By: Tanner Watkins
March 22, 2019 | 10:00 a.m.
With Sunday’s INDYCAR Classic being the first NTT IndyCar Series race run at the pristine Circuit of the Americas, Firestone has spent the offseason developing a tire that they think will fit the hype of an inaugural race.
Through a series of on-track tests, lab testing and track roughness testing, Firestone Racing has brought a unique tire for IndyCar teams to run for this weekend’s Austin, Texas event.
The primary compound tire uses the same compound materials utilized in the tire used for last year’s INDYCAR Grand Prix in Indianapolis, while also integrating the same tire construction from the 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America.
As for the alternate red-sidewalled tire compound Firestone will use the same tire used from last year’s Road America race. This week, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports chief engineer Cara Adams added a bit of insight that went into developing the tire.
“Our Firestone Race Tire Engineering team tested at Circuit of The Americas last fall to select the best tires for the first NTT IndyCar Series event at this beautiful 20-turn road course,” explained Adams.
“Without previous race data to pull from, the Firestone team relied on vehicle data, track roughness information, and input from our test teams in selecting race-proven technology that will meet the demands of this iconic track.
“The black sidewall primary tire features the 2018 Road America construction and the 2018 Indy GP compound, while the red sidewall alternate is the same construction and compound as 2018 Road America.”
This weekend, NTT IndyCar Series teams will receive seven sets of primary compound tires, four sets of the alternate “reds,” and five sets of rain tires – which they may need with the threat of rain in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Teams with rookie drivers will enjoy an extra set of the primary tire compound as well for a total of eight sets.
Per Firestone, the company will supply over 1,500 race tires for this single event at Circuit of the Americas, a 20-turn facility hosting its inaugural IndyCar race on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern (NBCSN).
Header image by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR.