REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio—Kenda Tire USA Inc. has agreed to become a sponsor of the Championship Off-Road Series, a newly established short-course off-road racing series that is set to begin its delayed 2020 season July 10-11.
Kenda joins Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Maxxis International as tire companies listed as sponsors of the 10-round racing series organized by International Series of Champions Inc.
The series proscribes DOT-approved street tires for all three Pro classes, a decision that ISOC said will help contain costs, make racing more affordable and give racers an equal opportunity to obtain tires used by competitors.
"The decision to only allow DOT tires in all Pro classes was a long process, but it is what was needed to be done to keep the future of our sport healthy," COR Series Director Frank DeAngelo said.
"This aligns with the direction we at Championship Off-Road believe the sport needs to strive to be at, to be successful for all involved for years to come."
Tires used in competition must have at least 11/32nds-inch tread depth at the start of a race, according to the series' rules.
Financial details of the sponsorships were not disclosed.
The 10-round series kicks off July 10-11 at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn., and includes stops at Dirt City Motorplex in Lena, Wis., Bark River International Raceway in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and concludes with two weekends in Crandon, Wis., Sept. 4-5 and 26-27.
In addition to acting as a series sponsor, Kenda will supply five drivers who will compete in the series' SxS, Pro-Lite, Pro-2 and Pro-4 divisions with various versions of its Klever light-truck tires.
Kenda said the circuit "provides a rare environment for fans to see how the products they can buy in store compete directly against other brands."
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the series to revamp its schedule and postpone the opening round, The Brush Run, which was scheduled June 20-21 at Crandon International Raceway.
The series fills a gap in the racing calendar left by the collapse of The Off-Road Championship, which folded after the 2017 season, and the dissolution of the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League after the 2019 season.
Kenda said the circuit "demonstrates the extreme performance and durability in conditions that the average truck owner will appreciate for the extreme performance," noting the tire maker promotes those features via its Podium2Pavement message.