NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Looking to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, Bridgestone Americas Inc. has engineered and plans to deploy Firestone Firehawk race tires made with guayule-derived natural rubber.
The guayule-based race tires will be used initially in a non-competitive venue—at the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)—but then will make their competition debut Aug. 6-7 at the Big Machine Music City IndyCar Grand Prix in Bridgestone's headquarters city of Nashville.
The guayule-based Firehawk race tires will be distinguishable by their green sidewalls, Bridgestone said. They will be the "alternative" compound tire at the Nashville race, meaning teams must use them at least once during the 2-plus hour, 174-mile race through the streets of downtown Nashville.
"The introduction of guayule natural rubber to America's pre-eminent open-wheel racing series speaks to the confidence we have in the technology and its promise as a scalable, sustainable and domestic source of our industry's most vital raw material," Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president, Solutions Businesses, Bridgestone Americas, said.