18 is the magic number
Pirelli Tire North America will introduce 18-inch tires for the 2022 season of the Trans Am Series TA class.
This change will bring Pirelli's Motorsport tires even closer to the road tire production process, in line with what has been done in Formula One as well.
Indeed, with a growing emphasis on the technological as well as aesthetic proximity to the road car product, the brand new P Zero Trans Am TA class tires will switch from the current 16-inch diameter to 18-inch. The most significant change is the reduction of the sidewall, which now resembles that of low-profile Pirelli tires that for years have been the preferred choice of the world's leading performance road cars.
The development of the new 18-inch tires actually started back in 2019, with a dedicated test at the Road Atlanta Raceway, before being paused for a year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, 18-inch testing resumed with a varied program of slicks that took place at Road America and Virginia International Raceway. Pirelli has scheduled another session of testing for November 22 at Homestead Miami Speedway in order to finalize the development of the new tires.
For 2022, the Trans Am competitors will use Pirelli's new P Zero DH tires: an evolution of the previous range, with modifications designed to make it even more versatile for the wide variety of Trans Am cars that use it.
With its 70-plus grids populated by Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers and Corvettes— a massive dose of pure Americana, with very unique characteristics like high horsepower and low aerodynamics – Trans Am is for Pirelli the perfect venue to strengthen its bonds with the American car culture.
Next year Trans Am races will be staged at legendary venues across the United States, like the historic Sonoma Raceway or Watkins Glen.
Pirelli North America Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Zanardo, said: “We are delighted to announce the introduction of the 18-inch tires also for the Trans Am Series, one of the best-known road racing championships in the United States, which is rooted in popular culture as well as motorsport.
In addition to supplying more than 220 car racing championships worldwide, Pirelli is one of the companies that invests most into research and development through motorsport in order for the competition product to be as closely aligned to road car tires as possible. This last innovation underlines, indeed, the importance of Motorsport as an open-air laboratory for our famous high-performance P Zero tires”.
“This is an exciting time for the Trans Am class," said John Clagett, Trans Am Racing Company President. "Pirelli has been amazing to work with to develop the perfect tires that will undoubtedly raise the performance potential of the Trans Am class race car. Along with performance the tires offer amazing drivability, allow for bigger brakes and will reduce the temperatures being produced. It's a win all the way around.”