In a move to enhance its position in the high-performance tire market, Pirelli Tire North America has a signed a four-year agreement with the Panoz Motor Sports Group that makes Pirelli the official tire of Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway and the Panoz Racing School.
The tire maker also has become an official sponsor of Mosport Raceway and the official tire of the Panoz GT and Panoz GT Pro Series and the Audi Driving Experience.
The agreement marks a return to sports car racing for Pirelli in North America. Last year, the Rome, Ga.-based tire maker took a sabbatical from circuit racing here, a company spokesman said.
The agreement takes effect immediately for all but the Sebring sponsorship, Pirelli said, and runs through the 2005 season. The Sebring sponsorship begins in 2003.
Pirelli's stepped up involvement in racing in North America will provide the company more visibility, said Guy Mannino, PTNA president. For example, at Road Atlanta, Pirelli signage will adorn the bridges crossing over the track, he said.
Based in Braselton, the Panoz Motor Sports Group is an entity comprised of the motorsports holdings of Don Panoz, which includes the American Le Mans Series as well as the race tracks and events involved in the Pirelli agreement.
``Pirelli is a perfect partner for the Panoz Motor Sports Group,'' said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the group. ``They will be tremendous marketing partners for our race tracks and the Panoz Racing School.''