BRANDS HATCH, England — Goodyear plans to switch its support of the KwikFit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) to the Goodyear brand from Dunlop, which has been the BTCC's sponsor and tire supplier since 2003, thus ratcheting up its return to the European racing scene.
Goodyear said it chose the BTCC for the second step of its racing comeback as the series provides a strong platform for demonstrating tire technologies on a wide range of sedans as well as providing the right marketing platform to reach high-performance car enthusiasts in the United Kingdom.
The KwikFit BTCC is the premier street-car-based racing series in the U.K., running up to 30 races a year at circuits throughout the British Isles. The series, which started in 1958, attracted 17 teams campaigning 32 cars this past season. Among the brands represented were BMW, Ford, Honda, MG, Subaru, Toyota and Vauxhall (GM).
"The BTCC is one of the best-loved, most famous motor racing championships in the world and it will provide a great opportunity for Goodyear to get close to the hearts and minds of motorsport enthusiasts," Ben Crawlyey, motorsport director at Goodyear, said.
Neither Goodyear nor the BTCC disclosed the length of Goodyear's commitment to the series nor any financial information regarding the deal, which supersedes the tire maker's last Dunlop-brand supply agreement, which the parties had extended in 2015.
Goodyear said the decision comes with a view to enhancing the Goodyear brand in the motorsport and ultra-ultra-high-performance (UUHP) tire segments.