INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 20) — Champ Car World Series has renewed its contract with Bridgestone Motorsports as the racing series' exclusive tire supplier, but at the same time Bridgestone declined to extend its relationship as "supporting sponsor" of the open-wheel racing series.
Champ Car Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven made the announcement Nov. 18 at the series´ 2006 awards celebration. The multiyear deal extends the partnership between Champ Car and Bridgestone that began in 1995 when the series was named CART and the tire brand was Firestone.
The partners did not disclose the terms of the agreement.
"We are very pleased to announce this multiyear extension tonight, on the heels of such a successful 2006 Champ Car season," said Al Speyer, executive Director of motorsports, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire L.L.C. "While the restructured contract does not include provisions for the Bridgestone brand to remain presenting sponsor of the series, we will still be highly integrated in many, many Champ Car activities."
Bridgestone/Firestone will support the series with advertising on the race broadcasts, will procure "official" tire status at specific events and will continue to host guests at hospitality events at races, Speyer said.
Bridgestone/Firestone has been Champ Car´s exclusive tire supplier since 1995 but changed the brand to Bridgestone from Firestone in 2002 to reflect Champ Car's increasingly international schedule. Champ Car competed in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia this past season and plans to add a race in China in 2007.