By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle brings three days of racing to the Motor City with a number of cars running on Firestone tires that share a similar DNA with tires on passenger cars.
In recent years there has been an evolution in the fundamentals materials such as polymers and cords that go into the tires, and that is an area where racing technology and passenger car tire technology intersect, according to Dale Harrigle, Bridgestone Motorsports’ Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Development.
“The same things that allow passenger tires to wear for 70,000 miles, is some of the same components that allow our race tires to wear on a 700 horsepower car at Belle Isle for 70 miles. That’s where the technology transfer occurs,” said Harrigle, who added that both tires use natural rubber, but the race tires have a stronger reinforcement materials due to the speeds on the track.
Additionally, the research and development techniques overlap between passenger cars and race cars.
“We do a lot of computerized simulations of not only our passenger car tires for wear and how well they are going to handle in the wet, we also use a lot of those same tools on our race tires,” said Dale Harrigle, Bridgestone Motorsports’ Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Development.
He said engineers use computerized simulations on race tires “to verify how well they are going to run in the wet and how well they might last over a fuel (stint),” Harrigle said.
Firestone, which is the official tire of the Verizon IndyCar series, also hosted children from the charity Racing For Kids for a day at the Belle Isle racetrack.