Breaking in tyres

Breaking in new tyres is an effective procedure for increasing the competitive life of a tyre, although its initial benefits are not always noticeable. The break-in procedure can be summarised in two phases: the initial run, and the 'cure' time.

The Initial Run

The purpose of the initial run is to gradually increase the temperature of the tyre to the point that the car is being run at optimal race temperature. This process should be undertaken over a period of 10-15 minutes, or over 3-5 laps (depending on track length). Ideally, each lap should be 2-5 seconds faster than the previous lap, while the final lap is the fastest possible. Wear-inducing driving, such as late breaking, wheel spin, or sliding should be avoided. During the initial run, tyre pressure should be set to between 3 and 5 psi higher than normal.

The Cure Time

Following the initial run, the tyres should be left to cool down, or 'cure'. Preferably, tyres should be left for a minimum of 24 hours before being used again. The curing process can be stretched for as long as a week with continued benefits to a tyre's competitive life. For best results, tyres should be either removed, or the vehicle should be jacked up. The potential benefits to be gained from breaking in tyres are large, and can save time and money by reducing the frequency of tyre changes.