IRL: Firestone Tire Test in the West notes

Firehawks Provide Foundation For Successful Test in the West In their first public appearances of the 2002 season, Indy Racing League teams and drivers made it obvious there's going to be an abundance of great competition this year - due in no...

Firehawks Provide Foundation For Successful Test in the West

In their first public appearances of the 2002 season, Indy Racing League teams and drivers made it obvious there's going to be an abundance of great competition this year - due in no small part to the impressive performance of Firestone Firehawk race tires.

At California Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, drivers amassed a total of 9,261 miles on their Firestone tires, with the Firehawk racing radials performing flawlessly lap after lap during the IRL's "Test in the West."

"We were very pleased with the way our tires worked on the superspeedway at Fontana and on the one-mile oval at PIR," said Joe Barbieri, Firestone Racing Project Supervisor. "The teams came here to test different set-ups and evaluate results, so sessions like these can be very demanding on tires. They want to wring as much performance out of their machines as possible, so they push the envelope pretty hard in these workouts, seeing what works and what doesn't. Because the Firehawks are so consistent from set to set and from lap to lap, the teams were able to gather some really good information. We're certainly pleased to end a very aggressive testing session with so much positive feedback from teams and drivers about how well the tires worked, and how helpful the Firestone engineers were in providing information and support."

Helio Castroneves, the 2001 Indianapolis 500 race winner, said the Firestone tires have "lots and lots of grip right from the start, allowing you to fix every problem you have with understeer and oversteer; you're just stuck to the ground."

Defending IRL Champion Sam Hornish Jr. said he was running faster times at the Phoenix sessions than last year, and said new compounds in his Firehawks were due credit for the improved performance.

"We're really happy with the Firestones," Hornish said. "We've been able to run more consistently and we're looking forward to seeing how much faster we can go when we come back here to race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Sam Hornish Jr.