Laguna Seca: Cooper tire race report

Laguna Seca Hosts the A1 Grand Prix and Cooper Tire A1 Team Mexico's decision to go with slick tires pays off in victory, A1 Team France clinches first A1 Grand Prix World Championship FINDLAY, OHIO, March 13, 2006 -- COOPER TIRE & ...

Laguna Seca Hosts the A1 Grand Prix and Cooper Tire

A1 Team Mexico's decision to go with slick tires pays off in victory, A1 Team France clinches first A1 Grand Prix World Championship

FINDLAY, OHIO, March 13, 2006 -- COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY's (NYSE: CTB) Cooper-A1 Grand Prix racing radials played a critical role in the A1 Grand Prix's only U.S. stop of the season Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California.

Salvador Duran and A1 Team Mexico opted to use slick tires on a track with several damp patches -- a move which helped them finish first with a time of 1.00.52.974. Timo Scheider and A1 Team Germany finished second with a time of 1.00.55.016 while Robbie Kerr and A1 Team Great Britain took third with a time of 1.00.56.091. Mechanical problems forced Bryan Herta and A1 Team USA to pull out of the race after completing 37 laps.

Record cold temperatures and a heavy rain storm placed a large emphasis on tires and the mandatory pit stop each team must take. Drivers from 22 teams in the series, dubbed the World Cup of Motorsport, competed on Cooper-A1 tires fitted to 16-inch wide racing rims.

"It was thrilling to welcome the drivers to the United States and see them racing with confidence in their Cooper-A1 Grand Prix racing radials despite the wet track conditions," said Thomas A. Dattilo chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. "We congratulate Duran and A1 Team Mexico on their victory and look forward to watching everyone compete on April 2 at the Shanghai International Circuit in China."

With their 14th place finish, A1 Team France garnered enough points (163 points overall) to be declared the first world champions of the World Cup of Motorsport. A1 Team Switzerland is in second overall with 122 points and A1 Team Great Britain is in third with 88 points.

Designed to run at very high temperatures, the Cooper-A1 tire's distinctive blend of compounds create a soft and tacky tire to provide an incredible level of grip by literally sticking the car to the track. Cooper Tire has also designed a grooved wet weather tire to handle even the most severe weather conditions but with a construction that provides enough resilience to endure a full race distance.

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Series A1GP
Drivers Bryan Herta , Timo Scheider , Robbie Kerr , Salvador Duran