The Firestone brand will remain in IZOD IndyCar Series racing until the end of 2014, after Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations announced a further one-year extension to the tyre manufacturer's participation with the sport.

The announcement was made as part of the annual State of IndyCar event at Indianapolis on Monday evening.

Bridgestone had shocked the open wheel racing world 12 months ago by announcing that it was pulling out of IndyCar at the end of the 2011 season, but then reversed the decision just a week later and agreed a two-year extension through to the end of 2013. The latest announcement ensures Firestone will now remain part of the sport for a further season.

"As part of this agreement, negotiations are already underway to extend the IZOD IndyCar Series sponsorship and supply contract beyond 2014," added the official press release confirming the latest extension.

"Firestone Racing is pleased to continue supplying our world-class racing tyres to each and every car on the grid for at least the next three years," said Al Speyer, the Executive Director of Firestone Racing.

"Our company has actively supported IndyCar with more than just race tyres," added Speyer. "We'll continue to remain highly visible through our promotional activities and marketing initiatives around the series."

"Firestone continues to be a great fit for our sport, carrying on a 100-year-old tradition that began at Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said the CEO of the IndyCar Series, Randy Bernard.

Retaining Firestone tyres as a consistent factor during the series' transition to a new chassis and engine specification from 2012 was seen as particularly important.

"When our new car takes its first competitive laps on the streets of St. Petersburg in March, all of our drivers will take great pride in knowing that they have a reliable tyre designed to maximize performance," agreed Bernard.

Bridgestone also confirmed that the Firestone brand would remain the title sponsor of the Indy Lights feeder series for 2012.

"As we look to identify the next generation of IZOD IndyCar Series stars, Firestone Indy Lights drivers will continue to hone their craft on Firestone Firehawk race tires for another season," said Speyer.


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