Continental reaches 4-year pact with IMSA
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Continental Tire the Americas LLC have reached a multi-year partnership agreement that will make Continental the exclusive tire supplier in three classes during next year’s inaugural United SportsCar Racing season.
Starting with next January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona -- the season-opening United SportsCar Racing event -- Continental’s exclusivity will extend to three of the new series’ four classes:
1. Prototype (P),
2. Prototype Challenge (PC) and
3. GT Daytona (GTD).
The GT Le Mans (GTLM) category will be open to multiple tire manufacturers.
Continental also will return as title sponsor and exclusive tire supplier of the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC), a developmental series currently sanctioned by GRAND-AM Road Racing (technical specifications in the CTSCC will be unchanged. Starting next year, the CTSCC and United SportsCar Racing will run under IMSA sanctioning, resulting from the merger of GRAND-AM, IMSA and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Presented by Tequila Patrón.
“Our team has worked hard over the last several years to help bring competitive, action-packed racing to sports car fans at every track we visit," says Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. "And we are thrilled to continue our commitment to IMSA, United SportsCar Racing and all the manufacturers, teams and drivers in 2014 and beyond.”
“This is a proud day for the future of United SportsCar Racing as we solidify a partnership that already has roots in both GRAND-AM and the ALMS,” said Ed Bennett, who will serve as chief executive officer of IMSA.
“In solidifying this partnership, we also are introducing the important element of stability across three classes in United SportsCar Racing -- and the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Continental Tire’s partnership and support, vital to the business of the ALMS and GRAND-AM this season, will be even more so in 2014 and beyond.”
Continental will continue to use its exclusive racing tire from the ExtremeContact line of tires. The company has incorporated a variety of technologies into a tire that is durable and provides the performance that many professional teams and drivers demand and have come to trust. Continental will continue to provide full, first-class at-track support at all United SportsCar Racing and CTSCC events as well.
As part of the agreement, Continental Tire will receive logo placement on cars and will continue to activate at-track via hospitality, signage, event entitlements and other marketing initiatives. Continental Tire will also support the series off-track through a variety of promotions, marketing events and TV.
Continental Tire debuted as the title sponsor and exclusive tire supplier for the CTSCC in 2010. In 2011, the global company became the official tire of GRAND-AM as well as exclusive tire supplier to both the CTSCC and Rolex Series. At the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, in March, Continental Tire debuted as the presenting sponsor and exclusive tire provider for the PC class in the ALMS. To date, the PC Class has set two new track records and has been running competitive lap times with the P2 Class on Continental tires.