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Yokohama signs as official tire supplier for GT3
Only days after announcing a new title sponsor for its Porsche GT3 Cup-based championship, the International Motorsports Association has secured leading tire manufacturer Yokohama as presenting sponsor and official tire supplier for the Patr¢n GT3 Challenge by Yokohama. One of North America’s largest one-make championships, the series will start its season at Sebring International Raceway in March.

Yokohama is one of the most well-known names in road racing and has a long history with IMSA and its sanctioned series. It services and competes in a number of the world’s top-flight professional as well as amateur races and championships.

“As one of the world’s most renowned producers of high-performance tires, we are pleased to see Yokohama join in the support and promotion of the Patr¢n GT3 Challenge by Yokohama,” said Tim Mayer, IMSA’s Chief Operating Officer. “The success and history Yokohama has compiled in road racing throughout the world puts it in elite company. We are confident that this partnership will result in the further growth of both the championship and Yokohama.

“At the same time, we also want to take this opportunity to thank Michelin for its involvement over the past four seasons,” Mayer added. “Michelin played a substantial role in the development and early growth of this championship. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Michelin in other areas of our business.”

Series officials also will make another major announcement regarding coverage of the 2009 season shortly.

Yokohama is a familiar name to those who follow IMSA and the American Le Mans Series. It has been involved in both prototype and GT racing since the inception of the Series in 1999.

“We’re excited to participate in a series that features Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars and great racetracks,” said Mark Chung, Yokohama’s director of strategic marketing. “This is a proud extension of our motorsports involvement with IMSA, the American Le Mans Series and Porsche.”

With parent company Yokohama Rubber Company of Japan, the American-based Yokohama Tire Corporation manufactures, markets and distributes a complete line of products for high performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction applications.

The Patr¢n GT3 Challenge by Yokohama features the continent’s top semi-professional and gentlemen drivers competing in Porsche’s 911 GT3 Cup car. There are two classes – the Platinum Cup for 2008 and 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup cars and the Gold Cup for 2005-2007 models.

The 2009 season also will see the establishment of a $60,000 year-end purse, an attractive incentive for a development series of this kind.

The opening round of the Patr¢n GT3 Challenge is set for March 19-20 at Sebring International Raceway as part of the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.

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