Firestone previews the Long Beach GP
Race Distance: 167.28 miles/261.21 km (85 laps on the 1.96-mile/3.16-km, 11-turn temporary street circuit).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Sunday, April 15, at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, the IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Radio 94.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
* Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 692, each entry gets five sets (20 total tires);
* Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 366, each entry gets three sets (12 total tires);
* Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 468, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend.
The alternate tire program, part of the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2009, calls for a second tire specification at a road- or street-course race weekend using the same tire construction as the primary specification, but with a softer tread compound to provide more grip and faster lap times while trading off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages. Firestone's alternate tires are easily identified by their bright red sidewalls.
The primary and alternate tire specifications are new for 2012. Both feature updated tread compounds applied to the same Firestone street-course tire construction used in 2011. The primary and alternate tires were previously used this season at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and will be used at all street course events this year. The Firestone rain tire for this weekend is the same rain spec used in the last half of 2011.
Per series regulations, all cars must use at least one set of primary tires and one new alternate set during the race, each for a minimum of two green-flag laps. Otherwise, teams are free to use their tire allotment as they see fit, though each car is limited to one set of tires (team choice of primary or alternate) for each qualifying segment.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season is off to a great start, with two different winners and the new cars, engines and tires providing exciting racing and plenty of passing throughout the talented field. Now we get to bring the new package to one of the longest-standing and most successful races on the schedule. Our Firestone Racing 2012 street course primary and alternate tires have already proven their race-readiness at St. Pete, and as the Official Tire of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, we're looking forward to seeing the battles continue on the track."
Firestone Racing History of Note: The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, now in its 38th year, was the site of the Firestone brand's official return to the American open-wheel racing scene in 1991 (in the Firestone Indy Lights series). 2012 marks the 17th consecutive year that a Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations brand will serve as the Official Tire of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.