Semi-slick is the name given to semi-racing tires with a very specific tread pattern. Due to the minimal tread cut, this tire has almost racing characteristics, but unlike a racing slick tire, it can be legally used in normal traffic.
With the increasing popularity of weekend circuit racing and the greater availability of sports cars, the demand for tyres suitable for such a semi-racing car has also increased. However, there is a small problem. Regular tires cannot withstand the rigorous treatment on a racing circuit (even those labeled SPORT). They usually overheat and lack sufficient grip. On the other hand, racing slick tires are suitable for the circuit, but they are not approved for use on regular roads. So how to deal with, for example, a trip to the race track?
Tire manufacturers have come up with a solution. The development of asymmetrical tires has enabled the creation of so-called semi-slick tires that combine the characteristics of regular tires and slick tires. In terms of properties, it is, of course, a compromise solution, but it is fully satisfactory, especially for hobby racing and from the perspective of road traffic laws.
Advantages of semi-slick tires:
- Excellent driving performance on the racing track
- Hard sidewalls better resist punctures
- Legally semi-racing tread pattern
- Distinctive sporty appearance
Disadvantages of semi-slick tires:
- Less resistance to aquaplaning
- Higher purchase cost
Use of semi-slick tires:
The advantage of semi-slick tires is that the driver can use the same set of tires for the journey to the racing circuit and for their own racing on the track. Thanks to semi-slick tires, the driver can legally drive to the racing circuit on their own, without changing the vehicle’s tires, and can start driving immediately. On the circuit, due to the excellent performance of semi-slick tires, the driver can enjoy stable driving even under high tire load. Semi-slick tires have significantly better lateral guidance than what the driver is accustomed to with regular tires. With a bit of common sense, the semi-slick tires will last for another racing weekend 🙂
If it rains on the way to the circuit, it is necessary to be cautious of higher risk of aquaplaning. In short, you get something for something.