Michelin is now the official tire of the International Motor Sports Association, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.
This isn’t just racing news; it’s a pledge to drivers everywhere that Michelin will continually push to improve tire safety, performance and sustainability.
Scott Clark, chairman and president of Michelin North America, described the magnitude of the partnership Monday at the North American International Auto Show.
“Endurance racing is woven throughout the fabric of Michelin’s history. In fact, racing has always played an active role in driving innovation and ingenuity at Michelin,” Clark said. “More than any other motorsports pursuit, endurance racing demands reliable performance over time. As the exclusive tire provider for IMSA’s WeatherTech Championship and the Michelin Pilot Challenge, we believe IMSA racing is the ideal environment for proving and improving Michelin tires.”
For the 2019 season, Michelin will support 19 automotive brands competing in different classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – compared with five brands last season. Michelin also will be title sponsor of the Michelin Endurance Cup and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. IMSA racing comprises more auto manufacturer involvement than any other major racing series, making it an unmatched platform for competition and development among motor sports in North America.
Steve Carlisle, senior vice president for General Motors and president of Cadillac, joined Michelin in recognizing what motorsports means to business.
“Michelin has been selected as the fitment for Cadillac’s V-Series street vehicles since 2009, and we’ve been very pleased with Michelin as a technical partner and supplier,” Carlisle said. “We knew that Michelin’s Pilot tire line could take an acclaimed Cadillac brand to even greater levels of performance and prestige.”
Another critical component of endurance racing is a tire’s ability to consistently perform over time – every time – on the track or on the street. Michelin’s portfolio of passenger tires performs reliably with every mile of wear – even under wet conditions – benefiting pro drivers and daily drivers while saving money and reducing waste. Recent third-party testing has confirmed that the Michelin Premier A/S tire performs better in a worn state than 20 competitors’ brand-new tires.
“Most of the vehicle brands in the WeatherTech Championship are Michelin customers that have chosen Michelin tires for their performance vehicles,” Clark said. “The technology, innovation and relationships that we develop together with the manufacturers in competition helps Michelin meet their needs and ultimately the expectations of their owners and fans.”
Globally, Michelin competes in the FIA World Rally Championship, FIA Formula E Championship, the FIM MotoGP World Championship for motorcycles and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans where Michelin teams have won for 21 consecutive years.
Michelin’s involvement with IMSA dates to the preceding American Le Mans Series in 1999. Michelin currently serves as the tire technical partner of choice for BMW, Corvette, Ford Performance, Porsche GT and Risi Competizione Ferrari in the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans class.