CART FedEx Championship Series Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle Sunday, June 17, 2001 Long-Lasting Firestone Tires Key to Castroneves' Victory Helio Castroneves took advantage of the highly durable Firestone tires to ...
CART FedEx Championship Series
Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle
Sunday, June 17, 2001
Long-Lasting Firestone Tires Key to Castroneves' Victory
Helio Castroneves took advantage of the highly durable Firestone tires to collect his second straight victory at Detroit and the fifth triumph of his CART career. All of the wins have come with Team Penske and Firestone over the past 1½ seasons, but Firestone's role was never more evident than today. The emotional Brazilian is also the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion with Firestone and Penske.
Castroneves was among a slew of leaders who opted for fuel only on their final pit stop, on the 41st of 72 laps around Belle Isle. The quick stop kept Castroneves in the lead and he never faltered. He wound up logging 40 laps (93.84 miles) on his final set of Firestone Firehawks and the tires held up sensationally despite Castroneves fending off pressured attacks from several contenders.
"Helio drove a masterful race to win today, and the Firestone tires were no small part in that victory," said Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director. "He put more than 90 miles on the set he finished the race with, yet continued to set the pace and could not be overtaken. And Helio was but one of many drivers who put that many miles on their final set of tires, all with no excessive wear worries. It's another example of the high level of confidence Team Penske and all the CART teams maintain in the Firestone tires. We're also happy that the slightly harder tire we brought this weekend trimmed the amount of marbles outside the race line. We'd never be able to eliminate the marbles completely and keep the drivers happy, but we'll continue to work with CART to strike the best tire balance possible."
Firestone is in its second season as sole supplier to the entire FedEx Championship Series field, though the series remains open to competition. Since it entered CART in 1995, Firestone has won 88 of 115 races (77 percent).
Driver/Team Member Quotes Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "What a great result. I made sure that we did every lap consistent. We didn't need to go fast, we just needed to be consistent, and that's what I did. The tires were great. What a job by Firestone! You have to remember we didn't change tires on the last stop and that helped us win."
Roger Penske, Team Penske owner: "The tires were great today. We didn't change them on the second stop for either Helio or Gil (de Ferran). We ran longer on them than we normally would and everything looked real good. They held up really well."
Dario Franchitti, Team Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "Helio drove a great race. I didn't see any mistakes that he made, and he had the track position. Firestone did a great job with the tires. The track was breaking up but the tires were awesome. "
Race temperatures ranged from 114 to 123 degrees track and from 82 to 86 degrees ambient (F).