A number of changes have been announced within the Race Tire Development (RTD) arm of the North America-based Firestone Racing programme. Bridgestone Americas describes these as a reorganisation and opines that they will add “manufacturing expertise while reaffirming the brand’s commitment to innovation and the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
Dan Peterman, formerly plant engineer at Bridgestone’s passenger car tyre production facility in Aiken, South Carolina, has been named manager of race tyre development/production and building services. He begins in the newly-formed role effective immediately and will relocate to Akron, Ohio to take up this new role. He comes to the position with more than 25 years of manufacturing experience at a number of Bridgestone tyre plants.
Dale Harrigle, currently chief engineer and manager of race tyre development, has accepted a management position within Bridgestone’s Consumer Tire Trade Group, effective at the conclusion of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. He joined Race Tire Development when the Firestone brand returned to open-wheel racing in 1994, and thus brings 22 years of racing tyre development expertise to his new position, where he will lead a team responsible for developing light truck, SUV and winter tyres for the replacement consumer tyre market. Bridgestone comments that in this role, Harrigle will “continue to exemplify the brand’s tradition of transferring technology between its race tyres and passenger tyres.”
Cara Adams, currently senior project engineer, race tyre development, will replace Harrigle as chief engineer, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports and manager, race tyre development. She began her career with Bridgestone in 2003 as an engineer in the Tire/Vehicle Dynamics department. She joined the Race Tire Development team in 2007, where she developed road and street course tyres, and currently oversees the brand’s super- speedway tyre development, including those used in the Indianapolis 500. She also manages the race team’s Force and Moment testing programme, working with teams and manufacturers to develop tyre models used in race simulations.
“Dale is an innovator in the world of race tyre design and he has been instrumental in the success of Firestone Racing for more than two decades. The programme would not be where it is today without his expertise, leadership and sacrifice,” said Lisa Boggs, director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “Dan and Cara have demonstrated the knowledge, experience and leadership necessary to ensure a seamless transition and to continue our tradition of excellence.”
“I’m honoured to lead our engineering team in the future development of tyres for Indy car racing and into the next chapter of Firestone Racing’s storied history,” said Adams. “Perhaps one of Dale’s biggest contributions to our sport is the expert team of engineers and chemists developed during his tenure. Dan, our entire team of engineers, chemists and technicians and I look forward to applying those teachings as we continue to provide world-class tyres to our racing family.”
“I am extremely proud of my accomplishments as chief engineer and manager of race tyre development, and throughout my entire career with Firestone Racing,” Harrigle said. “I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented, dedicated and inspiring people in the world of motorsport, and I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the great team at Firestone Race Tire Development for the past four years. I am excited for a new challenge and to use my expertise in leading a team in the Consumer Tire Trade Group. I wish Firestone Racing and IndyCar continued success in their tremendous partnership, and I congratulate Dan and Cara on their new roles.”