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Bridgestone reaffirms Champ Car commitment
sign contract extension 
April 2, 2004

The name of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford can not be said without mentioning the fabled tire manufacturer, and rightly so, as the Champ Car World Series could not provide one of the truest tests in all of motorsport without the strong support of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT).

As they have been for the last two seasons, Bridgestone Potenza racing tires are standard equipment on each one of the 750hp turbocharged Champ Cars, but the commitment to the series goes far beyond supplying a full field with tires for every practice, qualifying, testing and race session during the 2004 season.

BFNT will again be a prominent part of the Champ Car World Series, with its flagship brand returning as presenting sponsor of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. The cutting-edge technology of Champ Cars, and the fact that the series delivers brand awareness to major markets around the world with its successful street events, gives the Bridgestone brand one of the top marketing platforms in all of motorsports.

“We are delighted to formalize the extension of its partnership with Champ Car for the 2004 season,” said Al Speyer, Executive Motorsports Director for BFNT. “The Champ Car World Series allows us to showcase the superior performance of the Bridgestone Potenza race tires in this most demanding and technologically-advanced public arena. With the brand returning as presenting sponsor of the series, we are conveying that message to an important global audience.”

The Bridgestone brand will continue to appear on nearly every aspect of the Champ Car World Series, including being a prominent part of the series logo. The Bridgestone logo will be featured on the cars, driver, team and series official uniforms as well as transporters. Bridgestone branding will also appear prominently in Champ Car broadcasts with product-based features and commercial spots. In addition to every Champ Car rolling on Bridgestone Potenzas, all pace cars in the Fast Lap program, every series transporter and each of the quick-response vehicles in the Champ Car Safety Team will be equipped with Bridgestone tires.

“We value our relationship with BFNT and the Bridgestone brand very highly and are very pleased to have them as part of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Strong presenting sponsors such as BFNT and Ford Motor Company are major factors in the success of our series,” said Champ Car World Series President Dick Eidswick. “BFNT performed without equal both on and off the track last year and we anticipate a similar performance in 2004.”

Bridgestone tires operated beautifully over the 2003 Champ Car campaign, logging more than 190,000 miles of race-weekend duty without a single racing incident. The mélange of track surfaces unique to Champ Car provides a stern test for a race tire, but the Bridgestone Potenzas held up with no trouble.

“The Bridgestone name speaks for itself. They’re the greatest motorsports tire manufacturer in the world,” said Herdez Competition driver Ryan Hunter-Reay. “I’ve been racing on Bridgestone tires since I was 11, and in my rookie season in Champ Car I got first-hand experience with the unmatched reliability of the Bridgestone Potenzas in conquering every type of track surface thrown at us in the Champ Car World Series. There are no other tires like Bridgestone in the world.”

BFNT will promote the series with select in-market campaigns involving its extensive national network of company-owned and dealer retail outlets. This initiative includes plans for race-specific advertising, “free Friday” ticket distribution, driver appearances at retail outlets and more.

The agreement calls for the Bridgestone brand to serve as Official Tire of the Champ Car World Series, as well as Official Tire for three specific events including Cleveland and Denver. BFNT has previous separate agreements to serve in similar capacities at Long Beach and Milwaukee, meaning the brand will serve as the Official Tire at no fewer than five races in 2004.

“The Champ Car World Series competes in a number of markets very important to the Bridgestone brand,” said Speyer. “We recognize and respect the tremendously loyal support from the fan base in those markets. Those markets and fans are particularly well suited to the fine Bridgestone brand and its high-performance consumer products. By partnering with Champ Car, we’re looking to solidify that loyalty and support for both.”

Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC, is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and private and associate brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off-road, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America. For more information on Bridgestone tires, go to www.bridgestonetire.com.

Champ Car World Series, LLC owns, operates and markets the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. The top open-wheel racing series in North America features drivers such as Paul Tracy, Michel Jourdain Jr., Bruno Junqueira and Ryan Hunter-Reay in a season-long quest for the Vanderbilt Cup. Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 16-race 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners SpikeTV and HDNet. Champ Car also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about Champ Car's open-wheel racing series at www.champcarworldseries.com..

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