Firestone Racing is bringing over 1200 race tires to the World Wide Technology Raceway for this weekend’s final oval race of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. The red-walled Firestone Alternate tire will be used for the first time, with each driver receiving two sets of this tire.
Each driver will receive eight sets of the Primary tire, which they must start the race from as per NTT INDYCAR SERIES regulations. The drivers must use the Alternate tire for at least two laps throughout the race.
Cara Krstolic, Firestone Chief Engineer with Firestone Racing INDYCAR tires: commented:
Firestone has brought primary tires that will be similar in performance to those used in competition at World Wide Technology Raceway the last two years, but with a compound that is considered slightly more durable and consistent. We worked closely with NTT INDYCAR SERIES officials, teams, and drivers to develop and produce alternate oval tires specifically for WWTR. The new oval-specific alternate tire has similar construction to the primary tire but with compounds that will exhibit increased grip and will degrade quickly.
Dan Bishop, Lead Program Engineer with Firestone Racing, commented on the development of the new oval alternate tire:
We used feedback from drivers and teams to bring various tires construction designs and compounds to this track over the past few years, ranging from too durable to iterations that were slightly too soft or had too much degradation, to produce an oval tire that met all criteria requested and has been race-proven for the past three races here. As a result, we collected vast amounts of data and historical knowledge that provided the framework we needed to explore and confidently propose a new alternate option to present to INDYCAR for this year’s race.
Brett Schilling, Lead Program Engineer, on new oval tire compounds:
On ovals, the primary left-side Firestone Firehawk race tire compound is different from the primary right-side. This weekend’s oval-specific alternate tire has compounds that differ from the primary compounds, and also vary from the left-side to the right-side. Firestone developed a total of four different tread compounds for use in this weekend oval race instead of the typical two.