IRL: Gateway: Firestone qualifying report

Gil gets Gateway pole for Marlboro Team Penske. With few similarities between turns 1,2 and 3,4 other than turn left, turn left, Gateway International Raceway has properly been described as a "handling track," one that requires much from drivers...

Gil gets Gateway pole for Marlboro Team Penske.

With few similarities between turns 1,2 and 3,4 other than turn left, turn left, Gateway International Raceway has properly been described as a "handling track," one that requires much from drivers and their equipment. Gateway Indy 250 pole winner Gil de Ferran said the Firestone tire choice for the weekend - featuring the same compound/construction used at the July 20 IRL race in Nashville - was helpful in finding the set-up for this tremendously tricky track.

"Coming here with the same tire used in Nashville is certainly a big help," the Marlboro Team Penske driver said. "With this track, it can be difficult to get a car handling well. It takes a lot of work. But the Firestones are doing good."

Joe Barbieri, Firestone Racing Project Supervisor:

"There are speed tracks and there are handling tracks, and Gateway is definitely a handling track. We heard Sarah Fisher say she thinks this is more a road course than an oval - and that fairly well sums up how many drivers see this as a place where you have to work really hard all the way around the track. We knew the condensed two-day schedule would not give drivers and teams a lot of time to work on their set-ups, so we brought a race-proven Firehawk - giving them a solid foundation so they could focus on other elements of their cars. The grip level seems to be right on the mark, so we expect to see a great race tomorrow. It's a tight track, so fans should enjoy a lot of close racing with plenty of tire-to-tire competition."

Sam Hornish, Jr., Pennzoil Panther Racing (Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone):

"The hardest thing about this track is to get the car working at both ends. Firestone helps with that; they've brought a tire with really good grip - one that's consistent and doesn't have a lot of difference as you put miles on it. We've been really happy with Firestone's performance this year. The engineers have been to our tests away from the track, and that's been helpful for us."

-firestone-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Gil de Ferran , Sam Hornis
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske