Firestone IndyCar Series race preview - Long Beach Race Distance: 163.3 mi./262.805 km (85 laps on the 1.968-mi./3.167-km temporary street circuit).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live – Sunday, April 19, at 3:30 p.m. ET on VERSUS, IMS Radio Network, XM Radio 145 and SIRIUS Radio 211.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
• Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 702, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires);
• Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 342, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires);
• Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 436, each entry has five sets available as needed.
Per IndyCar Series rules, each entry must declare to the league within one hour after qualifying on which dry-condition tire spec it intends to start the race. All cars must use at least one primary set and one new alternate set during the race, each for a minimum of two green-flag laps. Firestone Racing’s street-course tires in general feature the softest constructions and tread compounds available to assist cornering in the slow, tight turns and to enhance acceleration upon exiting the turns. The alternate tires contain a softer tread compound which will provide more grip and faster lap times, yet will trade off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: “Firestone Racing is pleased to return to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as the Official Tire of what is sure to become one of the IndyCar Series’ premier events. This may mark the first year for the Indy Racing League’s IndyCar Series to race here, but the Firestone Racing team brings many years of experience to this track. In fact, Long Beach is the site of the Firestone brand’s return to American open-wheel racing back in 1991 after a long hiatus, in a Firestone Indy Lights race won by none other than current IndyCar Series team owner Eric Bachelart. Long Beach also saw the debut of the alternate tire concept back in 2004. We are bringing primary and alternate tire specifications to Long Beach with a wider gap between the two than we saw at the last event in St. Pete. It will once again be very interesting to monitor how teams and drivers utilize strategy and tire management throughout the weekend during qualifying and the race to try to maximize their advantage over competitors.”
Firestone “Tire-ific” Move of the Race: Following each race, Firestone Racing nominates three drivers who best utilized their Firestone tires to make a bold, dramatic move during the event. Fans can go to www.indycar.com to vote for the nominee they believe made the most “Tire-ific” move of the race. Nominees from St. Petersburg were Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Justin Wilson. The $10,000 prize winner will be announced in Sunday’s pre-race activities.