Firestone will become the exclusive tire supplier for Indy Lights beginning in 2023.
The announcement came as part of the Bridgestone's grand opening of Bridgestone Americas new Advanced Tire Production Center in Akron, Ohio on Wednesday. The new facility will manufacture all the tires for the IndyCar Series. In addition, beginning in 2023, the facility will also be responsible for producing all the tires for the Indy Lights series. That deal with IndyCar was also announced on Wednesday.
Currently, more than 25,000 Firestone Firehawk race tires are made in Akron and supplied to the IndyCar series. Firestone has been the exclusive tire supplier to Indy car racing since 2000. Goodyear ended its 36-year association with open-wheel racing following the 1999 season in the midst of the sport's IRL/CART feud.
The announcements highlight Firestone’s plans to expand its partnership with IndyCar as the exclusive tire supplier for the NTT IndyCar Series.
In the Indy Lights Series, Firestone will replace Cooper, which has supplied tires to the series since 2014. Indy Lights is the top rung of the Road to Indy ladder. The ladder also includes Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000. Winners of each series earn scholarships to the next level. Winner of the Indy Lights Series season championship earns a scholarship to race in IndyCar.
“Firestone continues to be a phenomenal partner,” said IndyCar president Jay Frye. “We are proud to see that our relationship is expanding into supplying tires for both of our series. Their attention to detail, safety and performance is unmatched. Supplying their world-class product to the NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights reflects Firestone’s commitment to IndyCar’s present and future.”
Bridgestone brands Firestone and Dayton supplied tires for Indy Lights from 1991 to 2013.
“We look forward to expanding our partnership with IndyCar to supply tires for Indy Lights starting in 2023,” said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas. “We know the importance this series has for technology advancement and driver development and are proud to be a part of the journey.”
In the fall of 2021, IndyCar assumed total control of Indy Lights operations, which unifies marketing, digital assets and race officiating for both series under one umbrella.