Continental Tire has been named the exclusive tire supplier for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda series beginning in 2017. Both the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LM P3) and Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) classes will compete on Continental tires under the multi-year agreement.
“We’re thrilled to announce the integration of the Prototype Challenge series into our portfolio of racing properties,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. “We’re honored to increase our partnership with IMSA to include this series and we look forward to showcasing our abilities on a global platform like the Prototype Challenge stage.”
There will be a dry and a wet compound provided in each class. The tires will be part of Continental’s ExtremeContact line of tires, similar to the ExtremeContact Dry Race and ExtremeContact Wet tires seen in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. These tires are designed to have high levels of grip throughout a full fuel stint and will help maintain peak performance to make it fun for the drivers and entertaining for the fans, the tiremaker says.
“IMSA continues to enjoy a strong and mutually productive partnership with Continental Tire,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing. “We appreciate Continental increasing its already deep commitment to our sport through this new agreement. The exciting competition coming in 2017 and beyond in the new-look IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda platform will be enhanced by the consistent durability and performance of state-of-the-art Continental tires.”
The IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda is a blend of new and existing machinery. The LM P3 class will feature chassis from as many as six different constructors, all powered by identical V8 engines. The MPC class will continue to use the Elan DP02 chassis and will be powered by Mazda engines that previously comprised the Lites 1 class of the series. All cars will race on Continental tires developed specifically for each class under IMSA rules.
The 2017 schedule includes 13 rounds of action with the first two rounds being held, March 17-18, at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Nine of the 13 rounds will take place during IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekends with most event weekends including a pair of 45-minute sprint races.
Continental Tire has been a partner of IMSA since 2010 when the company was the title sponsor of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Since that time, Continental Tire was chosen as the official tire of IMSA and exclusive tire supplier for the Prototype (P), Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.