FORT MILL, S.C. — The organizer of the USF Pro Championships has selected Continental Tire the Americas to be the presenting partner and designated race tire supplier of its three open-wheel racing series — USF Pro 2000, USF2000 and USF Juniors — for five years, starting in 2024.
Continental replaces Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. as the tire supplier and presenting sponsor of the series, which are part of the Road to Indy "ladder" program designed to provide younger drivers with experience in open-wheel racers that could lead them to the sport's pinnacle, the IndyCar Series.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The change, disclosed this week by Andersen Promotions, will mark the debut of the Continental brand in single-seat, open-wheel racing. Prior to this Fort Mill-based Continental Tire was the race tire supplier of the IMSA sports-car racing series for nine years throughout the 2010s and starting this year for the Toyota GR Cup Series.
"When the need arose for a change this year, Continental was the first company I reached out to," Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, citing a relationship he's had with Hoosier dating back to 1992.
"(Hoosier) always built high-quality products, made here in the U.S.," Andersen said, "and with great trackside service so it was natural for me to reach out to their parent company, Continental Tire."
Andersen said he expects the partnership with Continental will help make the USF Pro Championships ladder program even stronger.
"We are excited to partner with the USF Pro Championships," Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire, said.
"We have a long and diverse history of competing in different avenues of motorsport — from sports cars to Stadium Super Trucks — and now in the open-wheel racing ranks. The Continental brand focuses on delivering products for premium performance and we're thrilled to provide that to the USF Pro 2000, USF2000 and USF Juniors championships."
Continental said it plans to continue supporting the annual champion's scholarships as well as the pre-race Pole Awards.
"Our experience in high-performance racing aligns well with the USF series' driver development program," Joerg Burfien, president and CEO, Hoosier Racing Tire. "We look forward to progressing the career of racers around the world and elevating this series to new heights while creating an exciting experience for all."
USF Pro Championships will go through a rebranding process in the off-season and will enter 2024 as the USF Pro Championships Presented by Continental Tire.
The US Pro 2000 and USF2000 series uses a carbon-fiber/aluminum honeycomb monocoque manufactured by Tatuus Racing and powered by a 2-liter, four-cylinder Mazda engine, designed to deliver 275 hp for US Pro 2000 and 175 hp for USF2000.
The USF2000 series uses a derivation of the Tatuus chassis and Mazda engine, tuned for 150 hp.