IndyCar’s Firestones to come from new facility in Akron, OH.

Firestone has opened a new $21m Advanced Tire Production Center designed for more efficient and sustainable tire production that will produce the Firehawks used by the NTT IndyCar Series.

IndyCar’s Firestones to come from new facility in Akron, OH.
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The Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC) will be home to 60 expert tire builders and manufacturing professionals and is the first new tire plant in Akron in more than 70 years.

The new ATPC continues a legacy of tire manufacturing in Akron that began with the founding of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in 1900, and is located across the street from the Bridgestone Americas Technology Center, one of three major R&D centers for Bridgestone globally.

The 80,000sq.ft. ATPC features manufacturing technologies to “advance innovation in race tires,” but will also manufacture small batches of specialty, prototype tires for testing and development purposes for both racing and on-road applications.

“The new ATPC is a reflection of both our proud history in Akron and racing while also exemplifying our company’s vision for sustainability in all aspects of our business,” said Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “For more than a century, Akron has been where our most advanced tires have been conceived, designed and built, and now we are furthering this legacy in a more sustainable production environment where the world’s best engineers, technicians and master tire builders will shape the future of tires and racing.”

The new ATPC uses 60 percent less energy than the company’s previous race tire manufacturing facility, thanks to a more compact building footprint, insulated roofing, a more efficient boiler system and LED lighting throughout the plant. Additionally, Bridgestone has purchased carbon offsets to cover the balance of its energy use to achieve carbon neutral operations at the ATPC, supporting the company’s global goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The ATPC is part of a series of investments Bridgestone is making in its Akron operations. In November 2021, the company announced a $6m investment in a new test track adjacent to the ATPC to support passenger tire testing and development and it is scheduled to be completed in the fall of this year.

The grand opening was attended by Akron mayor Daniel Horrigan, Summit County executive Ilene Shapiro and Ohio State Representative Emilia Sykes and Mario Andretti, who started his career on Firestone tires nearly 60 years ago.

"I'd like to thank Bridgestone for their ongoing commitment to the city of Akron," said Horrigan. "Akron's history is undoubtedly intertwined with Bridgestone's and I'm honored to help open the new Advanced Tire Production Center here. I look forward to Bridgestone's continued success in Akron."

Today it was announced that Firestone will also become sole tire supplier for the Indy Lights Series starting in 2023, and those tires, too, will be manufactured at the ATPC.

Mario Andretti at the Firestone's new facility located at Akron, Ohio

Mario Andretti at the Firestone's new facility located at Akron, Ohio

Photo by: Firestone

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