Miami: BF Goodrich preview

MIAMI HEAT MELTS COMPETITION FOR BFGOODRICH® TIRES CUP-- Miami has the makings of a very hotly contested championship battle: a temporary street circuit, a new course, heat and Trans-Am muscle. With only three races left for the BFGoodrichâ...

MIAMI HEAT MELTS COMPETITION FOR BFGOODRICH® TIRES CUP-- Miami has the makings of a very hotly contested championship battle: a temporary street circuit, a new course, heat and Trans-Am muscle. With only three races left for the BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup and the 2002 Trans-Am Series championship, Boris Said will be looking to protect his 40 point lead in the championship while defending BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup Champion Paul Genitlozzi will be looking to chip away at Said's lead in order to secure his fourth Trans-Am Championship.

Miami marks the third new temporary circuit for the Trans-Am Series this year. The 1.57-mile temporary street circuit boasts 16 turns, a long front straightaway and two other straight-aways for considerable speed and passing. Trans-Am also raced at new temporary street circuits this year in Washington, DC and Denver, Co.

"The Trans-Am drivers and our BFGoodrichâ Tires engineers have had to work hard to adapt to several new tracks this year," said Herb Johnson, director of motorsports for BFGoodrichâ Tires." This will be the first time that Trans-Am cars take to the streets of Miami with BFGoodrichâ g-Force T/Aâ radials. The tires have performed well in hot street conditions in Washington DC and Denver, but Miami will bring a lot of unknowns. Our engineers will look at set-ups and compound use to give each team the best advice."

BFGoodrichâ Tires engineer Gary Blalock will walk the 1.57-mile Miami track, looking at the micro and macro texture of the surface, noting the concrete locations (if any) and general course layout." Bumps in braking and acceleration zones are noteworthy, as these tend to upset the race vehicles, resulting in the risk of flat-spotting when the cars decelerate into the corners or generating excessive wheel spin upon exit of the corner," Blalock said." We saw several drivers struggle with track surface changes in Denver a couple of weeks ago."

Blalock also will look for other aspects of the track that can cause excessive wear on the BFGoodrichâ g-Force T/Aâ radials." I'll look at the radius of the turns and how wide the corner is on entrance and exit as well. The Miami circuit has several 90-degree turns and the back straightaway ends into an approximately 180-degree turn. The turns are important, whether it is increasing or decreasing in radius as this typically determines the speed and what gear will be used on exit. How many slow corners per lap and the surface texture will largely determine what my technical recommendation will be on a new street circuit like Miami. Of course temperature is always a factor, and it's been in the 80s lately, but I will look at the forecast to determine how warm it will be and if there is the risk of rain.

A THREE FOR ALL-- The streets of Miami are going to be screaming with high-power, high-octane excitement October 4-6, 2002 when the American LeMans Series (ALMS), FedEx Cart Championship Series and the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup team up for a weekend of racing. It's the first time in recent history that all three series have come together for one action packed weekend of racing.

While FedEx Cart Championship garners a lot of media attention and the ALMS Series is growing in popularity, it's the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup that has been racing around the streets of America since 1966, a record as the longest running road race in history... 37 years.

Trans-Am cars put out 650 horsepower and are capable of accelerating from 0-to-60 mph in 3.10 seconds; 0-to-140 mph in 11.5 seconds and can post quarter mile times of 10.8 seconds at 136 mph.

Will Boris Said Clinch the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup in Miami?-- A good finish for Boris Said this weekend in Miami could possibly clinch the BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup for Boris Said, and his first Trans-Am championship. Said's strong finish mixed with a poor showing by Paul Gentilozzi and Johnny Miller could certainly clinch the championship before the last two races of the year.

Every point counts; it only takes one mechanical problem, accident or bad finish to put a driver 10 or more points back. After nine rounds of competition in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup, Boris Said who has won five races this year leads the series with 264 points followed by defending BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup champion Paul Gentilozzi with 224 points. Johnny Miller is in third with 197 points. Rookie of the Year Butch Leitzinger, who has won three races this year is in fourth with 189 points and Stu Hayner rounds out the top five with 183 points.

BFGoodrich® Tires" Take Control" Award-- After each Trans-Am Race, BFGoodrich® Tires presents the driver who led the most laps during the race with the" Take Control" award; the prize is a set of BFGoodrichâ g-Force T/Aâ radials. Thus far this season, four drivers have taken home tires. Boris Said and Butch Leitzinger have each won the" Take Control" Award three times. Defending BFGoodrichâ Tires Cup champion Paul Gentilozzi has won once as has Tony Ave.

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.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Stu Hayner