Bridgestone sponsoring V8 Supercars team
A return to Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship awaits Bridgestone in 2013, with the tyre maker teaming up with Nissan Motorsport in a sponsorship deal that will see Bridgestone branding on the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altimas of Todd and Rick Kelly. The arrangement begins in round one of this year’s series, which gets underway in Adelaide on 28 February. The Clipsal 500 event in Adelaide marks the return of Nissan to Australia's premier motorsport category after a 20-year hiatus, with Mercedes-Benz also joining the expanded series.
The significance of V8 Supercars to Australian motorsport fans can be compared with the support NASCAR enjoys in the United States. The series is more popular in its homeland than Formula One, and its international recognition also grown in recent times. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has sanctioned V8 Supercars as an international series, paving the way for up to six offshore events in a calendar year; overseas V8 Supercars racing began in 2001 at the Pukekohe Raceway in New Zealand followed by a one-off event at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2005. It then added the Bahrain International Circuit to its calendar from 2006-2010, then the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (2010-present).
“It is great to once again be represented in V8 Supercars, particularly with Todd and Rick Kelly who are drivers with the proven ability to win races and championships, and with Nissan who also have race-winning pedigree,” said Stanley Toh, Bridgestone Australia’s general manager, marketing. “We believe they’re a good fit for the Bridgestone brand and for the products that we bring to the Australian market through our network of retail outlets.
“We’re very excited to be involved and we’re looking forward to seeing the cars on the grid in Adelaide,” Toh added.
Nissan Motorsport CEO John Crennan welcomed Bridgestone as “an important business partner”, adding: “I have enjoyed an excellent association over a long period of time with Bridgestone and to renew this relationship is a big win for our Nissan Team.
“Bridgestone is an outstanding company to work with, not only in terms of their deep understanding of motor sport on a global scale but also in terms of the creativity they bring to a partnership,” Crennan concluded.