Firestone Previews M-O IndyCar race
Race Distance: 191.9 miles/308.9 kilometers (85 laps on the 2.258-mile/3.634-km permanent road course).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live – Sunday, August 5, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC, IMS Radio Network, Sirius Radio 212 and XM Radio 94.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
· Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 636, each entry receives five sets (20 total tires);
· Alternate (red-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 342, each entry receives three sets (12 total tires);
· Wet-condition (rain) tires with grooved tread pattern: 436, each entry has five sets of Firestone’s new rain tire available this weekend.
The Mid-Ohio primary and alternate tire specifications are unique to the circuit and will not be used at any other event in 2012. Per IndyCar Series regulations since 2009, Firestone supplies the primary (black-sidewall) and alternate (red-sidewall) tire specs for road- and street-course race weekends. 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 allotment as they see fit for the weekend, though each car is limited to one set of tires (team choice of primary or alternate) for each qualifying segment.
Both Firehawk dry-tire specs utilize the same tire construction, but the alternate possesses a softer tread compound to provide more grip and faster lap times while trading off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages. The alternate tire spec for Mid-Ohio actually features differing compound formulas for the left- and right-side tires. Firestone Racing engineers expect the lap time difference between the primary and alternate specs to be more pronounced this weekend than at most previous road/street events this season.
Firestone also has available this weekend its new wet tire specification that debuted in June at Detroit. The tread pattern design of the new rain tire is inspired by the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 passenger-car tire.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: “Firestone enjoys the annual return to Mid-Ohio since it is the home event for our Firehawk race tires that are produced nearby in Akron. Our unparalleled race tire development group is based there, too, and they’ve come up with exciting tire specifications for this weekend. The alternate Firehawks feature different compounds on the right and left sides – something we’ve used successfully before at Mid-Ohio to help adapt to the circuit’s twists and undulations. We also believe that the speed differential between the two dry specs will be more significant this weekend than at other races, which should make for even more interesting race strategies where the tires are concerned. We know it will make for another great 2012 race and cannot wait to see how it all turns out.”