Trois-Rivieres: BFGoodrich preview

Trans-Am Returns to Trois-Rivieres. The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup will make its first appearance since 1999 at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, as the featured event on Sunday, August 4. Extra Work for Tire...

Trans-Am Returns to Trois-Rivieres. The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup will make its first appearance since 1999 at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, as the featured event on Sunday, August 4.

Extra Work for Tire Engineers. For the second consecutive Trans-Am Series race, BFGoodrich® Tires engineers will have their work cut out for them. Since last week's Washington, D.C. race was the first appearance of the Trans-Am Series at that track, BFGoodrich® Tires engineers did not have any data to analyze beforehand and thus had to gather as much information as possible on site. Since the Trans-Am Series has not run at Trois-Rivieres in three years, the engineers will have to search their data base to find the necessary tire information needed for Trans-Am teams. But in three years, the nuances of the Trois-Rivieres track may have changed resulting in this information being outdated and not useful. For example, the track distance has changed since 1999. The 1999 Trans-Am race was only 55 laps, totaling 83 miles.

In the past, the Trois-Rivieres surface was somewhat rough and course, which adds to the wear rate of tires. Therefore, lead engineer Gary Blalock will walk the entire circuit on Thursday gathering information and specifics of the track. The difference in pavements will be examined, particularly the concrete patches. Blalock will inspect the concrete patches to determine whether they are predominately polished or rough. Polished concrete tends not to hold rubber while rough concrete increases tire wear. Based on the information Blalock compiles and the ambient temperature forecast, he will make his technical recommendation to the Trans-Am teams.

Trois-Rivieres Street Course Challenging for BFGoodrich® Tires. The 1.52-mile, 10-turn track is tight and bumpy with lots of hard braking and uneven surfaces. Teams will rely on their BFGoodrich® Tires to provide lots of grip at turn in, especially under braking, and again as they put the power down exiting the corners. The Trois-Rivieres venue is also unique for the following elements:

Long Straights: The Trois-Rivieres street course has two long straights, which are naturally the fastest part of the circuit and will be pivotal in setting a quick lap. In order to take advantage of the straights, drivers must launch their cars off the corners, literally standing on the gas the instant they've made the turn. The result is the transfer of 650 horsepower, through a 2,800-pound car to a tires contact patch of no more than 13 inches wide on each corner of the car. And the tire has to live through that launch multiple times per lap for 66 laps.

Ninety-degree corners: Unlike road-course racing, it is hard to maintain momentum on a street course. Getting around Trois-Rivieres is a series of hard-on-the-brakes, hard-on-the-gas movements. When a driver gets on the brakes for one of the 10 corners here, it works the front tires, building up heat and pressure. At virtually the same time, to get through the corner, the driver steps on the gas, transferring the pressure and heat to the back tires. From a tire's perspective, it is the equivalent of a total body workout. And the circuit is extremely hard on brakes- maximum brake cooling is necessary at Trois-Rivieres.

Surface and Walls: The Trans-Am Series cars share the race course with a number of racing series, including the American Le Mans Series. By the start of the Trans-Am race on Sunday afternoon, the last race of the event, the surface of the track will be challenging. Oil typically builds up on the racing line throughout the day, making it slippery. In addition, there's historically been oil-dry and sand spread around the track in certain places making it even more treacherous. Add to that the presence of 8,000-pound concrete barriers and you have the potential for disaster.

Tire Pressures: To increase grip on the slippery street course, lead engineer Gary Blalock is recommending a slight decrease in rear tire pressure to help drivers put the power down. Blalock will recommend a hot operating pressure of 24 psi on the rear tires while 26 psi on the front tires. Lower pressure increases the contact patch of the rear tires and, as a result, increases the car's mechanical grip allowing for a more efficient launch off the corners.

Battle for BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Enters Second Half of Season - With the second half of the season beginning at Trois-Rivieres, all challengers will strive for gaining that additional point which could possibly win them the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup. Entering its fourth year as the championship trophy for the Trans-Am Series, the Cup has become a symbol of outstanding achievement in the premier road racing series in North America. With six consecutive podium finishes, Boris Said currently leads the defending BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Champion, Paul Gentilozzi, by 25 points.

After Round Six of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, Boris Said, with 178 points, leads in the battle for the BFGoodrich® Tires Cup, followed by Paul Gentilozzi with 153 points and Butch Leitzinger with 151 points. Not far behind are Johnny Miller with 138 points and Tony Ave with 114 points.

Last Time at Trois-Rivieres. In 1999, Paul Gentilozzi started on the pole and led over half the race to take his second consecutive victory at Trois-Rivieres. Current Trans-Am drivers Johnny Miller, Bob Ruman, Randy Ruhlman and Tony Ave finished in the top ten at Trois-Rivieres in 1999.

Speed Channel to Televise Trans-Am - The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich* Tires Cup race from Trois-Rivieres will be aired live at 2:30 p.m. ET, August 4, on Speed Channel.

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.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Tony Ave , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Randy Ruhlman , Bob Ruman