MONTEREY, Calif. — Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s Firestone brand has secured the title sponsorship for the next two year for the season-ending race of the NTT IndyCar Series season.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey is set for Sept. 20-22 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, which will host an IndyCar event for the first time in 15 years, Bridgestone said. The event will be broadcast live on NBC.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is with the County of Monterey, which owns the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course.
Firstone also is the title sponsor of the season-opening race, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will be held March 8-10 on the combined airport runway/city street course in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas, said Firestone is a perfect match for IndyCar's return to the track.
"With this new sponsorship, Firestone now will help deliver great events for fans when the NTT IndyCar Series season goes green in St. Petersburg and crosses the finish line in Monterey — while continuing to provide world-class tire technology for every lap in between," she said.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca hosted memorable IndyCar races from 1983 to 2004, including Alex Zanardi executing "The Pass" on Bryan Herta on the final lap of the 1996 finale; Mario Andretti's retirement in 1994; and Bobby Rahal's four consecutive wins from 1984-87.
The track is known for its "Corkscrew" turn, a nearly six-story drop in elevation on an esses between Turns 8 and 8A, as well as the Andretti Hairpin on Turn 2 and Rahal Straight on the back straight between Turns 6 and 7.
Global information and technology provider NTT Data Corp. signed a multi-year agreement earlier this week to become the title sponsor of the series. NTT also becomes the official technology partner of IndyCar, the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.