Pirelli is reinforcing its commitment to North American racing in 2023 with large-scale involvement and tire distribution to both global and domestic competitions taking place across the continent. Pirelli is set to participate in 10 major North American motorsport championships, with almost 40 Pirelli and partner personnel committed to over 100 races, supplying more than 30,000 tires throughout the course of the season.
Drawing from more than a century of its own history within the industry, Pirelli continues to leverage motorsports as an extension of its research and development work. Only by pushing the limits of competitive performance on the track can Pirelli’s Ultra High-Performance tires be ideated and built for the road. This “open-air laboratory” approach fosters innovation globally for Pirelli, though North America provides a unique opportunity with all but one major competition’s vehicles closely resembling the make-up of street vehicles.
Through its extensive relationships with more than 350 racing championships worldwide, Pirelli is positioned as one of the industry’s top research and development investors via motorsports that allow for its competitive products to be as closely aligned to road car tires as possible.
As Pirelli’s longest standing motorsports involvement globally since its inception as a tiremaker, the 2023 season is an especially exciting year for Formula 1 in North America with three Grand Prixes being hosted in the United States (Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas) and two more split between Montreal, Canada and Mexico City, Mexico.
The introduction of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which fills the penultimate spot on the schedule this year, will take place on November 18 and marks the second consecutive Grand Prix to be introduced in the United States in as many years. Synonymous with Pirelli’s growth in North American motorsport, Formula 1’s expansion on the continent is the next step in meshing global motorsports history with America’s unique automotive tradition.
Pirelli continues to supply tires to all ultra-competitive SRO series and, in turn, some of the top manufacturers around the globe. The wide array of GT racing includes championships dedicated to GT3, GT2, GT4, and Touring Cars. The 2023 race season kicks off with GT America powered by AWS on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS March 3-5. The whole of SRO Motorsports America- Fanatec World Challenge America presented by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, TC America Powered by Skip Barber Racing School and GT America powered by AWS then take on Sonoma Raceway March 30 through April 2. The North American collection takes on nine of the United States’ top race circuits in 2023 in total. The season concludes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, playing host to its penultimate round, the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS.
TRANS AM AND SVRA
Pirelli now enters its second year providing 18-inch tires for the Trans Am Series TA Class, which will continue to provide valuable feedback for road car tire development as it simultaneously raises the ceiling of speed, performance and intensity for competing drivers.
Tire testing for Trans Am will take place on January 25-26 at Sebring International Raceway, with the 2023 season kicking off at the same track on February 23-26. This marks the seventh season since Pirelli and Trans Am began their motorsports partnership, and represents a major step for Pirelli in its ongoing journey to strengthen bonds with the manufacturers of America’s classic performance muscle cars and the broader car culture.
Together with the Trans Am races, Pirelli is also involved with SVRA – the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association. SVRA, the largest vintage racing organization in the United States open to virtually any vintage or historic race car, will share a number of key dates with the Trans Am Series as part of the ‘Speed Tour’.
MORGAN PERFORMANCE GROUP (MPG)
Pirelli North America has signed a new three-year extension to supply racing tires for the growing Morgan Performance Group (MPG) sports car tour which includes a 2023 nine-weekends with the first race starting at Spring Mountain April 21-23.
Since the inception of the GT Celebration series in 2019, Pirelli has been a major partner with the sports car campaign that includes GT3, GT4, LMP3, Porsche Cup and BMW M2 machinery. And the tour hasn’t strayed from their core value of creating a quality, fun, run group designed for “sports car racing, designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.”
Heading into their fourth season, the MPG series entered the 2023 sports car season with some exciting new developments with four divisions including GT Celebration (three classes), Prototype Celebration (two classes), Cup Celebration (four classes) and M2 Celebration (three classes), that will race on historical racetracks such as Sonoma Raceway, VIRginia International Raceway and Watkins Glen.
Pirelli North America signed another three-year contract extension with International GT, a North American racing series for Ferrari and Porsche models made up of The Stuttgart Cup, Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy and The Maranello Cup championships. This will bring the partnership well over the decade mark, as the Pirelli’s rubber first hit the track for International GT in 2014.
Similar to the SVRA racing calendar, the 10-month-long 2023 schedule for the International GT kicks off in Sebring from February 23 to 26, and wraps up in early December at one of the pillars of American motorsports heritage in Daytona International Speedway.
SINGLE-MAKE & MISCELLANEOUS SERIES
Key parts of the Pirelli USA program are also the P Zero-equipped single-make championships including the Ferrari Challenge and the Championship of the Porsche Club of America (PCA).
The Ferrari Challenge North America kicks off at the Miami-Homestead Speedway on March 1-5, and traverses the continent with races at several iconic tracks like Road America, Sonoma Raceway and Circuit of the Americas.
The Championship of the Porsche Club of America, in partnership with Pirelli, will bring together many of the PCA’s 175,000 members to cheer on more than 2,000 licensed racers competing across a similar bevy of historic racetracks, including Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., and several others. As the title sponsor of this single-make motorsports series, Pirelli continues to build on a strong partnership with Porsche that spans decades of both competitive and road car collaborations. The PCA club racing season begins on February 3 at Sebring.
Pirelli also continues to support the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb and will have a significant presence in this year’s rendition of the American motorsports classic.