Bridgestone Firestone South Africa has resumed its sponsorship of the production car racing series after withdrawing form the formula under a cloud of controversy last year.

Bridgestone Firestone South Africa has resumed its sponsorship of the production car racing series after withdrawing form the formula under a cloud of controversy last year.

Shaun Wustmann, the vice president of sales and marketing at Bridgestone Firestone SA, recently announced that Firestone would support the production car racing formula this season.

CARtoday.com reported in October that Bridgestone Firestone SA had decided to end its nine-year association with production car racing at the end of last year’s circuit racing season.

"The time has come for us to move on," Wustmann said then. In response to the news that Motorsport SA had decided the MSA saloon car commission would take over the control of production car racing from the Production car association (PCA) in 2003, Wustmann said he was surprised "MSA had not bothered to consult Firestone or the production car association, before making this decision".

In announcing the resumption of Firestone’s sponsorship, Wustmann said that the administration of the production cars series “was an absolute shambles through no fault of the PCA last year. The production car major sponsor withdrew at short notice at the beginning of the season, leaving the series with no TV sponsors and it was left to the manufacturers who were racing in the series and Firestone to make sure the series was televised.

“At the end of the season there was an announcement by MSA that the saloon car commission would run the production cars series in 2003 - this without the commission even informing us before the announcement. This total lack of communication by MSA led us to withdraw from the series,” Wustmann explained.

However, in the off-season the MSA saloon car commission and the PCA came to an arrangement on the running of the series and the production car association secured a major sponsor.

“We had a meeting with Vaughn Williams, chairman of the Production Car Association, and at this meeting we decided to support the series for another year,” Wustmann said.

“We have always said that production cars were an excellent vehicle to promote our passenger tyres,” he added.