Firestone Racing preview

St. Pete

IZOD IndyCar Series - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Albert Whitted Airport/Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
March 25-27, 2011 - Round 1 of 17

Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:

* Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 732, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires)

* Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 351, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires)

* Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 460, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend.

Firestone Racing's street-course tires are the "softest" in body construction and tread compound of all the race tires used in the series because of the need for pinpoint braking and quick acceleration in the many turns. Firestone is introducing new specifications for both its primary and alternate tires this weekend. The primary Firehawks consist of the same tire construction as the 2010 St. Pete primes, paired with an improved tread compound formula. The alternate tire program, part of the IndyCar Series since 2009, calls for a second tire spec with the same construction as the primary spec but with a softer tread compound which provides more grip and faster lap times, yet trades off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages. Firestone's alternate tires are easily identified by their bright red sidewalls.

Per series regulations, all cars must use at least one set of primary tires and one new alternate set during the race, each for a minimum of two green-flag laps. Otherwise, teams are free to use their tire allotment as they see fit, though a new rule for 2011 limits cars to one set of tires (team choice primary or alternate) for each qualifying segment.

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "It's been a whirlwind few weeks for us at Firestone Racing, but we're proud to say that Firestone will remain the Official Tire of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 through at least 2013. Now we're just as excited as everyone else to kick off the 2011 season at one of our favorite venues, St. Petersburg, where Firestone continues its long-standing relationship with the promoter to be the official tire of the grand prix. We're bringing new primary and alternate tire specs to St. Pete, but we anticipate these latest generation Firehawks will continue to provide the reliability and sure-footing that the teams and drivers repeatedly mentioned in their overwhelming show of support as the agreement for us to continue past this year was ironed out. Let's go racing!"

Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race: Following each race in 2011, Firestone Racing will nominate three drivers who best used their Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Fans can go to following the race and vote for the nominee they believe made the most "Tire-ific" move. The $10,000 prize is awarded at the next event.

-source: firestone racing

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Series IndyCar
Tags firestone, indycar, st. pete