Firestone Introduces Sustainable Racing Tire For IndyCar

Motorsports continues to go green with Bridgestone Americas announcing a sustainable race tire made from domestically grown guayule-derived natural rubber.

Bridgestone Americas, which owns the Firestone brand, will see the introduction of the race tire during the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge in May. It will be made available as an alternative race tire for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville in August.

The announcement was made on Earth Day 2022, and as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has made the Indy 500 in May a key moment to show their sustainability efforts. The tires will be delivered via electric trucks as part of the statement the company and race series is making about sustainability initiatives.


The tire, which will see a green sidewall, has been in the works at Bridgestone as part of the company’s sustainability efforts by reaching carbon neutrality and the manufacturing of tires from 100% renewable materials by 2050. To date, they have invested more than $100 million in their efforts to commercialize guayule.

“The introduction of guayule natural rubber to America’s preeminent open-wheel racing series speaks to the confidence we have in the technology and its promise as a scalable, sustainable and domestic source of our industry’s most vital raw material,” said Nizar Trigui, Chief Technology Officer and Group President, Solutions Businesses, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “It will take partnership and collaboration to combat the impacts of global climate change and we are proud to partner with Penske, INDY
, and IMS to advance the future of sustainable mobility.”

In addition to the plant-based rubber, the Bridgestone efforts are being conducted at their research facilities in Mesa, Arizona which were opened in 2012. It now encapsulates a 281-acre guayule farm in Eloy, Arizona. The first tire was produced in 2015 based on the material. By keeping production in the U.S., it lowers transportation needs, thus reducing the company’s carbon footprint further.


According to Cara Adams, director of race tire engineering and production, as well as chief engineer at Bridgestone Americas, the current version of the guayule-derived natural rubber race tire has been in development for almost a year.

“We started doing lab testing and looking at compounds, and then building experimental tires and testing them,” she said.

Adams noted that the properties of the guayule-derived rubber are very much the same as the hevea rubber compound that comprises the current Firehawk race tire and that Firestone Racing has a great relationship with the teams in the NTT IndyCar Series to develop the new sustainable tire.

“Performance-wise, we shouldn’t see any differences,” Adams said but will be using the Nashville race with the guayule-derived tire as an alternative to acquire additional data for development.

Ultimately, the lessons learned from racing makes its way into consumer products, and the guayule-derived natural rubber is no different for Bridgestone Americas. The company is actively researching a range of solutions to support the recycling of materials from end-of-life tires and promote the replacement of non-renewable materials such as oil, silica, and virgin carbon black in new tires.