The first run of a competition tire's life is the most important. If we look at tire construction from a microscopic level the tire is made up of many weak and strong molecular bonds. During any run a tire will stretch and flex which breaks the weaker bonds and generates heat. However, if you take your new tires that have never been driven on to the track and push them too hard and too long, you'll also break some of those stronger bonds. Breaking down these stronger bonds compromises the tire's ultimate grip.
In order to get the most life and best traction from your competition tires it's recommended to heat cycle them before competitive use. Tire Rack uses a heat cycling process which puts an inflated tire between rollers and applies pressure while the tire is brought up to speed. The natural deflection of the tire will build up heat within the tire's normal operating range. There's no artificial heat needed. The roller process allows the most even heat distribution across the entire tread of the tire which gives a more precise heat cycle than can be attained on the track.
Once the proper temperature is confirmed with a pyrometer, the tire is stamped to designate it's been "Tire Rack Heat Cycled." It's recommended that the tire not be driven on for 24-48 hours after heat cycling so the bonds broken during the process can reform in a more uniformed and stronger orientation. Hoosier racing tires, as well as competition tires from Yokohama and Kumho should be heat cycled before they're used in competition.
Tire Rack's heat cycling service can be added to your order for $15 per tire. Take a look at our competition tires to see how Tire Rack can help you have a more successful racing season.