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Bridgestone Announces 2018 Motorsport Plan

Tokyo (March 9, 2018)-Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) today announced its 2018 motorsport plan. Bridgestone implements branding and marketing initiatives through various sports events. Among these initiatives, Bridgestone views motorsports initiatives as forming an important communication platform that is directly linked to its tire business.

In 2018, Bridgestone will continue to be involved in various motorsports, ranging from top-level races to grassroots motorsports participated in by amateurs. The company hopes that their involvement in these events will help them contribute to the cultivation of a more enjoyable motoring culture and to the development of motorsports together with automobile manufacturers and other related parties.

In Japan, Bridgestone will supply tires to teams competing in the SUPER GT Series of car races as well as in the All Japan Road Race Championship and the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race motorcycle races. Looking overseas, we will supply tires to teams participating in the Endurance World Championship (EWC), the world's foremost series of endurance motorcycle races, which is sponsored by Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and takes place in Europe and other locations. In addition, the Company will continue as sole tire supplier of the Verizon IndyCar® Series for the 19th consecutive season. The series is currently held in North America. Bridgestone is working to enhance its tire development capabilities through its involvement in these top-level races, which see fierce competition.

Bridgestone also supports various grassroots motorsports, including the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race, the ROADSTER Party Race III, and the All-Japan Gymkhana Championship, all of which are held in Japan. These are some examples of Bridgestone's activities to increase the number of car fans. In addition, Bridgestone continues to supply tires to a team competing in the N?rburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race, which is held in Germany and gathers crowds of more than 200,000 spectators. By supplying tires to these grassroots motorsports, Bridgestone hopes to deliver enjoyable driving experiences.

Bridgestone will primarily supply POTENZA brand tires for car races and BATTLAX brand tires for motorcycle races to support the teams, drivers, and riders.

To communicate the pleasure of cars and motorcycles to many people through these motorsport activities, Bridgestone will hold events both inside and outside of racing circuits and provide information via its website and social media.

*FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

<Car Races> 1. SUPER GT

  • This is the most popular top-level race series in Japan.
  • Tires will be supplied by both Japanese and overseas tire manufacturers, and participation in these competitions will help enhance Bridgestone's technologies.
  • Bridgestone will supply tires to nine teams in GT500 class and four teams in GT300 class.
  • In 2016 and 2017, teams which used Bridgestone tires became champions in GT500 class. Bridgestone is committed to contributing to the victory of the teams it supplies in 2018 as well.

SUPER GT GT500 Class  &nbspTires: POTENZA RACING TIRE

Team Driver Vehicle
LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM'S Ryo HIRAKAWA KeePer TOM'S LC500
Nick CASSIDY
LEXUS TEAM LEMANS WAKO'S Kazuya OSHIMA WAKO'S 4CR LC500
Felix ROSENQVIST
LEXUS TEAM au TOM'S Kazuki NAKAJIMA au TOM'S LC500
Yuhi SEKIGUCHI
LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO Yuji TACHIKAWA ZENT CERUMO LC500
Hiroaki ISHIURA
LEXUS TEAM SARD Heikki KOVALAINEN DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500
Kamui KOBAYASHI
TEAM IMPUL Daiki SASAKI CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R
Jann MARDENBOROUGH
KEIHIN REAL RACING Koudai TSUKAKOSHI KEIHIN NSX-GT
Takashi KOGURE
TEAM KUNIMITSU Naoki YAMAMOTO RAYBRIG NSX-GT
Jenson BUTTON
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI Tomoki NOJIRI ARTA NSX-GT
Takuya IZAWA

SUPER GT GT300 Class   Tires: POTENZA RACING TIRE

Team Driver Vehicle
apr Koki SAGA TOYOTA PRIUS apr GT
Kohei HIRATE
K-tunes Racing LM corsa Morio NITTA K-tunes RC F GT3
Yuichi NAKAYAMA
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI Shinichi TAKAGI ARTA BMW M6 GT3
Sean WALKINSHAW
K2 R&D LEON RACING Haruki KUROSAWA LEON CVSTOS AMG
Naoya GAMOU

2. CIK-FIA World and European Championships and All Japan Karting OK Championship

  • These races are prime venues for cultivating promising young racers.
  • In CIK-FIA World Karting Championship and CIK-FIA European Championship, Bridgestone will supply tires exclusively for OK class races.
  • In 2018, we will continue to work toward victory together with numerous teams and drivers in the OK class of the All Japan Karting Championship.

Tires: BRIDGESTONE RACING KART TIRE

Class Team Driver
CIK-FIA World/European OK Championships Bridgestone will supply tires to all teams and drivers as the exclusive tire supplier.
All Japan Karting OK Championship TONYKART RACING TEAM JAPAN Daiki SASAKI
Haruyuki TAKAHASHI
Gento MIYASHITA
INTREPID JAPAN CORSE Takumi SATO
DreamFactory RT Seita NONAKA
FA-KART RACING TEAM Haruto TAKEI
TEAM BIRELART Teppei NATORI

And other drivers

3. All-Japan Gymkhana Championship

  • In All-Japan Gymkhana Championship, Bridgestone will supply POTENZA RE-05D Type A and POTENZA RE-11S tires. Drivers using Bridgestone tires won the championship series in three classes in 2017, and Bridgestone will work to achieve victory together with drivers using its tires in various classes in 2018 as well.

Tires: POTENZA RE-05D Type A and POTENZA RE-11S

Class Driver Vehicle
PN2 Tetsuya YAMANO ABARTH 124 Spider
PN3 Yu TOYOTA 86
SC Masaki NISHIHARA SUBARU Impreza
SA4 Masafumi HISHII MITSUBISHI Lancer Evolution

And other drivers

4. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race

  • This motorsport competition sees participation from both professional and amateur drivers. Through the supply of tires, Bridgestone aims to communicate the fun of motorsports to as many people as possible.
  • Bridgestone will supply POTENZA RE-07D tires for the PROFESSIONAL Series, which is open to both professional and amateur drivers, and POTENZA RE-12D tires for the CLUBMAN Series, which is open to only amateur drivers.

Tires: POTENZA RE-07D

Class Team Driver
PROFESSIONAL Series Ogura Clutch with Revolution Masahiro SASAKI
AUTOBACS G7 86 POTENZA Takao OONISHI
Netz TOYOTA HYOGO Racing Team Naoya GAMO
CG ROBOT RACING TEAM Takuto IGUCHI
Rintaro KUBO

And other drivers

Tires: POTENZA RE-12D

Class Team Driver
CLUBMAN Series Car Watch with Revolution Yohei HASHIMOTO
CUSCO Racing Masafumi HISHII
Netz TOYOTA HYOGO Racing Team Satoshi MATSUBARA

And other drivers

5. ROADSTER Party Race Ⅲ

  • Bridgestone will exclusively supply tires to all cars in this race sponsored by Mazda Motor Corporation.
  • Bridgestone strongly supports this race, which is an opportunity to experience the pleasure of driving in motorsports.
  • Bridgestone will also provide tires to the Mazda Women in Motorsport Project, which was launched in 2015, in order to support women drivers' participation in motorsports.

Tires: POTENZA Adrenalin RE003

6. Verizon IndyCar Series

  • The IndyCar Series is one of the premier formula car racing series in North America.
  • Bridgestone is the official tire supplier for this event, providing Firestone brand tires for the 31 cars of all 15 teams.
  • In 2017, Takuma Sato became the first Asian driver to claim victory in the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500), one of the world's big three races, which has been drawing more attention to this event. This year's Indy 500 race is scheduled for May 27, 2018.

Tires: FIRESTONE FIREHAWK RACING TIRE

Team Driver
A.J. FOYT ENTERPRISES Tony KANAAN
Matheus LEIST
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT Ryan HUNTER-REAY
Carlos MUNOZ
Alexander ROSSI
Zach VEACH
Stefan WILSON
ANDRETTI HERTA AUTOSPORT w/CURB-AGAJANIAN Marco ANDRETTI
CARLIN Max CHILTON
Charlie KIMBALL
CHIP GANASSI RACING Scott DIXON
Ed JONES
DALE COYNE RACING Zachary CLAMAN DEMELO
Pietro FITTIPALDI
DALE COYNE RACING with VASSER-SULLIVAN Sebastien BOURDAIS
DREYER & REINBOLD KINGDOM RACING Sage KARAM
ED CARPENTER RACING Ed CARPENTER
Jordan KING
Spencer PIGOT
HARDING RACING Gabby CHAVES
JUNCOS RACING Rene BINDER
Kyle KAISER
MICHAEL SHANK RACING with SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS Jack HARVEY
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING Graham RAHAL
Takuma SATO
SCHMIDT PETERSON MOTORSPORTS James HINCHCLIFFE
Robert WICKENS
TEAM PENSKE Helio CASTRONEVES
Josef NEWGARDEN
Simon PAGENAUD
Will POWER

7. Nürburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race

  • This race is one of the biggest grassroots motorsport events and is open to participation by amateur drivers.
  • Bridgestone will supply tires to the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team, which will be participating in this event for its 12th year in 2018.
  • The Nürburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race is scheduled to be held from May 12 to 13 in 2018.

Tires: POTENZA RACING TIRE

Class Team Driver Vehicle
SP-PRO(planned) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Takeshi TSUCHIYA LEXUS LC
Takamitsu MATSUI
Naoya GAMO
Yuichi NAKAYAMA

<Motorcycle Races> 1. FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC)

  • The FIM EWC is the only motorcycle road race world championship to which multiple tire manufacturers supply tires.
  • Bridgestone began participating in this event by supplying tires to two teams in 2017, and, in the last season, the teams supported by Bridgestone ranked third and fourth. The company will continue to supply tires to these teams in the 2017-2018 season.
  • The 2017-2018 season kicked off in September 2017 and will consist of a total of five races, the last of which will be the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race to be held in July 2018.

Tires: RACING BATTLAX TIRE

Class Team Rider Vehicle
EWC F.C.C. TSR Honda France Freddy FORAY HONDA
Josh HOOK
Alan TECHER
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team Broc PARKES YAMAHA
Marvin FRITZ
Takuya FUJITA

The riders who will compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race have yet to be decided.

2. FIM EWC, Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race

  • In 2017, a team Bridgestone supported won this race for the 12th consecutive year and Bridgestone-supported teams claimed all places from 10th to first, a record-setting achievement.
  • In the 2018 season, Bridgestone will supply tires to the top-level teams with the aim of celebrating victory together with the teams and riders at the Suzuka Circuit in summer.

Tires: RACING BATTLAX TIRE

Class Team Rider Vehicle
EWC YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM TBD YAMAHA
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team TBD YAMAHA
Kawasaki Team GREEN TBD KAWASAKI
F.C.C. TSR Honda France TBD HONDA
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. Honda TBD HONDA
Team HRC Takumi TAKAHASHI, TBD HONDA
Honda Asia-Dream TBD HONDA
Honda Dream RT SAKURAI HONDA Sodo HAMAHARA, TBD HONDA
au Teruru MotoUP Racing TBD HONDA
AUTO TECHNIC SPORTS TBD HONDA
Honda Suzuka Racing Team Daijiro HIURA HONDA
Yudai KAMEI
Takashi YASUDA
Team SUP Dream Honda TBD HONDA
Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing TBD SUZUKI
S-PULSE DREAM RACING TEAM Hideyuki OGATA, TBD SUZUKI
TEAM SUGAI RACING JAPAN Yoshiyuki SUGAI, TBD APRILIA

And other teams

3. MFJ All Japan Road Race Championship

  • In 2017, riders using Bridgestone tires were named the series champions in two classes (JSB1000 and J-GP2). Riders used Bridgestone tires won all races in JSB1000 class, the highest level of competition, and a Bridgestone-supplied rider claimed the title of champion for the eighth consecutive year.
  • Bridgestone has continued to support ST600 class races by supplying BATTLAX RACING R10 (NHS) tires exclusively to all teams and drivers since 2015. In addition, it has been decided that Bridgestone will supply tires exclusively to all races in ST600 class, including regional championships, until 2020.
  • In 2018, we will also continue to supply tires to JSB1000, J-GP2, and J-GP3 classes with the hopes of sharing victory with the teams and riders.

Tires: RACING BATTLAX TIRE

Class Team Rider Vehicle
JSB1000 Team HRC Takumi TAKAHASHI HONDA
Honda Dream RT SAKURAI HONDA Sodo HAMAHARA HONDA
Honda Suzuka Racing Team Daijiro HIURA HONDA
AUTO TECHNIC SPORTS Takahiro NAKATSUHARA HONDA
Honda Asia-Dream Md Zaqhwan ZAIDI HONDA
au Teruru MotoUP Racing Kosuke AKIYOSHI HONDA
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. Honda Ryo MIZUNO HONDA
Team SuP Dream Honda Tatsuya YAMAGUCHI HONDA
Yoshimura Suzuki MOTUL Racing Takuya TSUDA SUZUKI
Kazuki WATANABE
S-PULSE DREAM RACING TEAM Hideyuki OGATA SUZUKI
Kawasaki Team GREEN Kazuma WATANABE KAWASAKI
Katsuya MATSUZAKI
Hanshin Riding School Naoki KIYOSUE KAWASAKI
YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM Kohta NOZANE YAMAHA
Katsuyuki NAKASUGA
YAMALUBE RACING TEAM Keisuke MAEDA YAMAHA
TEAM SUGAI RACING JAPAN Yoshiyuki SUGAI APRILIA
J-GP2 Team TARO PLUSONE Taro SEKIGUCHI HARC-PRO
Team Kotake RSC Ryosuke IWATO MORIWAKI
Kosuke SAKUMOTO
CLUB PLUSONE Masaki TOKUDOME SPEED-UP
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Teppei NAGOE HARC-PRO
J-GP3 TBD
ST600 Bridgestone will supply tires to all teams and riders as the exclusive tire supplier.

And other riders

4. MFJ All Japan Motocross Championship

  • For the 2018 season, Bridgestone will supply tires to three classes (IA1, IA2, and Ladies' Class) with the hopes of sharing victory with the teams and riders.

Tires: BATTLECROSS X10/X20/X30/X40 and other tires for motocross races

Class Team Rider Vehicle
IA1 Team HRC Kei YAMAMOTO HONDA
Akira NARITA
T.E.SPORT Gota OTSUKA HONDA
Kazunori ONO
Bells Racing with MORIWAKI Yohei KOJIMA HONDA
TEAM 887 with Honda DREAM Setagaya Dike BABA HONDA
Kawasaki Team GREEN Hiroaki ARAI KAWASAKI
SRF Kanto & Hideaki Dojo Masaaki SUZUKI SUZUKI
YSP Hamakitaohashi Racing Masanori ITO YAMAHA
RACING TEAM TAKA Yuui HOSHINO YAMAHA
IA2 TEAM KOHSAKA Ukyo MICHIWAKI HONDA
YAMALUBE RACING TEAM Kota TORIYABE YAMAHA
Y's RACING Rei SASAKI YAMAHA
Ladies' Class T.E.SPORT Juri HATAO HONDA
Manaka KAWAI

And other riders

About Bridgestone Corporation: Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world