LOS ANGELES — Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) has awarded Continental Tire the Americas a multi-year contract as the series' tire supplier, starting this season and including the series' electric vehicle class starting in 2019.
The new deal, which covers GRC's Supercars, GRC Lites and Polaris RZR categories, replaces one GRC had with Group Michelin's BFGoodrich brand that started in 2016.
The deal marks Continental's entry into the sport of rallycross, which combines elements of road-course racing with off-road rallying in a short-sprint, knock-out elimination style of competition.
As part of the new relationship, Continental Tire will develop new tires that will debut in the 2018 season opener May 20 in Louisville, Ky. Supercar and GRC Lites vehicles will use one compound, while a second tire will be developed for the Polaris RZR side-by-side class, Continental said.
Continental also plans to be active as a corporate sponsor at GRC events and on social media.
Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne called Continental an "industry leader in technical tire development" and said the firm's experience in developing both race tires and tires for on/off-road situations "make them the ideal partner."
He did not comment on the series' experience with Michelin/BFG.
John DeSalle, president of Continental Tire Motorsports, said, "We're looking forward to providing a tire that will give the fans the great racing they expect while also making it fun for the drivers."
The 2018 Red Bull Global Rallycross season features 12 rounds, including four double-header race weekends, in Indianapolis, Atlantic City, N.J., and at venues to be determined in the U.S. and Europe. Eight events will be televised on NBC.
This contract will keep the Continental brand active in the North American racing scene past this year, since 2018 is the last season of its supply contract with the Intermational Motor Sports Association's WeatherTech SportCar Championship.
The Red Bull Global Rallycross is different from the FIA World Rallycross, which will run 10 of its 12 races this year at circuits in Europe, plus rounds in Canada (Trois-Rivieres, Quebec) and the U.S. (Austin, Texas).
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is that series' supplier.