FORT MILL, S.C. (Dec. 1, 2009) — Grand-Am Road Racing has signed Continental Tire North America Inc. to be the title sponsor and exclusive tire supplier of its Sports Car Challenge series — up to now called the Koni Challenge — for the next five years.
The series, which runs as a companion to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, will be called the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The parties did not disclose the value of the sponsorship and supply agreement, which runs through the 2014 season.
Conti replaces Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. as the series' race tire supplier. Conti and Hoosier recently disclosed they have agreed to work together in the fields of motorsports and high-performance street tires with a goal of competing in “new market segments.” Conti did not say where its tires for the series will be made.
The 10-race Sports Car Challenge features factory showroom high-performance sports cars, divided into two classes: Grand Sport featuring Porsche, BMW, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, etc.; and Street Tuner featuring smaller compact cars such as Chevy Cobalt, Mini Cooper, Subaru Legacy, Honda Civic Si, Mazda RX-8 KIA Forte Koup and BMW 330i.
“This entitlement sponsorship adds an entirely new dimension to our marketing strategy to promote the Continental brand,” said Bill Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing, Continental Tire. “The exclusive and official tire status will help to emphasize the performance capabilities of the ExtremeContact tire lines.”
The parties called their partnership the “culmination of months of tactical discussions and planning.” At the core of the agreement was the mutual desire to select a competition platform to showcase the performance and durability of Continental Tires within the punishing environment of motorsports, they said.
“Continental Tire brings with them a great history of product quality and performance,” said Kevin Hindson, vice president of marketing, Grand-Am Road Racing.
The series kicks off Jan. 8 - 10 with test days at Daytona International Raceway in Daytona, Fla. The first race will be Jan. 29 at that same venue.