NASCAR to learn from tyre debacle
|By Diego Mejia||Monday, July 28th 2008, 02:16 GMT|
NASCAR has vowed to learn from the tyre debacle at Indianapolis, where excessive wear forced several caution periods to avoid blowouts in the race.
Speaking after the race, NASCAR's Robin Pemberton said not even an open test session would have been helpful to anticipate the issues of the first trip to the Brickyard with the new Sprint Cup car.
"I think when you have an open test things like that have already been decided," he said. "I don't think an open test here would've done enough for us, it wouldn't have helped, I don't think.
"You may have had enough issues that you'd have gone back and redesigned the tyres, but I don't know if we could've gone with that in time. Hindsight is always 20/20, I think we'll just learn from this experience and try to do a better job next year."
Pemberton denied the track or its abrasive surface are to blame for what happened this weekend, three years after French manufacturer Michelin were forced to retire their cars from the Formula One race due to unexpected failures on the left-rears.
He claims that having the new car at the track for the first time created additional challenges that resulted in the tyre issues.
"This isn't the first time we've raced here with the surface the way it is, and in the past we've been able to accomplish what we need to accomplish," Pemberton added. "So to pick on the surface wouldn't be fair.
"I think the new car, and probably not having a test here, probably didn't help us at all. You can say that surface is abrasive, but we have been able to accomplish a full fuel run here in the past."
Pemberton said that the solution wasn't as simple as having a tougher or harder compound on the right-side tyres. He claims that, together with Goodyear, they have to find the balance between making the tyres last and keeping the cars driveable.
"We have to anticipate where the tyres and the competition are going to meet on Sunday afternoon," he said. "We have challenges when we develop tyres here because you have such a dramatic change in surface grip as the track rubbers in.
"You can make everybody happy on Friday, miserable on Saturday, and really miserable on Sunday, or you can come back and work best at trying to achieve the right grip when it comes to Sunday afternoon."
He also admitted they have now learned that with the new car, it's impossible to run similar tyres at Pocono and Indianapolis, as was the case in the past.
When asked if having support events during the weekend to help rubber in the track is a possibility for the future, Pemberton said he didn't believe that would have helped.
"We just ran a 400-mile race with 43 competitors, if we didn't rubber it in, I don't think a Nationwide or Truck race was going to help us today."
Despite the stop-go nature of the race and the record number of laps under yellow flags, officials claimed there were 114 more green flag passes than in last year's event.