Tuesday was a big day for me, working my normal 9-5 then going straight to the airport to catch a plane down to Melbourne to test out the new Bridgestone Potenza RE003 street tyre!


I flew into Melbourne at 11:30pm to then struggle to find a cabbie who would take me from the airport as my accommodation was only a 5-10 minute drive away. Eventually, I made it to the hotel and had to wake up the one and only Matthew Everingham to let me in and crash with him for the night!

7am the next morning we were up to go meet the rest of the crew from Zen Garage, Speed Nation and Motor Culture. We had breakfast and jumped into the rental cars and we were off to Calder Park Raceway.

We were warmly welcomed by the Bridgestone crew who quickly introduced us to the new tyre and gave us a run down with what was happening during the day. We were given four Subaru WRXs and two VW Golf GTIs to test out on the day with three of the cars having different competitor tyres on them and the other three with the Bridgestones.


We were separated into three different groups and sent to different courses. We had a dry slalom course, wet slalom course and a simulated emergency lane change course. My group started with the dry slalom course first. This was pretty easy to start off with. We all individually got in the WRX with one of the three competitor tyres and gave these cars hell. I got in and straight away did not like the tyre. You could hear the road noise when giving them some curry as well as feeling the side wall flexing under tight cornering.


Once we did two laps in the first car, we immediately jumped in the next car which was exactly the same as the first except this car was running the Bridgestone. After planting my foot and hitting the first corner, I immediately realized the difference. The RE003 handled the tight cornering exceptionally well with very little road noise. the car felt a lot more planted than the first tyre.

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I moved on to the emergency lane change which was my favourite course of the day. We got to quickly accelerate towards the course and then quickly change into one lane then back into the other. Its sounds simple but at 70-80km/h in a car that I wasn’t used to or a tyre that I was unsure how would perform under these emergency maneuvers, it was a little more intense than you would think. I got into the first competitor car and hit the course. Even at about 60km/h, these tyres did not cope well under the swift maneuvers. The back of the car would kick out and not grip properly causing the car to slide around which is definitely not what you want.


Again, I immediately jumped into the Bridgestone car and attempted the same course at the same speed and found that the car was able to handle the course exceptionally well. I decided to take my own test and went a little quicker and steered harder than was recommended to make it feel more like a “real life” situation. The Bridgestones did slip a little at 95km/h but was still easier to control and handle than the competitor.


We hit the wet skid pan for the last course of the day. This was the same as the dry slalom, but just in wet conditions. We attempted this course at 50km/h on the competitor tyre. To be completely honest with you, I was pretty impressed with the handling of this tyre.


I jumped into the Bridgestone car and attempted the course at the same speed. The Bridgestone performed just as well as the competitor. As the conditions were a little bit more slippery and we were near a concrete wall, I wasn’t allowed to go any faster. I told one of the driver trainers how I couldn’t notice a difference in between the two tyres so he told me to jump in with him and he would do the course at a faster speed. He hit the gas and at about 70km/h, straight away I knew the competitor tyre was rubbish. It immediately slipped and slid across the track taking out cones and even spinning us out of control. We put the Bridgestone to the test and found that it did slide a little but nowhere near as bad and was easily able to be controlled.


I was quite impressed to see a “sports street tyre” be able to handle so well in dry and wet weather conditions.


Unfortunately, we were told a few days before that we were able to have a few laps in the cars to see how they handled doing some “track” work but that got denied that once we got there. I was a little disappointed at this because I really wanted to test this tyre to its limits.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Bridgestone Potenza RE003 tyre. It surely outperforms its older brother, the RE002. Great handling in all conditions while keeping road noise down. If you’re looking for a performance tyre to daily and also use for a bit of spirited driving, this is your tyre. I am honestly thinking about getting a set for my MPS. If you guys are interested in finding out more information on the RE003, check them out on FACEBOOK and register your interest!


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