Nankang CR-S – User Advice & Scrubbing In:

For most purposes, racing tyres will benefit from an appropriate ‘scrubbing in’ procedure. This provides the best combination of performance and longevity under race conditions.

There are several difficulties that arise when using racing tyres if they are not scrubbed in prior to use. The most common is “Cold Graining”, where the layer of the tread compound in contact with the track, fails in shear with the layer below. The result is a very visible low frequency, high amplitude rippling effect. This is more common with new tyres particularly when used in wet, damp or greasy conditions.

Nankang Motorsport recommends that a standard scrubbing in procedure be used whenever possible (conditions and regulations allowing). This consists of subjecting the tyres through one gentle heat cycle, gradually loading them up whilst avoiding drifting the car. This should take about three to four laps of a circuit where the lap time is in the region of 60 to 100 seconds. The last lap should only be about 80% race speed. If possible, scrub in at least one new set of tyres during free practice and put these aside for the race. In this way you will know that they have been balanced correctly, and have no slow punctures etc. Getting this done early is important as the qualifying session may become wet or be red flagged, which could force the use of new tyres in a race.

It should be noted that there is always going to be a slight performance peak from new tyres, but it will only be possible to take advantage of this if the car is balanced on its tyres. A correctly scrubbed in set of tyres will always give more consistent performance over its lifetime than a set that has been used hard from new, even if it hasn’t grained.