Bridgestone Motorsport Seasons Get Underway Teams look to repeat successes of 2004 CHICAGO, Ill. (February 11, 2005) -- With the AMA Supercross season already underway, Bridgestone Motorsport is also gearing up for other competitions around the...
Bridgestone Motorsport Seasons Get Underway
Teams look to repeat successes of 2004
CHICAGO, Ill. (February 11, 2005) -- With the AMA Supercross season already underway, Bridgestone Motorsport is also gearing up for other competitions around the globe, continuing to build on the legacy of success that Bridgestone-equipped teams and competitors have established over the past four decades.
"Bridgestone Motorsport has enjoyed spectacular success in the past few years," said Al Speyer, executive director of motorsports, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). "Certainly our accomplishments in Formula One have been the highlight of our motorsports program, but when you look at our program from top to bottom it's hard to find a weak spot. Across the board, from motorcycle to karting to our continued partnership with Champ Car, our triumphs on the track have given us a chance to both highlight our status as a global leader in tire technology as well as find inspiration for future innovations. We fully expect 2005 to continue the trend."
The 2005 season kicked off in January as Bridgestone-equipped riders took to the track in both the 125cc and 250cc divisions of the AMA Supercross series. This year, at least nine riders in the 250cc division will ride on Bridgestone tires, including 2004 champion Chad Reed and perennial Supercross favorite Ricky Carmichael. At least 12 riders are expected to compete on Bridgestone tires in the 125cc division. Bridgestone-equipped riders dominated AMA Supercross competition in 2004, led by Reed's 10 wins. Every single 250cc victory and all but one podium finish were claimed last season by a Bridgestone-equipped rider.
Bridgestone returns to Formula One competition again this season as a technological partner to world champion Michael Schumacher and the Scuderia Ferrari team, as well as the Jordan Grand Prix and Minardi teams. The 2004 season saw a Bridgestone-equipped driver win 15 of the series' 18 races, with Schumacher claiming his record seventh FIA Formula One World Series driver's championship, the seventh consecutive title by a Bridgestone-equipped driver. Formula One's 2005 season, which will feature 19 events, gets underway March 6 with the Australian Grand Prix.
Bridgestone will continue as official tire and presenting sponsor for the Champ Car World Series in 2005, the fourth consecutive season that every Champ Car driver will compete on Bridgestone tires. At selected events, Bridgestone will again bring a softer-compound "alternate" tire, a highly successful concept that added a new facet to Champ Car competition last season.
"After the success we had last season, we've decided to continue to offer the alternate tire at several events," said Speyer. "Historically, passing has been a problem on many Champ Car circuits and we think this has made it easier for drivers to find that little bit of extra speed. Our aim was to make the racing a bit more exciting for the fans and by having drivers on faster tires at different times of the race, we think we've been able to accomplish that."
The Champ Car Series opens its 2005 season on April 10 with the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Many of today's open-wheel drivers, including Michael Schumacher, began their careers in the highly popular sport of karting. Bridgestone has been a perennial favorite of karting champions all over the world, and the company has enjoyed a great deal of success in karting competition. Last season, David Fore won the CIK/FIA World Championship on Bridgestone tires and Bridgestone will be seen again this year in numerous karting competitions around the world, including events in the International Karting Federation, World Karting Association and the Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League.
After entering FIM MotoGP competition for the first time in 2002, Bridgestone had a landmark season in 2004, with two victories and three pole wins by a Bridgestone-equipped rider. In this thrilling and highly competitive series, sometimes known as "the F1 of the motorcycle world," Bridgestone is proving itself a worthy competitor and continues this season in partnership with Ducati Marlboro, Kawasaki and Team Suzuki.
Nashville-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC, 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.