CHAMPCAR/CART: Firestone Cleveland pre-race fast facts

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts CART FedEx Championship Series Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland at Burke Lakefront Airport June 29-July 1, 2001 Race distance: 100 laps, 210.6 miles. Firestone tires supplied this weekend: approx. 750 dry (7 sets...

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts
CART FedEx Championship Series
Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland at Burke Lakefront Airport
June 29-July 1, 2001

Race distance: 100 laps, 210.6 miles.

Firestone tires supplied this weekend: approx. 750 dry (7 sets per car, 26 cars). approx. 450 rain (4 sets per car, 26 cars).

Past Firestone winners at Cleveland: Alex Zanardi (1997 and '98), Juan Montoya ('99), Roberto Moreno (2000).

Cleared for takeoff: Cleveland's unique set-up around Burke airport provides a recipe for some of the most hair-raising racing of the season, with its use of the wide runways offering plenty of room for overtaking but some of its narrow turns causing back-ups and even pile-ups. While almost always an exciting race, it is very demanding on drivers with the bumpy changes from asphalt to concrete as the Champ cars transition from one runway to the other. It affords an exceptional challenge for a tire manufacturer to develop a tire that delivers the necessary grip to keep the hurtling machines glued to the rough course while at the same time the durability to maintain high speeds lap after lap after lap. Judging by the results - four consecutive race victories and five straight poles at Cleveland - Firestone Racing has done its job.

Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director, on the tire selection for Cleveland:
"The Cleveland Grand Prix is a very special event for Firestone Racing. We consider it one of our home races since Firestone's highly skilled and talented race tire engineering group is based less than an hour away in Akron, and most of our race tires are produced there. Our company will show its solid support of the racing program by hosting well over 500 employees, associates and valued customers at the track this weekend. Those guests are usually treated to one of the most exciting races of the season, loaded with passing, critical pit work and, of course, superior tire performance from the Firestone Firehawks. We have brought a new compound/construction specification for this weekend to continue Firestone's history of providing the best tire to our teams. The new spec uses the same compound mix as last year's tires but a refined rear-tire construction that should improve driver control around the demanding circuit, particularly when putting the power down exiting the slower corners. While this weekend marks the debut of this tire specification, our testing and pre-race data lead us to believe the tires will perform up to the usual Firestone Racing standard of excellence and contribute to another electrifying race."

FIRESTONE PREDICTS:

In three of the past four years at Cleveland, the pole sitter has gone on to win the race. While it's a notable trend, Firestone Racing doesn't see it happening again this weekend.

-Firestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno , Alex Zanardi