ROME, Ga. (Dec. 14, 2009)—Pirelli Tire North America Inc. will withdraw as the race tire supplier for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series after the 2010 racing season in order to “redeploy” its resources toward a wider range of motorsports venues.
“Pirelli's North American motorsports operations will reinforce our national network of motorsports tire distribution while accessing a greater breadth of the race tire market,” said Tom Gravalos, vice president of motorsports, marketing and original equipment sales, without disclosing specifics of the firm's new direction.
Pirelli began supplying Grand-Am with P Zero Racing Slick and P Zero Racing Rain tires in the 2008 season. The three-year agreement expires at the end of the 2010 season.
Pirelli did not say what it has invested in the supply contract, but a price list on the firm's Web site shows competitors were charged $385 to $521 per tire, depending on size, this past season.
At the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Pirelli launched the P-Zero Trofeo, a DOT-approved track tire offering enhanced grip for competition with a tread pattern derived partially from asphalt rally applications. The tire's asymmetrical tread offers sufficient wet grip to allow users to drive to and from the track, performance characteristics designed to appeal to the grass-roots racing crowd.