Bridgestone Firestone statement on unification

Bridgestone Firestone Applauds Open-wheel Unification News NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 22, 2008) -- Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), joins the rest of the motorsports world in applauding the announcement that America's...

Bridgestone Firestone Applauds Open-wheel Unification News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 22, 2008) -- Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), joins the rest of the motorsports world in applauding the announcement that America's two major open-wheel racing series will unify this season under a single banner.

The agreement ends a split of open-wheel teams, talent and sponsorship that lasted 12 seasons. Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports was a strong supporter of the two series, the Indy Racing League and its IndyCar Series, and the Champ Car World Series, serving as sole tire supplier to both since 2000 and adding marketing leverage as a strong promotional partner with each organization.

Bridgestone Firestone generated great exposure for its tire brands in the series -- since 2002, Bridgestone has been the Official Tire of Champ Car and Firestone the Official Tire of the IndyCar Series, Indy Pro Series and Indianapolis 500 Mile Race -- yet the tire maker fully realizes the benefits of a single, unified series.

"Overall, Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports is quite pleased for the sport," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports. "We are looking for a unified American open-wheel racing series to maximize fan interest, as well as bring in additional teams, drivers and sponsors -- all of which will contribute to the health and growth of that series. We are eager to work with everyone involved in the transition and look forward to an even more promising future."

First and foremost in BFNT's racing future is resolving how to most effectively continue garnering positive exposure for its tire brands. No final decision has been made which brand -- Bridgestone, Firestone or a combination -- will be utilized in the unified series this season. That will be determined after a careful evaluation of options by BFNT officials. Regardless, the company intends to remain a valued and visible promotional partner for open-wheel racing.

"As always, we look forward to a solid future supplying the best racing tires in the business," Speyer added. "The synergies possible with all of the great people involved working toward a common goal really excites us."

-credit: bridgestone firestone motorsports

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Series IndyCar