CHAMPCAR/CART: Bridgestone support extends beyond racing

BRIDGESTONE SUPPORT OF CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES EXTENDS ROADSIDE IN MEXICO INDIANAPOLIS -- Bridgestone Americas' support of Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is extensive and far-reaching. That fact was proven yet...

BRIDGESTONE SUPPORT OF CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES EXTENDS ROADSIDE IN MEXICO

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bridgestone Americas' support of Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is extensive and far-reaching. That fact was proven yet again last weekend at the 2005 season finale, the Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented by Banamex in Mexico City.

And, as revealed at Sunday night's Champ Car Awards Celebration, the Bridgestone brand's exceptional backing of the series is expected to continue in 2006.

Already regarded as one of Champ Car's most staunch supporters -- the Bridgestone brand has served as Series Presenting Sponsor since 2003 and the Official Tire since '02 -- the Bridgestone Motorsport team went above and beyond those positions by providing detailed logistical support for the series' transporter caravans from Laredo, Texas, to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City before the event, and back again afterward.

Prior to the trip, Bridgestone Motorsport loaded tractor-trailer tires into its own transporters carrying the Bridgestone Potenza race tires for the event, assuring a ready supply of proper replacement tires for the journey. In cooperation with Bridgestone Firestone Mexico, arrangements also were made with six Bridgestone truck tire retailers to be on call for emergency support along the path from Laredo to Mexico City.

"The Bridgestone Americas team has quietly provided this transport support to races in both Mexico City and Monterrey for several years now," said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Motorsports, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. "The series can't put on a great show for the Mexican fans if all the equipment doesn't reach the destinations on time, so we are happy to furnish this support that includes a thorough survey of all those sending transporters to make certain we have the correct truck tire sizes on hand. Of course, we couldn't do any of it without the tremendous assistance of Bridgestone Firestone Mexico and its accommodating line of retailers."

Once at the racetrack, Bridgestone retailers serviced numerous transporter tires that required replacement after the trip, which occurred over sometimes-difficult roadways. Such was the level of support that the Bridgestone team replaced a truck tire for one of the Grand American Road Racing Association teams that also raced in Mexico City, though not required to do so because Grand Am transporters were not a part of the Champ Car caravan.

"Having the support of Bridgestone Americas on these trips is a tremendous asset," said Billy Kamphausen, Champ Car director of logistics. "Even when a team that is not a part of Champ Car had a flat tire, the local Mexican Bridgestone Firestone retailer assisted in accommodating the team and allowing them to get on their way. The Bridgestone team is a great partner to the Champ Car World Series, not only on the track, but in all of the support they give the series and teams off the track."

At Sunday night's season-ending celebration, Speyer also made official the Bridgestone brand's plan to once again provide its unparalleled Potenza race tires to all Champ Car World Series competitors in 2006. While details of the pact have yet to be finalized, Speyer said Bridgestone Motorsport has agreed with a Champ Car request to expand the popular alternate-tire concept used at select tracks the past two years to every road- and street-course event in '06.

"We've witnessed the rebirth of the Champ Car World Series since Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi took control," Speyer said. "And we've been greatly impressed by the efforts of the entire Champ Car staff under the direction of Dick Eidswick and now Steve Johnson. Our Bridgestone brand is eager to build on the growing success of the past two years and to help the series reach new heights in 2006."

"The Champ Car World Series continues to grow and the retention of the Bridgestone brand as a Presenting Sponsor shows true dedication to our series," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "The Bridgestone team has been a great partner to the Champ Car World Series and we are extremely pleased to have them on board for the 2006 season. The quality of the racing tires they provide to our teams is second to none."

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and associate and private brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off-road, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America.

The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford features some of the world's greatest drivers competing on the most diverse and exciting venues around the globe. Champions Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser and Canadian Paul Tracy along with 2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year A. J. Allmendinger and Canadians Alex Tagliani and Andrew Ranger are among the series competitors. Drivers compete annually for the Vanderbilt Cup during three-day festivals of speed on oval circuits, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses.

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Paul Gentilozzi , Gerald Forsythe , Andrew Ranger , Steve Johnson , Kevin Kalkhoven