After reading the four wheel posts I have been rethinking my upcoming wheel tire decisions. I was planning on a slight increase in wheel width (7 to 8 inch) and accompanying that with an increased tire width (215/45 to 245/40). Originally thinking that the increase in width would increase my overall grip characteristics. Applying the information from the links I wont have any performance advantage with the increased width, but only improved tire life (more material in contact and less heat generated).
Thinking about contact patch not affecting grip seems like a strange concept. Why do racers adjust tire pressure if contact patch has no effect? a lower pressure will increase tire pressure while a higher pressure will decrease contact patch. With friction(grip) not being affecting by contact patch, you should be able to run any pressure and have identical characteristics.
I have to be missing something to tie it all together. But, I cant think of anything from past schooling to add anything to it.