Michelin to replace Continental in IMSA from 2019
Continental Tire is set to end its association with IMSA after the 2018 season and be replaced by Michelin, which will become IMSA’s official tyre starting in 2019.
Continental says that its supply for three of the four WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes, supply for the Prototype Challenge series and sole supply and title sponsorship of the Continental Tire SportsCar challenge will end after a bid for a contract extension with IMSA was not accepted.
Travis Roffler, Continental director of marketing for the Americas said that the company was proud of the contribution it has made, but was “disappointed in IMSA’s decision to go a different direction”. He added: “We remain committed to making the 2018 IMSA season a fantastic year for the fans, drivers, and all the teams.”
The new multi-year agreement calls for Michelin’s tyres to be on every Prototype and GT Daytona race car competing in the WeatherTech Championship in addition to its continued participation in the GT Le Mans class. GTLM racers will still be able to choose their own tyre manufacturer, although all current competitors already run on Michelins.
“The significance of this expanded partnership with Michelin, one of the world’s most recognised 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.”