Many carmakers maintain high performance or race divisions in hopes that technological breakthroughs on the track will transfer down to the high-volume passenger vehicles they sell. This "trickle-down" tech transfer is a common theme here at TRANSLOGIC. Race teams have produced plenty of innovations in the areas of tuning, suspension, lightweight materials and even hybrid technology.

While we don't typically see tech flowing in the opposite direction, that's precisely what happened during practice sessions at the newly revived Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit. Wet weather required IndyCar teams to swap out their characteristically slick tires for those with a tread that mimics the rubber found on more traditional cars, as reported by The Detroit News:

Firestone engineers called the new tire used here for the first time, "a significant departure" from the style of racing tire used in wet conditions for the past 15 years.

The Akron, Ohio, tire maker, which supplies racing tires to the IndyCar series, said its new Firehawk rain tire's tread pattern is inspired by the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 passenger car tire. The new racing tire is for "intermediate" wet conditions. The old style tire will be used if it rains harder.

We hope the weekend weather clears up for race fans in Detroit, but we admit it would be pretty cool to see IndyCars outfitted with the same tire tread found in our driveways.


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