TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 21, 2008) — Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is taking a more visible sponsorship role with the Sport Car Club of America's (SCCA) Speed World Challenge Championships, agreeing to be the “presenting sponsor” of series races at Mosport International Raceway and Road Atlanta.
Toyo is the spec tire supplier to the series, which features two classes of race-prepared, production-based cars competing in 50-minute races. The Grand Touring class is open to sedans, coupes and two-seat models with engines ranging up to 550 horsepower, and the Touring Car class is limited to four-seat cars with engines up to 2.8 liters in capacity.
The races being run at the Mosport course in Ontario are part of the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport weekend with the American Le Mans Series. The Speed GT race on Aug. 16 will be referred to as the Mosport Speed GT Presented by Toyo Tires, with the Aug. 17 Touring Car event dubbed the Mosport Speed Touring Car Presented by Toyo Tires.
At the Oct. 3 Road Atlanta race, Toyo will be sponsoring only the Touring Car event.
For the Cypress, Calif.-based tire maker, the deal means added exposure, especially to TV audiences in the form of Toyo logo placements, according to Steve Hutchinson, vice president of marketing. The arrangement represents a shifting of advertising/promotion spending, not additional spending, he said.
Toyo has been the series' spec tire supplier since its inception in 2001 and will continue to be through the 2010 season, according to the organizer. Racers compete on Toyo's street-legal Proxess R888.
All races are aired on Speed TV, which is the series' main sponsor.