You’ve seen clips of dragsters doing burnouts before a race right? They do it to increase their tire temperatures, which softens the rubber and increases the tire’s grip performance. It’s not just dragsters doing this, all types of cars, even this Nissan Maxima going at it with a Porsche 911, needs to warm up their tires.
Have you ever wondered how fast tires actually warm up during a burnout event? Engineering Explained has gone through the trouble of using his thermal imaging camera to document the change in tire temperature. He used his Honda S2000 to see just how fast the 240 naturally aspirated horsepower engine can roast the rear wheels.
It turns out that tires warm up quite fast, within two seconds the surface temperature of the inside of the tires reached a blistering 160°C (320°F). Within five seconds the entire road gripping surface of the tires reached greater than 160°C. It’s also interesting to note in this example that the difference of tire pressures has no real bearing in the change in temperature. What has a more significant impact is the difference in wheel alignment, which would help explain why your tires would wear unevenly if your alignment is different than factory specifications.
(Source: Engineering Explained)