The long and storied association between Firestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue to grow next season, when a special edition Firestone Firehawk race tyre debuts during track activities surrounding the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2004.

Specially designed for use at the Indianapolis 500, the tyre will feature a new sidewall design with the Speedway's distinctive 'wing and wheel' logo in full colour, alongside the Firestone name and logo.

"We're very excited to have new technology which allows us to produce full-colour logos on our tyres," BFNT executive director Al Speyer admitted, "This new design really captures the pageantry that makes the Indianapolis 500 one of the most festive events in all of sports. Firestone has played such an integral role in the history of the Speedway and the 500, and we're proud to honour that strong relationship."

Firestone's involvement with the Indianapolis 500 dates to 1911 when Ray Harroun won the inaugural event driving Firestone tyres. In all, 54 winners have crossed the finish line on Firestones - recording more victories at Indy than all other tyre manufacturers combined.

In 2002 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone joined forces to pay tribute to their relationship by introducing the Firehawk Indy 500 street tyre - the first tyre ever produced for street and highway use with the honour of wearing the Indy 500 name and IMS logo. The special edition 2004 Indy 500 race tyre sidewalls will closely mirror the Indy 500 street tyres by featuring the Firehawk and Indy 500 names in white lettering.

"Firestone has been with us since the very beginning and, over the years, we've built a bond with them based on loyalty and respect," said IMS president and CEO Tony George, "We're extremely honoured that they have put together a new design specifically for our race. It showcases a partnership that is very important to us, and we're looking forward to seeing the next Indy 500 winner cross the finish line displaying the colours of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy 500 on tyres that have played such a large part in the history of our event."



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