For Michelin North America Inc., 2019 is the year of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Michelin steps into its role as the official tire of the IMSA, and will nearly quadruple the number of brands it supports in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Michelin also will be title sponsor of the Michelin Endurance Cup and the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Scott Clark, chairman and president of Michelin, says the racing sponsorship is about more than racing. It's a way for the tire maker to test and continue to improve its tire technology. He talked about the partnership with IMSA at Michelin's press conference at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“Endurance racing is woven throughout the fabric of Michelin’s history. In fact, racing has always played an active role in driving innovation and ingenuity at Michelin,” said Clark. “More than any other motorsports pursuit, endurance racing demands reliable performance over time. As the exclusive tire provider for IMSA’s WeatherTech Championship and the Michelin Pilot Challenge, we believe IMSA racing is the ideal environment for proving and improving Michelin tires.”
For the 2019 season, Michelin will support 19 automotive brands competing in different classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – compared with five brands last season. IMSA racing comprises more auto manufacturer involvement than any other major racing series.
Steve Carlisle, senior vice president for General Motors and president of Cadillac, joined Michelin in recognizing what motorsports means to business. “Michelin has been selected as the fitment for Cadillac’s V-Series street vehicles since 2009, and we’ve been very pleased with Michelin as a technical partner and supplier,” Carlisle said. “We knew that Michelin’s Pilot tire line could take an acclaimed Cadillac brand to even greater levels of performance and prestige.”
Michelin's Clark said, “Most of the vehicle brands in the WeatherTech Championship are Michelin customers that have chosen Michelin tires for their performance vehicles. The technology, innovation and relationships that we develop together with the manufacturers in competition helps Michelin meet their needs and ultimately the expectations of their owners and fans.”
Michelin competes in races around the world. The tire maker competes in the FIA World Rally Championship, FIA Formula E Championship, the FIM MotoGP World Championship for motorcycles and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans where Michelin teams have won for 21 consecutive years.
Michelin’s involvement with IMSA dates to the preceding American Le Mans Series in 1999. Michelin currently serves as the tire technical partner of choice for BMW, Corvette, Ford Performance, Porsche GT and Risi Competizione Ferrari in the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans class.
For more information, visit www.michelinman.com.