Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA

Bridgestone open to expanding GT500 tyre supply for NISMO

Bridgestone has revealed it is open to expanding its tyre supply in SUPER GT’s top GT500 category to accommodate Nissan’s factory NISMO effort after Michelin’s exit.

Bridgestone Tyre

Michelin announced last month that it will leave the GT500 class at the end of the season, leaving the two NISMO-run Z entries in need of a new tyre supplier for 2024 and beyond.

Bridgestone has been mooted as the most obvious alternative given its position as GT500’s dominant tyre maker, as well as its past relationship with NISMO, which it previously supplied from the inception of the JGTC in the 1990s until 2012 (except 2010).

  • Motorsport.tv is showing all qualifying sessions and races for the 2023 SUPER GT season. For more information, click here.

However, question marks have been raised over Bridgestone’s capacity to supply tyres to more than 10 teams in the top category.

The Japanese firm expanded from nine GT500 cars to 10 for the current season as a result of Honda squad ARTA adding a second car to its line-up, albeit with Aguri Suzuki’s eponymous team winding up its Bridgestone-supplied GT300 effort.

When asked about supplying NISMO on top of its existing commitments in 2024, Bridgestone’s director of motorsport Koji Terada said that it would require an increase in staff and equipment, but did not discount the possibility.

“If we can strengthen our factory, it’s possible,” Terada told Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition. “We need to hire the right people, and we also need equipment for making tyres, such as moulding machines and vulcanizing machines. 

“When you install new equipment, you have to pay property tax, and the scale of our operations has decreased since the F1 days. It’s about strengthening those areas, and increasing the number of buildings.”

 

Terada added that the recent agreement for Bridgestone to supply the Super Taikyu series in place of Hankook, which dropped out following a plant fire, would not necessarily be an obstacle to ramping up its supply of SUPER GT tyres.

“It is a major policy of ours to strengthen motorsports,” he said. “The number of tyres needed in Super Taikyu is quite high, so this has an impact.

“But we are thinking that if we can make these at other factories, like mass production factories, then that gives us some breathing space [in Bridgestone’s main Kodaira development factory] and maybe we can supply other categories.”

Should Bridgestone ultimately reach a deal with NISMO, it would potentially mean supplying 12 of the 15 cars in the GT500 class, assuming that it keeps all of its existing teams.

The last time it supplied so many cars was in 2008, before Michelin rejoined the category in 2009 after an absence.

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Toyota adds Ritomo Miyata to WEC Challenge programme
Next article Suzuka 450km SUPER GT – schedule, how to watch, entry list

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA