Continental on a roll as official Grand-Am racing tire

Jan. 1, 2020
Saturday?s 49th running of the Grand-Am 24 At Daytona begins Continental?s expanded commitment to the circuit as it becomes the official tire of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

Saturday’s 49th running of the Grand-Am 24 At Daytona begins Continental’s expanded commitment to the circuit as it becomes the official tire of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

The new status complements the company’s title sponsorship of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, also marking the official introduction of the new Continental race tire that will be featured on all of the Daytona Prototype class cars.
“Continental Tire is committed to being a leading force in motorsports, and becoming the official tire of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series is part of that strategy,” says Bill Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing.

“The Rolex series is one of the most highly-regarded racing series in the U.S., and will be a perfect format to emphasize the capabilities of our Continental ExtremeContact race tires,” he adds.

The statisticians were as busy Jan. 27 when four different track records were established in the opening qualifying sessions of the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season. The day marked the first official on-track action for the tire maker’s new official tire designation.
Running in the top Daytona Prototype class with the Continental ExtremeContact race tires, Jorg Bergmiester set a fast lap time of 1:40.099 with a Porsche-powered Riley in the closing moments of the session after getting some encouragement from his Flying Lizards crew.



“I was ready to come in, and the team told me to try again,” Bergmeister says. “I went for it. I risked everything, and it worked out perfectly. I knew we have a great car and a great engine, but I was really surprised to win the pole – with the team running the DP for the first time. I was hoping to qualify in the top five.”

The GT class also saw history being made, as Dominik Farnbacher’s Porsche posted a quick time of 1:48.781 to also set a new record.

“I am happy to start from the pole,” Farnbacher says.  “My lap was really good.  The car was phenomenal.  It was really good in the Horseshoe and really stable under braking into the Bus Stop.  The only issue I had was with the brake bias.  I was having some tire lock-up and the brake bias was not really helping.  I had to brake a little earlier to stay safe and it worked out to having a pretty good lap.”

Cars in the Sports Car Challenge took to the track to set the grid for the Jan. 28 Grand-Am 200 contest. Stopwatches were again ablaze as new fast lap times were set in both the Street Tuner (ST) and Grand Sports (GS) classes.
Rum Bum Racing’s Nick Longhi, who won the final race of the 2010 season, started 2011 off on the right foot with his pole-winning time of 1:56.959, nearly three full seconds faster than the previous record. The Volkswagen GTI of Ryan Ellis also posted a record-setting effort with a time nearly two seconds quicker than the previous mark.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel starting at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 29. The Jan. 28 Grand-Am 200 airs Feb. 5 at 3 p.m.

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