2010 Daytona Test-Gannassi_BMW_Photo_by_K.HintonDaytona Beach, FL – The racing world is coming to Daytona International Speedway for this weekend’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season opener, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and Pirelli Tire North America’s Motorsport division is ready. In its third consecutive year as the “Official Tire of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series”, Pirelli’s P Zero racing slick has been proven to be a super-fast and durable racing tool for Daytona Prototype and GT teams in the Grand-Am series. The Rolex 24 begins Saturday, January 30th and will finish 24 hours later on the 31st.

Pirelli’s P Zero racing slick has played an essential role in the success of Grand-Am’s Rolex Sports Car Series, and was part of the closest 24-hour endurance race finish in motorsports history last year. In testing for this year’s Rolex 24 earlier this month, P Zero capably handled record cold temperatures that nearly closed the course, and gave teams the confidence to drive hard in the inclement winter weather. Pirelli and its talented team of engineers and technicians are confident that the third-generation P Zeros for Grand-Am are the best yet, and will have the opportunity to prove themselves right during this weekend’s race. More than 45 teams will take up the challenge of the 48th annual running of America’s premier endurance race – each race car fitted with the latest Pirelli P Zero racing tires.

“The season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona represents the single biggest weekend of operation for Pirelli Tire North America’s Motorsport team and we are more than up to the challenge,” said Rafael Navarro III, PTNA’s Director of Motorsports and Media Relations. “As all of the top drivers and teams in the Grand-Am Rolex Series will tell you, every 24-hour races gives drivers nearly a full season of racing experience. Everything we have learned in the last two Rolex 24 events, as well as during testing sessions at Daytona in the harshest of conditions has been put into our 2010 Pirelli P Zeros. We look forward to being part of another great Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

To support the all-day and all-night effort, Pirelli brings more than just its legendary P-Zeros to Daytona International Speedway. A team of 12 Pirelli Tire engineers and 60 tire fitters from all around the world will converge on Daytona, as well as Pirelli’s famous spokesmodels. The various personnel will work in two shifts throughout the race weekend. Calling on only the best from around the world, Pirelli personnel assigned to the Rolex 24 come from the United States, Canada, Italy, and as far away as Australia.

Pirelli also has a fleet of a dozen support trailers in place at Daytona, including a pair of fully equipped technical support units. They will form the platform from which Pirelli technicians will be ready to fit tires from a pool of 10,000 P-Zero racing tires (including 3,000 racing rain tires) on hand in Daytona.

It all begins Thursday January 28th, with practice and qualifying and the team’s only chance to test that night. Friday’s schedule includes a final practice before the 48th annual Rolex 24 on Saturday and Sunday Live coverage of the 2010 Rolex 24 on SPEED begins on Saturday, January 30, at 3 p.m. ET, prior to the 3:30 p.m. ET green flag, and lasts until 10 p.m. ET. Coverage resumes at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday and will run through and into post-race coverage at 4 p.m. ET.

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.