Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. and Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., announced that the Bridgestone Potenza racing radial will be the tire all FedEx Championship Series competitors will be racing on in 2002.
Bridgestone tires also compete in Formula One competition and will be joining the CART series for the first time next season. While Bridgestone tires have been competing on racetracks around the world since 1963, the brand has had limited exposure to racing fans in the U.S., where the company has largely used motorsport to highlight its Firestone brand.
“We are very pleased to have the Bridgestone tire brand joining CART and the FedEx Championship Series,” said Rich Henley, CART’s senior vice president of marketing. “Bridgestone reaches an audience very similar to the CART fan and has a following among enthusiasts and fans alike around the world. We believe Bridgestone, and its advanced technology, is a very good fit for CART and Bridgestone/Firestone.”
“We’re very excited about featuring the Bridgestone brand in a major open- wheel racing series that has its roots in the U.S.,” said Shu Ishibashi, President of the Bridgestone/Firestone U.S. Consumer Tire Group. “From 1998 through 2001, the Formula One World Driver’s Championship has gone to Bridgestone-equipped drivers, providing excellent exposure for the Bridgestone brand in European markets and other countries. Since CART has evolved into an international program and the Bridgestone brand is involved with international racing, we believe CART and Bridgestone make a perfect match. We’re confident using Bridgestone tires in this demanding series in 2002 will reinforce the brand and complement Bridgestone’s exposure in F1.”
CART CEO and President Joe Heitzler said his organization supports Bridgestone/Firestone’s decision to begin using Bridgestone tires in the series’ competitions. “We’ve been very pleased with the performance of Firestone in CART,” Heitzler said. “In event after event, the tires have been amazingly consistent and safe, contributing much to the quality of our racing. When Bridgestone/Firestone informed us they wanted to use Bridgestone tires in future CART events, complementing the use of Bridgestone Potenzas in Formula One, we recognized that as an astute marketing decision and an effective strategy for the Bridgestone brand."
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