Boy, that didn’t take long!
Yesterday, we were surprised by the news that Continental Tire was out as the official tire sponsor of IMSA which included the WeatherTech Championship series and its two major Challenge series. Continental Tire had submitted a new proposal with an increase in its investment but was rebuffed by IMSA. Michelin, Goodyear and Pirelli were also said to have been in the mix for the sponsorship deal.
Later in the afternoon, IMSA made it official that Michelin would be the official tire of IMSA beginning in 2019.
With the agreement, Michelin tires will now be the featured tire on every prototype and GT Daytona race cars. The GT Le Mans class remains open to multiple tire manufacturers. The IMSA Prototype Challenge, which features the LMP3 race cars will also feature Michelin tires as will the new GS class for the GT4-spec race cars.
The significance of this expanded partnership with Michelin, one of the world’s most recognized premium brands, cannot be overstated,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.
“IMSA has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Michelin, and we are proud to confirm this long-term agreement.
“Our expanded partnership with Michelin, which also enjoys strong relationships with many of our participating automotive manufacturers, will be a catalyst for accelerating the growth of the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA as a whole.”
Michelin is also gaining naming rights to the IMSA Endurance Cup, the four-race series that had been hosted by Tequila Patron.
“We are tremendously pleased by today’s announcement,” said Scott Clark, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Michelin North America.
“The continued growth and success of the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA’s related series provides a great platform for us to engage performance enthusiasts and showcase our MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport family of ultra-high performance tires.
“Michelin does not enter into long-term collaborations lightly or solely for our own benefit.
“We are committed to IMSA, the competitors and fans to help continue the growth and success of the series on and off the track. This is a tremendous opportunity to work together to grow the sport.
“We are enthusiastic and eager to make our MICHELIN tires available to the entire field beginning in 2019.”
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