Firestone Firehawk fast facts — Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300
Race Distance: 190.2 miles/306.08 km (75 laps on the 2.536-mile/4.081-km, 11-turn temporary street circuit).
Television/Radio Broadcast: Live - Sunday, April 29, at 11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, the IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Radio 94.
Firestone Firehawk Race Tires Supplied:
•Primary (black-sidewall) dry-condition slicks: 644, 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: 332, each entry has five sets of the street-course rain tire available this weekend.
The alternate tire program, a staple of the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2009, calls for a second tire specification at a road- or street-course race weekend using the same tire construction as the primary specification, but with a softer tread compound to provide more grip and faster lap times while trading off compound durability in exchange for those shorter-term advantages. Firestone's alternate tires are easily identified by their bright red sidewalls.
The Firestone primary and alternate tire specifications are new for Brazil in 2012, but both specs have already seen race action this year at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. The specs feature updated tread compounds applied to the same Firehawk street-course tire construction used throughout 2011. The Firestone rain tire for this weekend is the same rain spec used in the last half of 2011.
Per series regulations, 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 tire allotment as they see fit, though each car is limited to one set of tires (team choice of primary or alternate) for each qualifying segment.
From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: "There have been three thrilling races to start the 2012 IndyCar Series season, and we're fully expecting another this weekend in Brazil. Many drivers and team officials have credited the new Firestone tire specifications for adding to the excitement by making passing opportunities much more frequent, and we truly appreciate the compliments. We are supplying the identical street-course primary and alternate tire specs that worked so well at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, so we're optimistic that the keen level of competition will continue. As we also remember too well from last year, it can rain in São Paulo and Firestone is prepared for that with the same wet tire spec that received many positive driver reviews, particularly from Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal, following its use a few weeks ago at Barber Motorsports Park. The Brazilian fans have long been passionate about their motorsports, so it should be an electric weekend of racing once again."
Firestone Racing History of Note: There have been seven IndyCar races in Brazil (under CART sanctioning from 1996-2000 and with INDYCAR in 2010-11), and Firestone has equipped the winner in six. Countryman Andre Ribeiro thrilled the Brazil crowd by winning the inaugural CART race in Rio de Janeiro on Firestone Firehawks in 1996. Another famous native, Emerson Fittipaldi, rode on Firestone tires when he became the first Brazilian to win the Formula One world championship, in 1972. Fittipaldi was at the time the youngest F1 champion, and he was the last champion for Firestone since the brand exited F1 shortly after.