Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. plans to phase out production of go-kart tires by year-end 2022, a move that will affect professional kart racing series worldwide.
In a 25 Sept statement, Bridgestone said it made the decision to discontinue kart tire supply as it reviewed its portfolio and resource allocation in line with its mid-long term business strategy.
Launched earlier in July, the mid-long term business strategy aims to increase the group's profitability and involves business reorganisation and cost-cutting to improve profit margins.
Internationally, Bridgestone supplies competition kart tires for racing events run by the Japan Automobile Federation and the Commission Internationale de Karting, which is affiliated with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.
Bridgestone has been involved in karting since 1997 and as recently as 2019 was the exclusive supplier of the KZ and KZ2 class races in the CIK-FIA World and European Championships, along with the series' Academy Trophy class races.
Other tire companies homologated by the FIA to supply tires to karting competitions include: Cheng Shin Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. (Maxxis); Hoosier Racing Tire (a Continental AG subsidiary); Le Cont Srl; MG Industria e Comercio SA; Reifenwerk Heidenau GmbH; Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.; Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.; and Vega Srl.