Bridgestone is to build a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Akron, Ohio, that will serve as the future home of Firestone race tire manufacturing. The plant’s output will be solely for the T IndyCar Series.
Bridgestone Americas has extended its partnership with IndyCar as supplier to the championship for the next five years. The agreement, which includes continued rights for Firestone as the official tire of the Indianapolis 500, furthers the brand’s storied history in open-wheel racing.
In support of this, Bridgestone is to build a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Akron, Ohio that will serve as the future home of Firestone race tire manufacturing.
The Bridgestone Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC) will be located across the street from the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center and less than a mile from the Bridgestone Advanced Technology Workshop (ATW), where race tires are currently produced. Plans for the ATPC include construction of a new facility and the full renovation of an existing structure.
“Firestone has long been a great IndyCar partner and is making a huge investment to the NTT IndyCar Series with its new facility in Akron,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “This extension also reflects Firestone’s commitment to helping to shape IndyCar’s paddock-wide, five-year plan.”
A team of more than 50 tire builders and manufacturing professionals are currently based at the ATW where over 60 race tire specifications are made. All race tire manufacturing will move to the new facility over the next four years, and early plans are for the site to produce its first Firestone Firehawk race tires for testing in the NTT IndyCar Series by the end of 2020.
Firestone is entering its 20th consecutive season as the sole tire supplier to the NTT IndyCar Series. It will produce and deliver more than 26,000 Firehawk race tires to teams throughout the 2019 series, including more than 6,000 tires for track activities related to the Indianapolis 500 alone.
“The Akron community and race tire development have each played significant roles in our company’s past, and they will continue to drive innovation for us in the future,” said Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer at Bridgestone Americas.
“We are proud to ensure that Firestone race tires will be built in Akron for many years to come, soon in a new facility that will be as cutting-edge as the tires it produces.”