Mid-Ohio: BF Goodrich pre-race notes

To Pit or Not to Pit? - June 29 and 30 in Mid-Ohio, drivers and teams in the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup will be asking themselves that question after Michael Lewis in the No. 12 AmeriSuites Jaguar XKR made his season best...

To Pit or Not to Pit? - June 29 and 30 in Mid-Ohio, drivers and teams in the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup will be asking themselves that question after Michael Lewis in the No. 12 AmeriSuites Jaguar XKR made his season best finish of fourth in Round Three of competition Memorial Day at Lime Rock Park. Lewis finished the race without pitting for fuel or tires. This season, the Trans-Am Series reduced the size of competitors' fuel cells from 32 to 24 gallons making it less likely for drivers to be able to cover the standard 100-mile race distance without stopping for fuel.

"It's an optional pit-stop," said defending BFGoodrich® Tires Cup champion Paul Gentilozzi before the first race of the season in Long Beach, Calif. "You don't have to stop, but if you don't, you won't finish the race." Knowing that a pit-stop was a given, Gentilozzi ran a more aggressive tire strategy at Lime Rock, running on the BFGoodrich® g-Force T/A® medium compound instead of the BFGoodrich® Tires, engineer recommended, hard compound, then changing two tires during his pit stop for fuel. The BFGoodrich® g-Force T/A® tires standard on every car in the field, have proved to be reliable for 100-mile races and even 125-mile races as witnessed last season. However, a car that has new rubber can perform better during the final stages of a race.

This weekend in Mid-Ohio will be a true test of teams, drivers and strategies. "I think pit stops are great because they add a different element of strategy to the races," remarked Boris Said, current points leader for the championship and BFGoodrich® Tires Cup after he piloted the No. 33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante to back-to-back first place finishes at Lime Rock Park and Mosport International Speedway.

Dog Days of Summer Battle for BFGoodrich® Tires Cup - With three Trans-Am races in the next four weeks, the battle for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup heats up with this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio. Most teams will be in search of a strong three-race stretch that could determine whether they end up contending for this year's championship. With the hot summer weather prevalent for the next three races, drivers will be put to the test as important championship points are available. With two consecutive victories, Boris Said currently has a 20-point lead over his closest challengers, Johnny Miller and defending BFGoodrich® Tires Cup winner and three-time series champion Paul Gentilozzi.

After Round Three of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, Boris Said, with 94 points, now leads in the battle for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, followed by Johnny Miller with 74 points and Paul Gentilozzi with 73 points. Not far behind are Justin Bell (62 pts) and Randy Ruhlman with 59 points.

Mid-Ohio is a Real Driver's Track. Measuring 2.25 miles with 13-turns, Mid-Ohio is considered one of the most physically demanding and challenging tracks on the Trans-Am circuit. Consisting of fast turns, slow turns and elevation changes combined with the hot humid June weather makes Mid-Ohio a tough test for every driver.

Mid-Ohio is an interesting circuit because it really challenges the drivers. The fast and slow turns as well as the elevation changes all come into play when teams are trying to find the right balance in the car. Teams may make sacrifices in some of the slower turns because they need to be able to carry as much speed as possible through the fast corners. The track also has a myriad of pavements that make grip lower and inconsistent.

Qualifying is important at Mid-Ohio. The narrow track makes passing very difficult therefore gaining a spot in qualifying could be a determining factor in the outcome of the race.

CBS Sports To Televise Trans-Am - For the second consecutive year, CBS Sports will nationally televise three Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup races starting this weekend at the legendary Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. CBS will air the Mid-Ohio race on Saturday, June 29 at 4:00 P.M. ET. According to Sponsors Report, last year's Trans-Am broadcasts at Detroit and Cleveland on CBS delivered $3.7 million each in sponsor value, while the broadcast at Sears Point delivered $5.7 million. CBS will also televise the next two Trans-Am races at Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

Three Consecutive Legendary Road Courses for Trans-Am - The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup will compete for the third race in a row at a legendary road course when the Trans-Am cars race this weekend at Mid-Ohio. In May, the Trans-Am Series made its annual trip to Canada for the Victoria Day celebration at Mosport International Raceway. That was followed by a trip to Lime Rock Park for its Memorial Day weekend of racing. Though all three are traditional road courses, they differ in many ways except for the ability to punish the tires and vehicles.

BFGoodrich® Tires Contingency Award. BFGoodrich® Tires has established a contingency award for the top 10 finishers in each race this season. The top five finishers will receive two tires and the finishers from sixth through tenth will receive one tire.

BFGoodrich® Tires "Take Control" Award. BFGoodrich® Tires will sponsor the BFGoodrich® Tires "Take Control" Award, an award that will be given to the driver who leads the most laps in each Trans-Am race. In the event of a tie, the driver with the highest finishing position will receive the award. For their efforts, the driver will receive a free set of BFGoodrich® g-Force T/A® radials.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Justin Bell , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Randy Ruhlman , Michael Lewis