Apr 21, 2013
Firestone Racing 2013 IICS Toyota GP of Long Beach Post-Race Report
Press Release

2013 IICS Driver Takuma Sato Takes the Checkered Flag in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Photo Credit: Firestone Racing
2013 IICS Driver Takuma Sato Takes the Checkered Flag in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Photo Credit: Firestone Racing

IZOD IndyCar Series – Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Streets of Long Beach, Calif.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 – Round 3 of 19

Top-5 Finishers: 1. Takuma Sato; 2. Graham Rahal; 3. Justin Wilson; 4. Dario Franchitti; 5. J.R. Hildebrand.

Race Temperatures: Track ranged from 115°-117° F (46°-47° C) and ambient from 63°- 65° F (16°-17°C).

Firestone Tire Performance RecapTakuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing used the Firestone alternate tire specification to maximum effectiveness in collecting the first IndyCar Series win of his career. Sato put a set of used red-sidewall alternates on for his second race stint and promptly pulled away to a four-second lead. He saved his only new alternate set for the final, grueling 29-lap (57-mile) sprint and the softer compound delivered him across the finish line five seconds in front of the field. (A chart of all drivers’ tire use in the race is attached.)

From race winner Takuma Sato, #14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “A.J. gave me such a great opportunity and the whole team works so hard for me. They gave me such a super car, great pit stops today, no issues at all. The car was so comfortable that I could push the whole way through the race. Last year I started (the race) on the black (primary) tire and they worked really well, so I wanted to do again. I was able to push and I was hanging with the guys in the top groups on the red (alternate) tire and when I got on the Firestone red tire, boom, it was just amazing. The tire was very consistent. It was just great.”

From third-place finisher Justin Wilson, #19 Boy Scouts of America/Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda/ Firestone: “We had a great day. The team had a great strategy, stopping early allowed us to run the Firestone reds other than the first five laps. We were able to run fast, stay out longer than everyone else and that allowed us to leapfrog a lot of people. That’s the only strategy we thought might work and it did. It worked out perfectly. To get the Firestone reds on early, it suited our car and we were able to run faster and push harder.”

From Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing: “It’s great to welcome a new race winner today in Takuma Sato, particularly since he drove a sensational race, and special to see A.J. Foyt’s team back in victory circle. The Firestone alternate tires were the certain tire of choice today, which is a bit ironic since we supplied the same tire specs in the opener at St. Petersburg and James Hinchcliffe used the primary blackwall tires to drive to victory there. It just shows how much tracks, car setups and driving styles can vary – all of it adding great drama to the races. Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson should be commended for their excellent drives today, especially Justin for coming from 24th starting position to finish on the podium. It’s interesting to note that we had a completely different top five finish today than two weeks ago at Barber. That is very indicative of the quality of the competition in the IndyCar Series and bodes well for another sensational season.”

Source: Firestone Racing

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