INDIANAPOLIS – IndyCar has announced a multi-year contract extension today with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC to continue its partnership with Firestone as the official tire supplier of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The announcement extends the tire brand’s involvement in open-wheel racing that dates to Ray Harroun’s Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
“Firestone is part of the fabric of IndyCar and its commitment to evolving performance, innovation and safety in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been remarkable,” said Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations. “The Firestone brand has been part of our sport for more than 100 years and continues to be an integral partner in the growth of IndyCar on and off the racetrack.”
Firestone has been involved in racing competitions since the early days of the automobile, particularly at the Indianapolis 500. Alexander Rossi’s win at the 100th Running of the Indy 500 last May was the 67th for Firestone – more than all other tire manufacturers combined – in the iconic race. Firestone, which returned to Indy car racing in 1995 following a 20-year hiatus, has been the sole supplier of Verizon IndyCar Series tires since 2000.
“For more than a century, the Firestone brand has utilized racing as the ideal stage to showcase the trusted dependability of our tires,” said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas. “This partnership is integral to our marketing initiatives as it allows us to engage with fans via the unique, multi-faceted platform that the Verizon IndyCar Series provides, and we look forward to building upon the brand’s time-tested racing legacy.”
This season, following discussion with Verizon IndyCar Series teams, IndyCar and Firestone have added to the overall tire allotment at each event to increase the amount of on-track activity during practice sessions. Additionally, teams will be permitted to run one set of alternate (red-sidewall) Firestone Firehawk tires during Friday practice sessions at all road/street course events to better evaluate their capabilities for qualifying and the race.