DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has selected Michelin North America Inc. to be the designated race tire supplier for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its two major challenge series starting with the 2019 season.
The multi-year agreement with Michelin replaces a supply deal IMSA had with Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. since 2010 that runs through the end of the 2018 season.
The deal calls for Michelin tires to be on every Prototype and GT Daytona race car competing in the WeatherTech Championship. The GT Le Mans class will continue to be open to multiple tire manufacturers, IMSA said. Michelin has been that class's sole supplier the past few years.
The 2019 IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge will feature the Grand Sport (GS) class for cars built to international GT4 specifications and Touring Car for TCR-spec race cars. The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, featuring LMP3 race cars, also will ride on Michelins.
"The significance of this expanded partnership with Michelin, one of the world's most recognized 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.
"We are extremely grateful for the role Continental Tire played in helping to grow our racing platforms throughout our partnership dating back to 2010," Mr. Atherton added.
"Continental has been an outstanding partner and was instrumental in elevating the status of the WeatherTech Championship and Continental Tire Challenge to new heights. We extend heartfelt appreciation to our friends at Continental for their unwavering support."
Scott Clark, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Michelin North America, said, "The continued growth and success of the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA's related series provides a great platform for us to engage performance enthusiasts and showcase our Michelin Pilot Sport family of ultra-high-performance tires.
"Michelin does not enter into long-term collaborations lightly or solely for our own benefit," he added. "We are committed to IMSA, the competitors and fans to help continue the growth and success of the series on and off the track. This is a tremendous opportunity to work together to grow the sport."
The contract includes Michelin's becoming the "entitlement partner" of a new IMSA series, the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, that will start in 2019. The four-round competition recognizes top competitors in each class in the four WeatherTech Championship major endurance races. The Cup consists of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International, and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.