Firestone continues with INDYCAR through 2018 – YAY!
Al Speyer may be leaving as executive director of Firestone’s motorsports activities in 2013, but he’s keeping the IZOD indyCar Series community safe and fast with the news that the brand will continue as sole INDYCAR tire supplier through the 2018 season. The move ensures Firestone’s participation in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016; Firestone has supplied tires to INDYCAR since racing began in 1996.
“Firestone performance and safety have been synonymous with Indy car racing for
more than 100 years,” Speyer remarked. “We are excited about the opportunity to continue the ongoing success of this series by extending the Firestone brand’s history in the sport through the 2018 season.
“We treasure the relationships we have fostered with the league, drivers, owners and various other partners involved with the sport through the years, and look forward to continuing our legacy of high performance for which Firestone tires are known.”
Firestone’s title sponsorship and official tire status in the Mazda Road to Indy Firestone Indy Lights series continues through the coming season – but could be renewed by both parties.
As part of this agreement, Firestone said it will increase its commitment to and investments in the series to help maximize INDYCAR’S growth potential for the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone’s press release said. The expanded agreement starts in 2014 – including tires and technical support, investments in advertising, event promotions, at-track signage, hospitality, race title sponsorships and other programs. Firestone and INDYCAR will release specific details of this agreement and relationship sometime next year, they said.
Speyer emphasized the agreement with INDYCAR has its basis on “mutual respect and benefit to all parties. Our agreement to move forward together is a manifestation of the business valve we both realize from this partnership as well as the legacy of safety and performance that we have built together over a century of experience,” he reminded.
“One of our future aims,” Speyer noted, “is to help grow interest (in the series) so we look forward to welcoming and new generation of fans to the sport while at the same time energizing the existing loyal fan base. Fans are the true end customer for both INDYCAR and Firestone; their engagement is fundamental to our mutual future success.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series 2013 schedule represents a total of 16 tracks with double-header race weekends at three of those: Belle Isle in Detroit (the week after the Indy 500), in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in July and at Reliant Park in Houston next October.
INDYCAR interim CEO Jeff Belskus had this to say: “The agreement expands our opportunity to continue working together to provide on-track excitement for our fans and grow the sport through coordinated and consistent off-track promotions. This is an important relationship for both Firestone and INDYCAR and we are very pleased to continue the association.”
What this means for race teams and fans alike is a gracious holiday gift for all, knowing that one part of the INDYCAR landscape remains stable and viable for the next five seasons. Thanks Al!
By Anne Proffit