Dunlop takes over title sponsorship
BIRMINGHAM, England-Goodyear Dunlop Tyres U.K. Ltd. is taking over as the title sponsor of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the next three seasons.
The BTCC said the agreement represents the largest ever title sponsorship in the series' 47-year history, although neither the organizing body nor Dunlop disclosed the value. The series now will be called the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Dunlop has been the exclusive tire of the BTCC-Britain's biggest motor racing championship-for the past two seasons, but this agreement extends the relationship to make the BTCC a key tool in Dunlop's brand marketing program.
Kumho involved in Le Mans, CORR
FONTANA, Calif.-Kumho Tire USA Inc. is supplying race tires to the Miracle Motorsports team in the American Le Mans Series, this year, marking its first foray into professional road racing in North America.
Miracle Motorsports is the defending Le Mans Prototype 2 class champion, Kumho said. The U.S. subsidiary of South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc. signed a multi-year contract with the team. Terms were undisclosed.
Michelin North America Inc., Goodyear, Pirelli Tire North America Inc. and Yokohoma Tire Corp. also supply teams in the series.
The ALMS is a series of sports car endurance racing events patterned after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France. The series features four classes: two prototype two-seater racing classes and two production car-based GT categories.
Kumho also will be the official tire of the Championship Off Road Racing (CORR) Lucas Oil Series. In 2004, Kumho sponsored more than 15 teams in all eight Lucas Oil Series divisions. The official tire sponsorship will give Kumho a television- and trackside-friendly venue to build its brand recognition, according to Mike Leverington, Kumho's director of marketing.
NASA taps Hankook series title sponsor
WAYNE, N.J.-Hankook Tire America Corp. has signed a three-year agreement to be the official title sponsor of the National Auto Sport Association's (NASA) U.S. Touring Car Championship (USTCC) race series through 2007.
Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., however, continues to be the official tire of NASA and the spec tire in four of NASA's 23 racing classes.
As part of the agreement, Hankook will supply its Ventus RSS Z211 R-Compound racing tires as the spec tires for the 2005 events. Hankook's logo will be prominent at each racing venue and on competitors' vehicles, the tire maker said.
The NASA series features mostly stock sport compact sedans using 4- and 6-cylinder engines putting out about 170-250 horsepower. Competitors may make some modifications, such as bigger brakes and/or aftermarket shocks, springs and sway bars, provided they use factory suspension mounting points, according to NASA.
Hankook replaces Toyo as the official tire of the USTCC. The value of the contract was not disclosed.
The 2005 season features 13 races across the U.S., starting in March and running through the end of October. Created in 2000, the USTCC is open to nearly 100 makes and models of sport compact sedans.
The Toyo Proxes RA-1 is the spec tire for NASA's American Iron, Spec Miata Challenge, Honda Challenge and Camaro-Mustang Challenge, NASA said. Toyo also will be involved with other NASA programs as the year progresses.
NASA is a business dedicated to organizing and promoting racing activities for both the aspiring or accomplished racer.
Founded in 1991, NASA has created programs that allow owners of both race cars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to experience the excitement of putting their cars on the racetrack in a safe and controlled environment.
BFS, Champ Car renew sponsorship
INDIANAPOLIS-Bridgestone/Firestone has renewed its ``presenting sponsorship'' status with the Champ Car racing series and will put up $10,000 at each event for the pole position winner.
This will be the third consecutive season that Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire L.L.C. will be the series' presenting sponsor and the fourth straight year that Bridgestone will be the exclusive tire supplier.
Officially, the series is called the ``Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.''
The 2005 season consists of 14 events on oval circuits, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses in five countries, starting April 8-10 in Long Beach, Calif., and ending Nov. 6 in Mexico City.
The Bridgestone Pole Award will present the top qualifier at every event $5,000, with another $5,000 going to charity.
Half of the charity award will go to the Association of Hole In The Wall Camps (the official charity of Champ Car), with the other $2,500 going to other local and national charities.
Dunlop an option in One Lap race
AKRON-Goodyear's Dunlop brand will be available to drivers in the 2005 Tire Rack Cannonball One Lap of America performance challenge.
Goodyear said the SP Sport Maxx ultra-high performance tire is available for the extreme driving event, joining seven other tire brands.
The event begins April 29 at Tire Rack's headquarters in South Bend, Ind. Drivers travel at legal speeds from the Midwest to the eastern U.S. and back. Each vehicle is required to be equipped with a single brand of tires.
In a separate move, Goodyear said its Dunlop brand also will be showcased in an upcoming episode of Sports Car Revolution on Speed Channel.
Audi modifier STaSIS Engineering will feature an Audi A4 outfitted with Dunlop SP Super Sport Race tires-non-competition, DOT-legal street tires designed for supercar owners and autocross enthusiasts.