Firestone and INDYCAR have penned an extension of their partnership that will see the Bridgestone Americas, Inc. brand continue as the sole tire supplier of the NTT IndyCar Series through 2025.
Beyond extending its storied open-wheel racing history well into the next decade, Bridgestone will build a new manufacturing facility in Akron, Ohio where Firestone race tires will be created.
Called the Bridgestone Advanced Tire Production Center, the new facility will be located across the street from the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center and less than a mile from where race tires are currently produced at the Bridgestone Advanced Technology Workshop. An existing structure will be renovated and new construction will take place to complete the Advanced Tire Production Center.
The production of more than 60 unique race tire specifications will transfer to the new facility over the next four years. The first Firestone Firehawk race tires from the new site are planned to be produced in time for IndyCar testing by the end of 2020.
“Champions have relied on Firestone tires for more than a century, and racing has always been the ideal proving ground for new technologies that help us evolve and advance our company’s passenger tire offerings,” said Philip Dobbs, chief marketing officer of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
“As the NTT IndyCar Series continues gaining momentum, we are introducing new fans to the Firestone brand and strengthening our relationship with the drivers who use our durable, dependable Firestone tires.”
Firestone’s background in Indy car racing began when the inaugural Indianapolis 500 was won with Firestone tires in 1911. During its 20th consecutive season as IndyCar’s sole tire supplier, Firestone will produce and deliver more than 26,000 tires to teams throughout 2019, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and concluding with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.