Michelin to Sponsor “Michelin GT Challenge” at VIRginia International Raceway
Global Technology Leader Becomes Title Sponsor for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race at VIR
Danville, Va. – April 19, 2016 – Michelin North America and VIRginia International Raceway today announced that Michelin will become the title sponsor for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, the track’s largest race of the year. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race takes place as the culmination of a premier racing weekend at VIR, Aug. 26 to 28.
“VIR has become one of the top racing venues in the country,” said Sarah Robinson, Motorsports Marketing Manager at Michelin North America. “Fans enjoy seeing production-based cars from the world’s top manufacturers race on one of the most challenging circuits.”
“VIR isn’t just a place we go racing but we also utilize the track to test street tires,” said Robinson. “Collaborating with VIR is a great fit for a GT-only race weekend. The car clubs and fans from across the region all gather here for the fierce competition and the opportunity to see an incredibly diverse field of top drivers and teams compete in the WeatherTech Championship.”
VIR is the only track in the greater Mid-Atlantic area and one of only 12 tracks nationwide selected to host the WeatherTech Championship in 2016. The race weekend will feature GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes, serving as the only race of the year featuring only GT cars.
The GTLM class is the only class featuring open tire competition and is widely recognized as the most competitive in the world. Based upon manufacturers’ top production models, the class features factory-backed teams from Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Ford and BMW, all of which have chosen Michelin as their technical partner.
The GTD class, which features a Pro-Am format, includes – Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Dodge, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus and Porsche.
“The partnership with Michelin is a perfect match with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at VIR,” said Connie Nyholm, owner and CEO of VIR. “This is going to be a weekend of premier class racing. The GTLM teams can pick their own tires, and all of those teams choose to run on Michelin. The brand offers trusted, exceptional tires with a dedication to both innovation and sustainability. We look forward to welcoming back our Michelin friends for a fun, family-friendly race weekend done right with southern hospitality.”
Fan festivities during the race weekend include testing, qualifying, car corrals, driver autograph sessions, team chats and technology talks. Guests can also take advantage of VIR’s many onsite amenities, like karting, off-roading and shooting sports. Advanced tickets for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend at VIR are available online starting at $40 for Friday-only and go up to $75 for a three-day ticket. All purchases are an additional $10 at the gate. Children 16 and under are admitted free of charge with a paying adult. To purchase advanced tickets or to learn more, visit virnow.com/.
About VIRginia International Raceway
VIRginia International Raceway is one of America’s premier road courses, offering professional and amateur racing for modern and vintage classes while providing contemporary resort amenities. A prominent test facility for the automotive industry, VIR has the distinction of being named one of the top six courses in North America by Car & Driver Magazine, and southern roots and hospitality make it one of the friendliest. Conveniently located at the Virginia/North Carolina border, VIR is just a short two-hour trip from Richmond and about an hour and 15 minutes from both the Piedmont-Triad and Raleigh-Durham International Airports.
VIR offers amenities such as lodging, dining, a spa, an exclusive driver’s club, karting, off-road racing, shooting sports, skid pad and more. The grounds also offer a unique setting and specialized facilities for corporate retreats, group activities and conference space. Onsite parcels are available for sale/lease to motorsports industry tenants. For more information, visit www.VIRnow.com, Facebook or Twitter.
About Michelin North America
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, Earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,650 and operates 20 major manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Nicole Kypraios, VIRginia International Raceway
Brian Remsberg, Michelin North America
864-458-5908 or mobile 864-561-7459
John Love, EMC Strategic Communications
248-816-0106 or mobile 313-506-2114