By: Tanner Watkins
May 9, 2019 | 4:00 PM
As fans and race teams alike get set for opening weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the INDYCAR Grand Prix will see its tire formula tweaked from the package that was raced in 2018.
For the 2019 edition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course race, Firestone has brought a new primary tire compound that was designed to increase mechanical grip levels.
With this year’s primary tire featuring the same construction as the 2018 tire, Firestone hopes that this slight modification in compound composition can help inject some life into a race that has seen the winner triumph from the poll in each of the last four years.
“This race is a fun challenge for our team to design race tires that are versatile enough to meet the unique demands of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which incorporates the front straight of the famed track’s high-speed oval,” said Cara Adams, the chief engineer of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports.
“With the changes made to the universal aerokit last season we saw a need to increase mechanical grip at the 2018 Indy GP, which is why we designed a new primary compound for this year’s race.”
The alternate tire – offered only at road and street course events on the IndyCar schedule – will feature the same construction and compound as the alternate used during last year’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
This weekend, race teams will be allotted seven sets of the primary tire , four sets of the alternate tire and five sets of the rain tire – but hopefully we don’t need that final option! Furthermore, rookies will receive one extra set of Firestone primary tires for the race weekend.
Firestone expects it will supply more than 1,500 total tires for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Practice for the fifth race of the NTT IndyCar Series season opens on Friday at 9:10 AM Eastern. The sixth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be held on Saturday, May 11 with an approximate green flag time of 3:50 PM Eastern.
The race will be shown live on NBC, the first such occasion of an IndyCar Series event on NBC.
Header image by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR.
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.