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Continental Debuts New Tires at Sebring

Continental to debut new Prototype, GT Daytona tire at Sebring…

Photo: Continental

Continental Tire will debut a new dry tire for both the Prototype and GTD classes at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The new tire, set to be raced the remainder of the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, is built specifically for road courses (following the only oval-based circuit of the year which utilizes a Daytona-specific tire).

The P2700 will be raced on LMP2 and DPi cars while the G6500 will be raced on GTD cars.

Additionally, Continental Tire has developed new wet tires for both the Prototype and GTD classes which will be on hand should the need arise.

“Sebring International Raceway is a great venue to introduce the new P2700 tires for our LMP2/DPi cars,” said Kevin Fandozzi, IMSA product manager, Continental Tire Motorsports.

“It’s part of our 2018 rollout that follows the introduction of a new W3 wet tire at Daytona. They will have more control through the turns, more confidence in the wet, and a season of great racing to look forward to.

“We are excited with our product, and wanted to put our best foot forward in what is shaping up to be a great year in sports car racing.”

Since Continental Tire began developing tires for IMSA in 2010, then known as GRAND-AM, Continental’s engineers have worked continuously to make enhancements as technology evolves.

When the Daytona Prototype era ended, and a new era of LMP2 and DPi machinery began in 2017, Continental went to work to strengthen tire performance to match the performance of those cars.

The P2700 tire, which was developed for the Prototype class, is an update to the P2500 that was released into limited testing in the fall of 2016 when the first LMP2/DPi machines were received into the United States.

The primary difference is a more rounded shoulder for impact resistance and load integrity.

While both front and rear tires are a new compound and a new construction, the P2700 rear tires are produced from a new mold that optimizes the contact patch profile which creates an improvement in grip.

Continental Tire engineers also developed a new tire for the GTD category which also received rave reviews at the Sebring test last month.

The new GTD tire, the G6500, benefits from the racing development done over the past five years in durability and performance.

Continental began the process by enhancing the ability to maintain integrity under extreme impact as well as tire loads. With cars now going faster than in previous years, the tires needed to be able to manage higher downforce levels as well as curbing impact energy.

In order to do that, Continental combined a tougher shoulder with a more stable belt package that enables the tire to transmit to the driver what exactly is happening at the contact patch.

The primary goal of the new tire is to inspire confidence at every part of the race track.

Continental also has a new GTD wet tire in 2018, the W2, which has again been well-received.

Positive First Review of New Tires

Several Prototype class cars tested the new tire at Sebring last month which was well-received with resounding positive feedback.

“I have been fortunate to be a part of Continental’s development of tires, both on and off the track over the past few years and without a doubt, the latest Prototype road course tire is the best we have ever had,” said Tequila Patron ESM’s Ryan Dalziel.

“The lap times are going to be very fast and the durability will make for great racing and strategies. I know a lot of R&D went into this latest design and so far all the drivers really like it.”

“I was very impressed by the new Continental tire that we tested for the first time at Sebring,” said Michael Shank Racing driver Lawson Aschenbach.

“I applaud Continental’s hard work and dedication to giving us a tire that is fast and consistent. It takes heat cycles well and gives you a good feel and grip on long runs. This tire is going to make the racing better for the teams and fans!”

With the new tire compounds earning favorable feedback from drivers and teams during the Sebring test, Fandozzi was pleased with the overall tire performance.

“When teams work with a new tire and are happy right off the bat, that is a great sign,” offered Fandozzi.

“It’s really a reflection of how hard our engineers worked in 2017 to push the limits of what was possible.

“Of course it will take time for the drivers and setups to adapt to the tire, but overall it’s gone very well and we look forward to the remainder of the 2018 IMSA season.”

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Steve

    March 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Can IMSA please allow Michelin’s for all classes? Why waste time with Continental crap.

    • Nips

      March 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Michelin is taking over as the tire supplier for P and GTD next year, as well as the LMPC.

  2. Pierre

    March 14, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I wonder how the drivers really feel about the hoosier/continental tires. I know they are the series supplier and sponsor for them and the drivers and teams need to maintain a certain level of political correctness and be appropriate in interviews and thoughts on the tire. But I wish we really knew how they all really felt.

    Michelin may not be a slam dunk out of the gate, they may have some teething issues the first year, but maybe not. I hope Michelin will prove to be an outstanding addition to the series Prototype and GTD classes.

    • Guest

      March 14, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Michelin already makes good LMP2 and GT3 tires. The only potential teething issues would be from that stupid Nascar track, which they already have data from GTLM.

      • Thomas

        March 14, 2018 at 10:30 pm

        That stupid NASCAR track is one of the most storied in US Sportscar history. Don’t like it fine but don’t try to denigrate it

        • Daytona has always sucked

          March 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm

          So because it has a history, an honestly BORING history of races you could sleep through, you can’t say it’s over-rated? Wow, guess we should all make a note to check with you before we consider not liking something.

          Sorry, but most fans I’ve known, of ALL racing 2 and 4 wheel, only view Daytona as that watering hole in the middle of the racing desert of the winter. It’s fun to look forward too but gets old really fast. It’s a terrible and DULL track with Mickey Mouse chicanes to slow things down. I’d rather watch white paint dry on a white wall.

        • Guest

          March 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm

          History doesn’t make an exciting race track. 3/4 of the track is the boring Nascar oval. All rovals are kind of meh, but Daytona is a total bore.

          They could at least turn off the flood lights for some actual night laps.

  3. Punisher

    March 14, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Continentals are not as good as Michelin’s, but I’m happy to have them all these years and happy to have them as a sponsor. I’m sure, some of the teams, are happy to run them as they are more affordable.
    Thank You Conti.

  4. Denz

    March 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I hope there aren’t 10 blowouts at Watkins Glen again.

  5. jenner

    March 17, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Michelin does make a good tire, but I’m gonna miss those Conti girls, that’s for sure.

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