Rome - Bridgestone Corp. will base GP2 Series tyre production and quality control at its technical centre Europe (TCE), on the edge of Rome. The output will be warehoused at the Bridgestone Motorsport facility in Langley, UK. In the medium term, design and development will continue to take place in Japan.
Until now, all GP2 race tyre development and production has been centred in Tokyo.
Bridgestone said the addition of a second manufacturing site provides a safeguard against the risk of supply bottlenecks in this highly demanding environment. It added that GP2 race tyres supplied from Europe for European races will have incurred lower transport mileage costs and will have a lower environmental impact.
Franco Annunziato, managing director of the technical centre in Rome said, "We shall need to update some of the tyre production machines and invest in additional final inspection equipment but beyond that, I am confident our existing team and facilities will cope extremely competently with this new responsibility.â€
Actual production will begin in Rome in September 2007, but initial track testing of a limited number of tyres produced already at the Rome facility is scheduled for the week of 16 July at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.