PIRELLI MAKES "GRAND-AMERICAN" RETURN TO MOTORSPORTS
Las Vegas, Nevada In 2008, Pirelli will become the specified tire for the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. This will mark the re-emergence of Pirelli Tire into American Motorsports after a one-year hiatus from large sanctioned competition on the continent.
"Motorsport competition is part of Pirelli's heritage, and the Rolex Sports Car series personifies the attributes we look for in a partnership quality brand, opportunities for activation, and the ability to grow the Pirelli name amongst enthusiasts," said Hugh Pace, Chairman and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America. The partnership between Pirelli Tire and the Rolex series was agreed upon early in 2007 and the tire company has spent a lot of time testing in Daytona Beach and Miami, FL as well as Birmingham, AL to design a product that advances competition in the series.
Paul Hembery, Global Director of Motorsports for Pirelli, revealed the Pirelli P Zero Racing slick, specifically designed and labeled to support the Rolex series at a press conference today at the 2007 SEMA Show. "Racing in North America is a bit different than in Europe and special design and compounding is needed to optimize performance," said Hembery. "To showcase our commitment to the series, we have developed a special product tested at Grand-Am competition tracks and on Grand-Am race vehicles specifically for Grand-Am competitors. -more- The commitment to engineering product for the Grand-Am Rolex series is in-line with Pirelli's commitment to Ultra-High Performance street tires as well. In addition to the unveiling of the Grand-Am product, the brand is celebrating 20 years of its P-Zero product line, and continuous innovation in sizes and performance attributes. Partnering with Grand-Am fits naturally into the global motorsports strategy for the brand and allows Pirelli to better develop programs relevant to its North American business objectives.
Pirelli branding will be prominent at the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with naming rights for the paddock area, autograph sessions, numerous signage opportunities and of course on-site appearances of the famous Pirelli models. Specific details regarding activation such as dealer incentives, hospitality programs and advertising will be released at a later date.