LAS VEGAS — Kenda Tire USA Inc. plans to broaden its motorsports activities in 2023 as part of a promotional effort to strengthen the Vezda name as Kenda's high-performance line.
Among the company's new/revived efforts will be support for Jeff Courtney, a Kenda "brand ambassador" who's planning to run a full season in the World Racing League, a grassroots-style, multi-class racing series focused on endurance events of at least eight hours in length.
Kenda has supported Courtney — who also operates his own recreational/trailer tire/wheel business, recstuff.com — at various times over the past two decades. This will be the first time, though, that Courtney will compete on Kenda tires, using the Taiwan tire maker's new Vezda UHP MAX tires.
Courtney has yet to disclose which car he'll use for the 2023 WRL season. At the 2022 season-ending WRL event at Circuit of the Americas he competed in a BMW M4 sedan.
Kenda and Courtney settled on the WRL as their venue of choice due to the series' open tire competition rule, according to Brandon Stotsenburg, Kenda's vice president, automotive.
According to the WRL rule book, competitors may use any brand tire as long as it has a Uniform Tire Quality Grading treadwear rating of 180 or higher, be commercially available and not protrude further than 1 inch from the fender opening/flare as viewed from the top.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Hankook Tire America were shown as series' partners in 2022. Both offered contingency rewards for top finishes.
In addition to the return to on-track competition, Kenda will continue to support competitors in off-road racing.