FINDLAY, Ohio (June 1, 2006) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will be the official tire supplier and presenting sponsor of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship for the 2007-2009 seasons, replacing Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC).
With the deal, Cooper Tire will produce and supply Cooper high-performance racing slicks and rain tires for all Champ Car Atlantic Championship cars next season. YTC has supplied the Atlantic Championship for the past 18 years.
“This new strategic partnership positions Cooper squarely at the forefront of the motorsport world,” said Tom Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper. “It provides an excellent platform to showcase our ultra-high performance racing products and technological capabilities around the world.”
The racing series said more details of its partnership with Cooper will be released in the coming months.
“Cooper Tire has demonstrated a tireless commitment to racing over the years and Champ Car is happy to team up with such a well-established industry leader for the future,” said Steve Johnson, Champ Car president.
Team Australia Atlantic squad will begin to test the 2007 Cooper Atlantic tires June 1 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.
Champ Car Atlantic cars are single-seat, open-wheel racers powered by 2.3-liter, 300-hp Mazda-Cosworth engines. The championship runs as a companion development series to the Champ Car World Series, one of two premier open-wheel racing series in North America.
Yokohama and Champ Car agreed May 30 to end Yokohama's status with the Atlantic series after this season.
"Over our 18 years of partnership with the Atlantic Championship, we have been privileged to witness the birth of so many great careers, whether it was drivers, mechanics, owners or marketing personnel," said Robert Dole, product promotions manager for Yokohama.
YTC will support the series through the end of this season, including continuing the tire contingency program and the dealer activation program—whereby eight key Yokohama dealers get prime sponsorship location on Atlantic cars—announced in April.