IndyCar Tire Test At IMS Begins
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A two-day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway involving six drivers/teams that began on Tuesday is part of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ official tire supplier’s short- and long-term objectives, according to Firestone Racing chief engineer Dale Harrigle.
“We’re laying the foundation for the future,” he said.
Firestone Racing periodically conducts testing of current and development tire compounds and specifications on the oval for future superspeedway events. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 tire was utilized as the baseline, and more than two dozen compounds and specs will be run on the 2.5-mile asphalt racing ribbon. Participating are reigning Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan, three-time race winner Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Justin Wilson.
“Firestone never stops trying to give us a better product as a race tire,” Wilson said. “There are various things that they are working on, whether it be compound or construction. We’re just here to give them feedback on how something feels.”
Firestone is also working with IndyCar regarding the introduction of aerodynamic configurations for IZOD IndyCar Series cars in 2015 and a potential assault on the qualification speed record in conjunction with the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2016.
“IndyCar has come up with this plan that they want to slowly creep the speeds up at Indianapolis and we want to be on the forefront of that curve,” Harrigle said. “We want to be working with them to see what we need to do now to develop for the future years when the speeds increase. IndyCar has kept us in the forefront of aero kits and we’ve been talking with them about how they think it’s going to affect the tire.
“We have a pretty good window to operate in. We’ll stay on top of it.”
Short term, Harrigle said Firestone Racing is seeking to “give the cars a little bit more grip” for the 2014 500 Mile Race scheduled for May 25.
“Tire performance was good this May and we think we can make it a little better,” he said.