Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Cooper Tire confirmed as official tire of Mid-Ohio

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So on Saturday night, the media center, Turn 1 bridge and other signage at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was adorned in Goodyear colors.

And by first thing Sunday morning, Cooper Tire was the newly featured presence on those places around the picturesque, classic road course.

It’s been formalized and here’s the release below.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course announced today that Cooper Tire has been selected as the official tire of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School. The Mid-Ohio School provides professional driving and riding instruction to drivers and motorcyclists of all skill levels, and has seen close to 54,000 graduates to date.

As the exclusive tire supplier, Cooper will be used on The Mid-Ohio School’s fleet of Honda and Acura vehicles, including pace cars and service vehicles, which will be fitted with the new Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 performance tire to handle the challenging road course. Cooper will also have a presence throughout the grounds of Mid-Ohio, with signage at the front stretch crossover bridge and the iconic tower that sits at the start/finish line, housing the facility’s media center and hospitality suites.

“It is a pleasure to announce that Cooper has become a valued partner for both Mid-Ohio Sports Course and The Mid-Ohio School,” said Craig Rust, President of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School. “Cooper brings with them a great history of product quality and performance, in addition to a commitment to motorsports. Mid-Ohio is an excellent platform for Cooper to showcase its ultra-high performance racing products on the track while exposing the Cooper brand to a large audience of motorsports fans. We welcome them to the Mid-Ohio family and look forward to working with their team.”

As a committed supplier in racing, Cooper has been a long-standing partner of all levels of the Mazda Road to Indy. The company recently announced that it will become presenting sponsor of the driver development series, now known as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

“Mid-Ohio is an iconic road course and virtually in the backyard of Cooper’s global headquarters in Findlay, Ohio,” said Chris Pantani, Cooper’s Director of Motorsports, Sponsorships and Event Marketing. “We are extremely excited to announce this partnership and look forward to seeing the Cooper brand represented throughout the facility and on all the Mid-Ohio school cars.”

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
Chris Owens/IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”