Editor's note: Dale Harrigle, chief engineer for Bridgestone America’s Motorsports and manager of race tire development, introduces "The Engineers' Spin" -- a monthly behind-the-scenes look at Firestone Racing's Verizon IndyCar Series program from the perspective of the people that make the tires roll.
The Race Tire Development team has been focused on the 2015 season since the checkered flag fell at Fontana, and after a long pre-season, we are looking forward to getting back to racing.
The 2015 season is shaping up to be one for the record books. The promise of the new aero kits has challenged my team all winter – both in the office and at the track. In the office, we have been working closely with the design teams from Chevrolet and Honda, as well as INDYCAR, to make sure that we understand the performance implications of the new aero kits and to make sure that our race tires are up to the task.
At the track, my team has been able to attend a number of the aero kit tests to check on the performance of the tires and to get a jump-start on any necessary development items. We are very fortunate to have an excellent working relationship with Honda and Chevrolet, to the point that they would include us in their otherwise secret tests. If you count yourself as an IndyCar fan, I encourage you to keep your eye out for details of the public unveiling of the manufacturers’ kits. I think you are going to like what you see.
Additional challenges for us during the 2015 season include the return of a Brazil race to the calendar, as well as the debut of New Orleans Motorsports Park on the schedule. Any time there are new events on the schedule, a lot of planning and preparation takes place to make sure that we have selected the best possible tire specification for that event.
Get more information about the science and engineering that goes into producing the Firestone Firehawk tires for the demanding Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, visit www.FirestoneRacing.com.