All Street Races to Feature Guayule Alternate Tires

Firestone continues its push toward sustainability as the guayule alternate tire used in last year’s Music City Grand prix at Nashville, will be the alternate tire for all five street course races in 2023.

The guayule shrub is a fast-growing plant which requires less water than a rubber tree, and has a quicker maturation period.

From today’s announcement from Bridgestone:

“The Firestone Firehawk race tire will be featured as the alternative tire at the Firestone Grand Prix (March 5) in St. Petersburg, Fla., Streets of Long Beach (April 16), Streets of Detroit (June 4), Streets of Toronto (July 16) and the Music City Grand Prix (Aug 6) in Nashville, Tenn. For the 2023 season, Bridgestone will supply more than 1900 tires using a sidewall material made exclusively with rubber derived from the guayule woody desert shrub grown on the company’s own farm in Eloy, Arizona. The initiative builds on the 2022 competitive debut of guayule race tires at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville last August.”

I talked to Cara Krstolic last May, who told me that the tire would be introduced gradually. We may see it on some road courses in 2024.

The guayule tires on display at IMS in May

“We are driving sustainability in every area of our business, and we’re thrilled to be advancing guayule and other sustainable practices in America’s premier open-wheel racing series,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Bridgestone Americas. “Firestone has a tremendous legacy of innovation and performance in racing, which we will continue to build upon as we move into this new era of cleaner, safer and more sustainable mobility on and off the track.”

The 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 will feature a tire made from recycled material.

From the Bridgestone announcement:

“This year at the Indy 500, all race tires – for practice, qualifying and race– will incorporate ISCC recycled-attributed butadiene, a monomer produced with recycled post-consumer plastic waste, to create the synthetic rubber in the tire. The new monomer will replace the fossil-based monomer and will be supplied by Shell, the race series’ official fuel, oil and lubricant sponsor.”

Shell becomes the official fuel, oil, and lubricant supplier for the NTT Indycar Series this season. The company will provide a plant based fuel for the cars.