Firestone bringing new tire to Watkins Glen Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied: * Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 648, each entry gets six sets (24 total tires); * Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 318, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires); * Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 404, 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 is bringing a new primary tire specification to Watkins Glen, while alternate tires will be used here for the first time. The rain tire is the more durable, "road course rain" specification. The primary spec is a durable road course compound and construction, designed to withstand the high speeds encountered on the IndyCar Series' longest permanent road course. The alternate tires are identical in construction to the primaries but 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: "After nearly three months of racing on ovals, Firestone Racing is looking forward to a few consecutive road and street course races. Not only does the move from ovals to road courses like Watkins Glen showcase the talent of the IndyCar Series drivers through the differing demands of the diverse track lineup, it also gives Firestone Racing an opportunity to once again feature our alternate tire concept. Last year's event in Watkins Glen was one of the more exciting road/street course events of the season, and with alternate tires in the mix this year, I anticipate that this year's race will be as good or better. There is a significant gap between the primary and alternate tire specifications for this event, so tire management and strategy will no doubt come into play. And with ever-changing weather forecasts, it remains to be seen whether our wet tire will be necessary as well!"
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