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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bridgestone marks 200th Grand Prix

The new street race at Valencia will be Bridgestone’s 200th race since its 1997 debut in Australia.

In that time, Bridgestone became the sport’s lone supplier following Goodyear’s exit from the top flight, then saw off a Michelin challenge this decade to again become the single supplier.

In Valencia’s new challenge the company sees a parallel with 1997.

“When we entered Formula One in 1997 all of the circuits were new to us with F1 cars so it is fitting that we should celebrate our 200th race with a new track,” said Hirohide Hamashima, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development. “Valencia is a city we spend a lot of time in when we are testing at the permanent race circuit so to be able to race along the streets of the port will be particularly special for us.”

The company used extensive testing to determine the compounds it will bring to Spain, settling on the soft and super soft options.

“As with any street course we expect the grip levels from the circuit to improve over the course of the weekend,” he continued. “In Valencia in August we should see quite high temperatures so teams will have to be vigilant with their tyre management. As we have not raced here previously this should be a learning process for everyone involved, and strategy decisions over the race weekend will be interesting.”
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