IRL: Phoenix: Firestone preview

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz. March 19-21, 2004 -- Round 2 of 16 Race Distance: 200 miles or 321.9 kilometers (200 laps around the ...

Firestone Firehawk Fast Facts

Indy Racing League IndyCar Series
Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.
March 19-21, 2004 -- Round 2 of 16

Race Distance: 200 miles or 321.9 kilometers (200 laps around the 1-mile oval).

Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: Firestone delivered 792 Firehawk racing radials for use this weekend. All were produced at the Firestone Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. At the direction of Indy Racing League officials, each entered car will receive seven sets of tires (28 total) this weekend, to be used at the team's discretion throughout practice, qualifying and race sessions. The tire specification for this weekend's race features a soft left-side compound and medium right-side compound. The construction elements of this specification are specifically designed for short ovals, including the most significant stagger used in IRL competition (0.60 of an inch). Stagger is the intentional design of the right-rear tire to have a diameter slightly larger than that of the left-rear tire. This helps the cars turn left more naturally and smoothly, and is particularly important on short ovals where drivers are almost constantly turning.

Firestone at PIR: A Firestone-equipped driver won the first IRL event at Phoenix International Raceway in 1996, and 6 of the 8 total IRL winners at PIR have crossed the finish line on Firestone tires:

<pre> 1996 Arie Luyendyk Reynard/Ford-Cosworth/Firestone 1997 Jim Guthrie Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone 2000 Buddy Lazier Riley & Scott/Oldsmobile/Firestone 2001 Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone 2002 Helio Castroneves Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone 2003 Tony Kanaan Dallara Honda/Firestone </pre> Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "We're very excited to get back to racing this weekend. The tire we've brought here is a proven specification identical to the tire we used at Phoenix last season. Based on what we saw in that race and the testing done here since then, we're quite confident that this tire will give the teams consistent performance. Consistency gives the team a base to work from -- when they know what to expect from their tires, they can adjust the rest of the car's set-up accordingly. It's a real advantage for them and gives drivers across the field the confidence they need to race hard lap after lap. That leads to some of the great racing we've become accustomed to seeing in the IRL. We're looking forward to more of that this weekend."

Tire Terminology: Camber -- The tilt of a tire inward or outward, measured in degrees. An outward tilt is called positive camber; an inward tilt is called negative camber. Camber is adjusted depending on the characteristics of the track. Typically, the top of the tire is tilted inward (negative camber) so that, under cornering loads, the entire surface of the tread is being used to the maximum. On oval tracks, since the car only turns left, the left-side tires may actually be tilted outward (positive camber). Teams oftenadjust the camber setting based on reading tire temperatures across the surface of the tread.

-firestone-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornish Jr.