MELKSHAM, England (Oct. 10, 2008) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Europe Ltd. has extended contracts as the exclusive race tire supplier for the British Formula 3 International Series and British GT Championship, with the firm's Cooper brand succeeding its Avon brand in the F3 series.
Cooper also will become the F3 series title sponsor for the 2009-11 seasons. Cooper's Avon brand has been the series' race tire supplier for the past 25 years.
“Through our many years in British F3 with the Avon brand, we know that it is a genuine stepping stone of great drivers on the way to F1, and therefore requires the very best components in every area,” said Julian Baldwin, managing director of Cooper Tire Europe Ltd.
“Avon Tyres is very well established in British and European motor racing and, as Cooper Tire grows as a brand in Europe, we want it to stand for the same standard of quality,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Cooper's racing tires deserve to be allied with a high-profile championship in Europe, and you don't get much bigger than British F3.”
Neither Cooper nor F3 and GT series organizer Stephane Ratel Organisation disclosed the value of the contracts.
Cooper said it won the contract by defeating competition from several other tire makers.
Formula 3 cars are 1,200-pound, single-seat, open-wheel racers powered by four-cylinder engines producing about 210 horsepower. The British F3 series uses Mercedes-Benz and Mugen-Honda engines and three different chassis.
Cooper also will extend its deal with the British GT Championship through 2011 with the Avon brand, which as been the series' title sponsor the past three years.
The GT Championship features a diverse range of cars, from the 2008 championship-winning Dodge Viper to the Porsche GT3RS and the Lamborghini Gallardo.
“We have enjoyed the first three years of working with the British GT Championship,” Mr. Baldwin said. “The mix of cars and their very different handling characteristics really tests our expertise, but so far our crew has risen to the challenge, and they will relish another three seasons of doing so with a field of such high-powered machinery.”
Cooper supplies Avon motorsport tires to more than 140 championships around the world.