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Bridgestone renews with Champ Car
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), and Champ Car are pleased to announce that, less than halfway through the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, provisions have been met to assure that the Bridgestone brand will remain the series’ Official Tire through at least 2009.

At right Bridgestone’s Joe Barbieri with Champ Car President Steve Johnson.

BFNT and Champ Car agreed on a multiyear deal in November 2006 that secured Bridgestone’s Official Tire status for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Contingencies were put in place then that would trigger automatic contract renewal for the 2009 season. Commensurate with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank – just five events into 2007 – BFNT has already met the provisions to activate the extension and ensure that Bridgestone Potenzas will equip every Champ Car through the completion of the ‘09 schedule.

“Bridgestone has been a strong and very valued Champ Car partner since the brand joined the series in 2002,” said Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson. “We’re delighted that Bridgestone is certain to remain the Official Tire of Champ Car through at least 2009. At that time, the Bridgestone Firestone family will have been involved in Champ Car for 15 years.

“That longevity,” Johnson added, “is a testament to the tremendous relationship we have cultivated, and it is much more than a sanctioning body/supplier relationship. BFNT has activated its position with Champ Car extensively, is a strong marketing partner and provides the best, most reliable race tires in the business. We couldn’t be happier for this relationship to continue as we grow.”

In addition to its responsibility as Official Tire of Champ Car, which includes use of the popular “red” alternate tire concept at every 2007 event, Bridgestone has supported the series this year with such unique initiatives as the free fan photo booth available at all domestic events and the series’ driver autograph card used for the all-driver autograph sessions held every race weekend. The Bridgestone brand also continued long-standing agreements to serve as the Official Tire at the Long Beach and Cleveland events, as well as adding that status for the new races in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

“Our company has remained very active in supporting Champ Car with more than just fine race tires,” said Al Speyer, BFNT’s executive director of motorsports. “It is an ideal pairing between a global series and a global brand. We’ll continue to remain actively involved and look to increase that involvement as the contract extension takes place through 2009. I can confidently say that both sides wanted to see this partnership continue, and we’re all very glad to see it realized so quickly.”

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