S1E33 - Let's Talk about Tires Baby!

S1E33 - Let's Talk about Tires Baby!

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We have #TeamAllies in Ed Carpenter Racing (the nerd in us wants to point that in both WW1 and WW2 it wasn’t just the United Kingdom and the United States were we part of the Allies…). ECR signed Jordan King in the Ed Carpenter Road BuddyTM spot. Jordan’s experience comes from the world of Formula 1 where he spent some years in the ladder series, including many teams as 2016 Indy 500 Winner Alexander Rossi. King also has ties with Chilton, both with Manor Marussia in F1 and that King drove for Carlin racing in 2013. Our speculation – time in F1 and the ladder series prepares drivers for Road/Street courses, which is what he’ll be doing for ECR. Right now there’s no discussion about King’s participation in the Indy500, but if he can put together the money – he should. Juncos added another part-time driver to their roster (Kyle Kaiser, the prior Light’s winner has 4 races). Rene Binder, from Australia, who’s found some success in V8 and GP2.

Doing the math for the Indy500 ….we think we’re going to have bumping during qualification weekend!!

 We talked tires this week in our main segment. Looking at the tires used by IndyCar and the tires (tyres) used by F1. Just want to say that IndyCar has three tires, and F1 has nine, it should be reiterated that IndyCar uses three types of tracks (ovals, road courses, and street courses), and F1 just uses two types. The tires for IndyCar are their primary blacks (most durable and least grip), the alternate reds (least durable and most grip), and the wet tires (treads and only to be used on road or street courses) which every time they may be used the announcers get a little too excited.  In contrast, F1 has seven smooth tires (hypersoft to superhard), and two wet tires (for light rain or heavy rain).

Up till now our Woman of the Week (formally Woman Crush Wednesday but sometimes work schedules get in the way) have been drivers. This week we feature our first engineer. Cara Adams – chief engineer for Bridgestone’s Motorsports Group. She’s also the only Female Chief Engineer in the IndyCar system. Cara is an example of smashing the patriarchy in a sneaky and completely amazing way. She was the only female engineer when she started, she’s now one of four. She first worked primarily on road and street courses, but now looks at superspeedways. She also looks at the force and movement data, which means doing testing on the tires in a facility and providing the mathematical data to teams to help them set up the cars. The lesson of Cara’s story – get a degree in mechanical engineering, voluntary where you want to work, be an amazingly smart woman, and don’t quit!

Still, on the subject of tires, two events at the IMS show what can happen when tires and tracks don’t get along. During practice sessions of the 2005 US Grand Prix at the IMS, it was found that one of the two types of tires (Michelin) was performing abysmally. The bad performance including a crash. The teams on Michelin tried to fix the problem by suggesting a mandatory slow down in Turn 13; use tires from a prior Grand Prix; or install a chicane to help slow down the cars. These changes were rejected by the officials with Formula 1, and ultimately the teams on Michelin completed the first lap, and then retired from the race. Two years later, 2007 season, was the last Formula 1 race held at the IMS. In 2008, during the NASCAR Brickyard 400, it was determined in the pre-race activities that the tires were wearing down quicker than expected. Most attribute this to the new car and the track being somewhat abrasive. Given the quick wear, NASCAR was forced to call a competition Yellow every 10-12 laps to avoid tire blow out, and at the end of the race, teams had gone through every single tire they had. NASCAR officials have said issue lays with Goodyear and NASCAR and not with the IMS. Everything lays with NASCAR – everything (See our Brickyard 400 Episode).

What do we want? The Dale Coyne Announcement. When do we want it? NOW! (also can it be Conor?)

Time Stamps

  • 0:00 News on drivers
  • 21:00 Tire Discussion
  • 33:25 Woman of the Week – Cara Adams
  • 40:25 Shit We Didn’t Makeup

Photo by David Edelstein on Unsplash

S1E34 - "Race Fans" (#IsItMayYet)

S1E34 - "Race Fans" (#IsItMayYet)

S1E22 - Consistency is Key to Win in IndyCar