International Motor Sports Association today announced Michelin will become the “Official Tire of IMSA” in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its two major Challenge series beginning in 2019.
The multi-year agreement calls for Michelin tires to be on every Prototype (P) and GT Daytona (GTD) race car competing in the WeatherTech Championship in addition to its continued participation in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The GTLM class will continue to be open to multiple tire manufacturers, although all current competitors already run on Michelins.
The 2019 IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge will feature the Grand Sport (GS) class for cars built to international GT4 specifications and Touring Car for TCR-spec race cars. The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, featuring LMP3 race cars, also will ride on Michelins.
“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.
“We are extremely grateful for the role Continental Tire played in helping to grow our racing platforms throughout our partnership dating back to 2010,” Atherton added. “Continental has been an outstanding partner and was instrumental in elevating the status of the WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire Challenge to new heights. We extend heartfelt appreciation to our friends at Continental for their unwavering support.”
Scott Clark, executive VP and chief operating officer of Michelin North America, said: “We are tremendously pleased by today's announcement. 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,” Clark added. “We are committed to IMSA, the competitors and fans to help continue the growth and success of the series on and off the track.”
As the “Official Tire of IMSA,” the WeatherTech Championship, IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge, Michelin also becomes the entitlement partner of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup – the championship within a championship that comprises the four endurance races – Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen, and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.