Cooper Tire Named Official Tire Supplier to A1 Grand Prix
World Cup of Motorsport Offers Global Brand Exposure
FINDLAY, OHIO, NOVEMBER 3, 2004 COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (NYSE: CTB) announces today that it has taken the position of official tire supplier to A1 Grand Prix, a new FIA approved motorsport series commencing September 2005. The three-year agreement calls for Cooper to produce slick tires and treaded rain tires for the series championship, the World Cup of Motorsport.
"A1 Grand Prix is an innovative, global series and Cooper Tire is an exciting, growing global brand," said Thomas A. Dattilo chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This is a perfect fit for Cooper Tires supported by our Avon racing team's long heritage in European motorsports. We are thrilled to be a part of this new series from the very beginning."
Cooper Tire is supporting and supplying tires to the series through its Avon Tyres Racing operation based in Melksham, Wiltshire, UK. All drivers are running on Cooper-A1 Grand Prix branded racing radials.
Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, A1 Grand Prix founder and CEO, has seen the tires in action and under varied conditions during testing in England and Spain. "I was impressed by the performance and resourcefulness of the Cooper-Avon team, and the tires gave us everything we want for our series. They are reliable and consistent and work well in all conditions.
"The feedback from our team and test driver, Ralph Firman, was totally positive," he said "I have looked at other series that have benefited from this company's tires. I know we have chosen the perfect partner."
A1 Grand Prix's schedule of races begins during the traditional off-season for motorsport. Due to the benefits of having warm weather climates, countries such as Dubai, China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa and Bahrain are among the first countries expected to host race events while two races are being scheduled in the U.S. and one in Europe.
Teams from the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Portugal, Pakistan and Lebanon are the first six to commit to A1 Grand Prix. A further 7 will be announced in South Africa on November 1st. And as many as 11 more countries are expected to field teams to race in this premier winter one-make championship.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, specializes in the manufacture and marketing of products for the global automotive industry. Products include automotive, motorcycle and truck tires, inner tubes, tread rubber and equipment, as well as sealing, trim, NVH control systems and fluid handling systems. Cooper has more than 20,000 employees and 52 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.coopertireandrubber.com.