Pirelli backing Aston Martin race series

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PETALUMA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2014) — The organizers of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America, a single-make "sportsman" road-racing series supported by Pirelli Tire North America Inc., are seeking entries for the series' inaugural season, set to kick off May 16-18 at Watkins Glen International.

The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge is a multi-round series that the organizers are pitching as a blend of "unique lifestyle event experiences" both on and off the track—starting with the selection of seven iconic race tracks across North America and including amenities such as professional driver coaching at each event and off-track lifestyle events indigenous to the area at all venues.

Aspiring competitors will drive 4.7-liter, V8-powered Aston Martin GT4 Vantage cars that they own or lease from TRG-AMR North America L.L.C., the series' owner and operator. Leasing and testing arrangements are available on a race-by-race or seasonal basis through TRG-AMR or one of its authorized partners or Aston Martin dealers around the U.S. and Canada, the Petaluma-based company said.

"No other series will provide as many overall weekend amenities and incentives as the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of North America," according to TRG-AMR CEO Kevin Buckler, who promised a suite of assets, amenities and incentives not matched by any other sportsman driver series in North America.

After the opening round at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, the series will visit Virginia International Raceway (June 6-8); Circuit Mont-Tremblant (July 25-27); Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Aug. 29-31); Monticello Motor Club (Sept. 12-14); Road America (Oct. 10-12); and Sebring International Raceway (Nov. 21-23).

Leasing rates are $35,000 for the season or $6,000 a race, TRG-AMR said. The leased vehicle is a proper race-prepared version, complete with roll cage, fuel cell, wing, etc.

Pirelli's involvement in the series is a "spot-on" brand alignment that leverages Pirelli's OE homologation on Aston Martin road cars, according to Rafael Navarro, vice president of media relations, events, sponsorships and motorsports for Pirelli.

The tire maker also will offer contingency awards, as will Bremsen Technik G.m.b.H., maker of Pagid-brand brake pads, Royal Purple lubricants and others.

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