IndyCar 2018 tyres: Firestone tests four compounds
The new aerokit for the 2018 IndyCar season makes tyre suppliers nervous – Firestone is experimenting with new compounds for street courses
All over the world, IndyCar fans are eagerly awaiting the race premiere of the new cars in St. Gallen. Petersburg on 11. March. Meanwhile, the teams travel from test drives to test drives to collect valuable time with the completely new aerodynamics. In addition to the regular tests, scheduled for 27. and 28. Continued in Sebring on February 6th, tyre tests are scheduled the day before. Firestone is facing a major challenge because the downforce has been massively reduced.
This leads to more lateral stiffness apart from the ovals, which has a negative effect on tyre wear. Firestone is also pursuing the goal of making a clearer distinction between the two tyre compounds on road courses. To this end, the two experienced IndyCar drivers Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan will be doing a tyre test in the run-up to the Sebring test drives to test four different compounds at once. However, these will not be used in Toronto until July at the earliest.
The main focus is on the harder tyre, which in the past had a too large reduction on road courses and thus hardly differed from the red marked soft tyre. This is not an easy task for a wide variety of asphalt and concrete pavements, which can be found on road courses.
Reverse Pirelli problem
“We are looking to find a good’ prime’ tyre that is more durable over a stint,”says Firestone’s head of development Cara Adams to’ Motorsport-Total. com’,”Some of the compounds in this test have a degree of hardness you’d expect from a prime. Others are a bit softer and could also be used as an option, depending on how this test turns out to be,” it’s an explorative study.
Firestone has a similar problem in the 2018 IndyCar season as Pirelli did last year in Formula 1: real test drives with the new aerodynamics can only be carried out now, but it is too late for the start of the season. But the IndyCar series has gone the other way round in Formula 1: less instead of more downforce. Toronto would already be the last city circuit in 2018, as the IndyCar series has only been running for some time now, with only four city circuits (St… Petersburg, Long Beach, Detroit and Toronto).
“We can bring the new tyres to Toronto at the earliest, but that depends on the feedback we get about our current tyres after the first race. The introduction could also be delayed until 2019. We want to see how our tires in St. Peter’s Street look like. Pete and Long Beach. Combined with feedback on the Sebring test drives, we’ll decide what we’re going to introduce and when to do it.”
In addition to Kanaan and Rahal, the Carlin team will also have a test day in Sebring next Monday. As a new team, the British team has additional test days at its disposal.