fuss.
Being that they share the exact same profile as the Racetec, it was unsurprising to find that they handled just the same as the Metzeler tyre. Turn in was quick and precise, just as you would expect from track focused rubber.
This is where the Conti Race Attacks really shone for me. I had always had good wear rates with the Racetecs, and for the most part the wear patterns were good too.
However, around Brands Hatch the right side does take a bit of a pounding, particularly out of Clearways (the final turn that leads onto the start/finish straight) where you are on the side of the tyre applying hard power for quite some time. With the Racetecs I had to keep an eye on the tyre and adjust the pressures throughout the day to minimise any unsavoury wear.
With the Conti Race Attacks I set the pressures to 31psi at the front and 27psi at the back, and while I did keep an eye on the tyres, I needn’t have bothered because the wear was perfect all day. The picture shows the state of the tyre at the end of the day.
Overall I’m very impressed with this tyre. They give me the performance and grip I need to enjoy track days at my pace, they wear superbly, and they cost less than the leading tyre in this class. Time will tell how many miles they’ll see me through, but early reports show they’re lasting very well.
If you’re after a cheaper tyre that’ll perform as well as the best of them at track day level, or you just fancy a change I would highly recommend the Continental Conti Race Attacks.