IMSA will prioritize Michelin race tire inventories for sanctioned events over private testing, which is expected to see limited quantities in tire availability due to ongoing supply chain challenges that has affected numerous suppliers amid recent worldwide events.
Issued in a Michelin Motorsport communication on Friday, the change — jointly agreed between the French tire manufacturer and IMSA — is set to impact teams in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge, Prototype Challenge, as well as Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands.
“The ongoing challenges in the global economy continue to impact many aspects of Michelin’s motorsport tire operations,” the statement read.
“Over the past year, this has impacted Michelin’s ability to build inventories while prioritizing delivery of our motorsports products for scheduled events. As a result, careful supply monitoring and management of specific motorsport tire lines and dimensions is required through the end of the season.
“Beginning immediately, Michelin will prioritize race tire inventories for IMSA-sanctioned events, ensuring sufficient supply through the conclusion of all 2022 IMSA championships using Michelin tires.
“As a result, race teams may not have access to tires for private testing.”
Michelin says that it will provide tires in “limited quantity” for any WeatherTech Championship team that has already received approval from IMSA for an upcoming private test.
For other tests and other series, teams are free to use tires they may already have on hand.
“These actions will help ensure that appropriate volumes of tires are available for IMSA sanctioned championship events during this period,” the statement concluded.
While not enforcing a complete ban on private testing, the change is expected to drastically reduce testing availability for teams for the remainder of the season.
It is not expected to impact LMDh testing and tire development, which is already ongoing and utilizes tires in small production batches.
“IMSA is working closely with Michelin, who is monitoring global supply chain on a daily basis, to ensure the continued success of our events,” said IMSA President John Doonan.
“We appreciate the commitment they have shown throughout the pandemic to support IMSA competition and growth. While we understand this will be a challenge for teams, we all recognize the ultimate priority are the race weekends.”
Michelin also on Friday confirmed a slight six percent price increase on all tires used in IMSA competition, citing continuing increases in materials, manufacturing and logistics.