IndyCar’s season-opening event in St. Petersburg, Florida will now be backed by its tire manufacturer, Firestone. A multi-year deal was announced this morning by Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg promoters Green Savoree St. Petersburg.
Firestone also sponsors IndyCar’s summer event at Texas Motor Speedway, the Firestone 600. One month ago, Honda relinquished its sponsorship at St. Pete in a decision that apparently surprised race president Tim Ramsberger. Honda had been the race’s title sponsor since its first running under Indy Racing League/IndyCar sanction in 2005.
In a statement released today, Ramsberger sounded a lot happier.
“Firestone has been a first-rate sponsor of our event for the past nine years, and we can only express gratitude for having a partner who understands the value of our event,” he said. “It speaks volumes about Firestone and what we have built with all of our partners in our wonderful community.”
“Motorsports is an integral part of the Firestone brand marketing efforts and the entitlement sponsorship of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg aligns perfectly with our plans,” said Bridgestone Americas Motorsports director Lisa Boggs in her own statement.
“Our commitment to the race is a reflection of our longstanding relationship with Green Savoree and the terrific St. Petersburg community and fans. We are proud to have the Firestone name on this outstanding event.”
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is set to open IndyCar’s 2014 calendar on March 28-30, 2014. Tickets for the race will go on sale Dec. 1.