GOODYEAR-SHOD MAZDA COURAGE DEVELOPING QUICKLY AKRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) -- International competition is the very essence of sports car racing and no effort in racing today has a better international flavor than...
GOODYEAR-SHOD MAZDA COURAGE DEVELOPING QUICKLY
AKRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) -- International competition is the very essence of sports car racing and no effort in racing today has a better international flavor than the B-K Motorsports team of the American Le Mans Series. Armed with an engine developed in Japan, a chassis built in France and tires created in the United States, the team competes in the P2 class for prototype racecars.
The engine is a Mazda, the chassis is a Courage and the tires are the latest in Goodyear's long line of road racing rubber.
"We're really proud to be part of the Goodyear family," said John Doonan, Manager of Motorsports Team Development at Mazda North America. "When we put this team together, it was a no brainer to go with Goodyear tires."
Since 2001, Goodyear-equipped drivers have won what is now the P2 class three times. The drivers of the Courage/Mazda are Jamie Bach and Guy Cosmo. Both have won championships with Goodyear tires in other racing series.
So far, so good in 2005. The Courage/Mazda/Goodyear package finished second in class in the ALMS race at Road Atlanta in April, the first time in competition for the package. One race, one podium finish.
"That's really remarkable," said Bob Shaffer, Goodyear's marketing manager for sports car racing. "They accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time."
The next race will be the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio May 22 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The same track is the home for the Sports Car Club of America's Championship Runoffs, which Goodyear routinely dominates.
The tires Goodyear has supplied B-K Motorsports are also supplied to the Intersport Racing team that campaigns a Lola in the P2 class. The Intersport team won the P2 class victory at Atlanta, giving Goodyear the first two positions on the podium.
"What we saw at Road Atlanta was nice, even wear," Doonan said.
The tires were originally developed for use in the P1 prototype class. The technology transferred nicely from one class to the other, according to Shaffer.
"It's an on-going process," Shaffer said. "For example, we have developed a new front tire which will be available at Mid-Ohio."
Both Bach and Cosmo are former drivers in the Star Mazda Championship Series presented by Goodyear. Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for Star Mazda racing. Cosmo was one of the development drivers for Goodyear's Star Mazda effort.
Doonan said the focus right now is on development and the next step in the development process is the race at Mid-Ohio.
"The P2 class is very competitive right now," Shaffer said. "Teams using several brands of tires and chassis have shown strength in the first two races this season. We are working with our racing partners to help them win."
Car builders know that no tiremaker is a better development partner than Goodyear.