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Burnout competitions are bombastic affairs with barking engines, squealing tires, and ample amounts of tire smoke. It is a burnout competition, after all. But the tire smoke does hide a lot of the action from spectators, quickly engulfing the tarmac. However, a new video from an infrared camera mounted on a drone provides a new perspective, giving a peek behind the tire smoke to show off just how much heat a car makes during a burnout.

Bold strips of rubber are clearly visible before the first car even starts its burnout, which only adds to the white squiggles on the purple-tinged tarmac. The infrared video also shows stuff not visible in the regular video, like the hot chunks of rubber exploding from the rear tires, shooting fragments toward spectators. Even some of the smoke is visible through the infrared camera.

The video also shows a truck taking to the pavement, though it’s from a lower perspective, which shows us even more of the action. This angle better shows the rubber that’s sticking to the tarmac being white-hot before cooling to an incandescent orange. You can also see how much hotter the rear tires are compared to the fronts, which look like cold black donuts by comparison, though the front brakes are hot. The video ends with the truck’s rear tires giving way to the extreme heat with the passenger side tire falling off the rim. Heat does expand things.

The infrared perspective is a neat reminder of just how limited our vision really is. There’s a world of color beyond the visible light spectrum, which we take for granted every day, that makes burnout competitions far more fascinating to watch. Seeing heat generated and transferred in real-time feels like a form of wizardry. We’d like to see a closer video, which would provide even more detail and color.

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