MELKSHAM, England (Nov. 3, 2004) — You win some, you lose some.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has secured a three-year contract to provide control race tires for the new A1 Grand Prix single-seater series, in effect replacing a contract it lost to Bridgestone Corp. for next year´s Formula 3000 successor series in Europe.
A1 Grand Prix, based in Dubai, is a new racing series to be held during the winter months at tracks in the Middle East and Asia, so as not to compete directly for attention with the more established racing series, such as Formula One or GP2 (formerly called Formula 3000). The first season will be 2005-06.
The new series features 3.4-liter Zytek V8 engines in identical Lola single-seat, open-wheel chassis running on Cooper race tires, according to A1. Cooper´s Avon Tyres unit in Melksham will make the tires and provide support service for the series, Cooper said.
The A1 series also will feature teams running national colors. To date, the organizers claim to have franchises for the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Portugal, Pakistan and Lebanon.
In Europe, the Federation International de l´Automobile, organizer of several international motorsports series including Formula One, has selected Bridgestone to be the spec tire supplier for the GP2 series.
The GP2 Series, using Dallara chassis and Renault 4-liter racing engines, will feature 10 races in Europe in its inaugural season. It replaces the F3000 formula used since 1985; during that time, Avon Tyres has supplied the spec tire, both before and after it was acquired by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
The champion of the new series, which is seen as a training series for Formula One, will be awarded the "Bridgestone Prize" of $100,000, the FIA and Bridgestone said.