Kumho prepares tire for American Le Mans Series
Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. has agreed to supply tires for the Miracle Motorsports team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) beginning in 2005.
Kumho and Miracle signed a multi-year contract; terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Miracle is the defending class champion in LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2) and also won the LMP2 class at last year’s running of the 12 Hours of Sebring.
"Miracle Motorsports is a proven, experienced team that knows how to win," says Rick Brennan, Kumho's brand manager. "Coming into the ALMS with the defending class champions will help us get up to speed quickly, and it will also put some pressure on us because we want to help them defend their championship."
Brennan said Kumho will begin tire development testing with Miracle in January, under the direction of Rudy Consolacion, Kumho's motorsports manager. Consolacion developed Kumho's most recent DOT-approved race tire, the ECSTA V710.
"We’ve got a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to be ready for Sebring, but we’re up to the task," says Brennan.
According to Brennan, Kumho decided to enter the America Le Mans Series for a number of reasons.
"ALMS is the only professional road racing series in the U.S. that promotes tire competition, and that's important to us. We don’t want to compete against ourselves in a spec tire series because that doesn’t prove how good our tires are."
In addition to open tire competition, Brennan pointed out that Kumho will benefit from ALMS' recognition as one of the world's premier professional sports car championships. ALMS also will provide good television exposure for Kumho; races will be broadcast live on CBS or the Speed Channel
Additionally, Kumho will receive on-site exposure from big crowds at ALMS races. Nearly 550,000 people attended the series' nine races in 2004 -- a 20% increase from 2003.
The 2005 ALMS series includes the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Petit Le Mans (a 10-hour race at Road Atlanta), and eight other races at some of America's leading road courses, such as Road America, Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, Portland International and Infineon Raceway.
For more information on the American Le Mans Series, visit www.americanlemans.com.