CHAMPCAR/CART: Bridgestone, CCWS renew partnership

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES AND BRIDGESTONE ANNOUNCE THE RENEWAL OF PARTNERSHIP FOR 2005, BRIDGESTONE TO SPONSOR $10,000 POLE AWARD INDIANAPOLIS (February 23, 2005) --Bridgestone and Champ Car today announced a continuation of their relationship...

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES AND BRIDGESTONE ANNOUNCE THE RENEWAL OF PARTNERSHIP FOR 2005, BRIDGESTONE TO SPONSOR $10,000 POLE AWARD

INDIANAPOLIS (February 23, 2005) --Bridgestone and Champ Car today announced a continuation of their relationship that ensures that the Bridgestone brand would again serve as the presenting sponsor and the official tire of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

This will be the third consecutive season that Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) will serve as the presenting sponsor of the series and marks the fourth straight year that Bridgestone will serve as the exclusive tire supplier to the Champ Car World Series. This season will see an exciting new addition to BFNT's commitment to the open-wheel series, with the manufacturer sponsoring the $10,000 Bridgestone Pole Award at each Champ Car event.

The award will go to the top qualifier at every event with $5,000 going to the pole winning driver and another $5,000 going to charity. $2,500 of that amount will go to the Association of Hole In The Wall Camps -- "The Official Charity of Champ Car", with the other $2,500 being awarded to other local and national charities. In addition, Bridgestone will award $30,000 at the end of the season to the driver winning the most poles during the year, with an additional $10,000 going to the winning team's chief mechanic.

"The Bridgestone brand has been a great friend to Champ Car and we are excited about going racing with them again in 2005," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "Additionally we are very pleased with the addition of the Bridgestone Pole Award. Not only will the award add to the drama of qualifying, but it also helps us give something back to the community."

Another aspect of the agreement brings back the popular Bridgestone alternate tires at selected events for the 2005 season. The alternate tires are made of a softer compound, which yields higher speeds and adds passing opportunities. Each team will be mandated to use one set of the alternate tires -- distinguishable by red marking on the sidewalls -- during the race, giving teams an additional tool to use when mapping out a race strategy.

"The Champ Car World Series has been a great platform to showcase the technological capabilities of the Bridgestone race tires and to develop innovations like the alternate tire concept," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport. "We're pleased to extend the deal with Champ Car for 2005 and to continue growing the relationship with the Bridgestone Pole Award as well as other promotions planned during the season. We're looking forward to another exciting season of Champ Car racing and seeing every car shod with Bridgestone Potenza tires."

The 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season gets underway April 8-10 with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, one of the longest-running events on the series calendar. The 2005 season consists of 14 events run in five different countries, and ends on November 6 in Mexico City.

The Champ Car World Series features some of the greatest race car drivers in the world competing in the most diverse and exciting series in the world. Champions Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser, Cristiano da Matta and Canadian Paul Tracy along with 2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year A. J. Allmendinger, Bruno Junqueira, Alex Tagliani and Mexican Mario Dominguez are among the drivers who battle for the Vanderbilt Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. The title is contested on oval circuits, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., 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.

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , Cristiano da Matta