Just last week we told you that Firestone Tires was pulling out of the IndyCar series. A few days later, with the help of IndyCar team owners, the brand appears to have changed their mind. It may have something to do with the fact that they’ll no long be required to sponsor the Indy Lights ladder series, or it may have to do with the fact that teams will pay them more for their tires after the 2011 season. Whatever the reason, the move makes team owners happy, since there was concern about starting over with a new manufacturer. Firestone tires have never experienced a defect-related failure in IndyCar competition, so it’s hard to argue with a perfect record. Retaining Firestone as a series partner also allows teams to focus on the new chassis, engine and aero packages adopted for 2012 without having to add a new tire vendor to the mix.
The new agreement runs through the 2013 season and will likely save some jobs at Bridgestone’s technical center in Akron, Ohio. The facility builds tires for both the IndyCar series and the Indy Lights series, so a reduction in workforce is still likely when Firestone stops supplying Indy Lights teams at the end of the 2011 season.