Andrew and Adam Firestone to drive praxis-equipped Subaru WRX STi in 2004 Cannonball one lap of America Andrew and Adam Firestone will showcase the performance capabilities of the Praxis adjustable air-suspension system in the 2004 Tire Rack Cannonball One Lap of America, presented by Car and Driver. The brothers will compete in a 2004 Subaru WRX STi.
Andrew and Adam Firestone are the great-grandsons of Harvey S. Firestone, who founded The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, in 1900. The Firestones are promoting interest in the Praxis system, an aftermarket suspension system that, once installed, allows the driver to control performance – on the road or the track – without the need for tools or time in the shop. The brothers are also continuing to serve as goodwill ambassadors for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT), through their participation in the 21st running of the Cannonball One Lap of America, scheduled for Friday, April 30 through Saturday, May 8.
“My brother Adam and I are honored by the opportunity to continue the enduring tradition established by our great-grandfather, Harvey Firestone,” said Andrew Firestone, who most recently gained national attention on the ABC television series, The Bachelor. “Connecting to our roots by representing Bridgestone/Firestone is more than just a chance to demonstrate a truly exciting product – we look at it as another way to celebrate the lasting contributions our family has made to the world of racing and transportation.
“One Lap is also a great way to demonstrate the versatility of the Praxis system,” Firestone added. “For an amateur like me, Praxis is perfect: I enjoy amateur racing, but I also need to get to work on Monday morning.” Firestone joked, “The One Lap event has been referred to as the Ironman of automotive racing… quite frankly, Adam and I look forward to just finishing the race and hope to be still speaking to one another!”
“We’re elated to have Andrew and Adam Firestone running in the Cannonball One Lap of America and welcome the celebrity attention that they’ll bring to the event,” said Brock Yates, Jr., event coordinator, One Lap of America. Praxis (www.praxissystems.com) is the first and only aftermarket suspension system that allows the driver to control performance – on the road or at the track – without the need for tools or time in the shop. Multi-Rate Air-Spring technology, coupled with the Intelliride control system and externally-adjustable monotube dampers supplied by H&R Springs allow the driver to rapidly select the ride height, spring rate, and damping. A simple touch of a cockpit mounted control button, and damper adjustment at each corner places the vehicle into one of three fully-tuned operating modes: touring, sport or track.
The Praxis advanced suspension system was first developed for the Subaru (www.subaru.com) all-wheel-drive, high-performance WRX sedan and sport wagon models in 2003, and is currently sold through The Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com). At the 2004 Chicago Auto Show last month, Bridgestone/Firestone Vehicle Systems announced two new applications for it’s Praxis line – the Ford Mustang (1994 to present) and 3-Series BMWs (1999 to date – coupes, sedans, and wagons).
In the early 1970s, legendary automotive journalist Brock Yates, Sr., created the Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, a race from New York City to Redondo Beach, Calif. In 1992, Yates redesigned the event, creating the Cannonball One Lap of America: a nearly 24-hour-a-day driving experience combined with time trial competitions on racetracks throughout the country. The event is one of the greatest challenges of endurance and vehicle preparation: no support crews are allowed, and only one set of tires (and two spares) is permitted per team.
Although scoring is based on performance at the racetracks, the vehicles and their drivers must survive more than 5,000 miles of driving interspersed with “the finest meals found at gas stations and convenience stores.” Competitors include both unknown amateurs and seasoned professional drivers, who battle fatigue, weather, traffic and the demands of strenuous driving competition.