Continental and ICAR Celebrate 10-Year Partnership

Continental and ICAR Celebrate 10-Year Partnership
Over 80 distributors and retailers were invited to the Mirabel, Quebec ICAR circuit to test the new Continental Tire Canada offerings. (Photos and video: Thomas Ethier)

Continental Tire commemorated the tenth anniversary of their partnership with the Mirabel, Quebec, ICAR circuit during their annual summer gathering.

Continental Tire collaborators pulled out all the stops to offer a memorable day to the tire manufacturer’s customers by setting up a series of specific courses for all driving styles, from racecourse to muddy off-road trails, directly on the Mirabel racing circuit grounds.

Continental also took advantage of the great testing venue to unveil new Continental and General Tire offerings, including the Pure Contact LS, a premium all-season tire designed for newer luxury vehicles, available as of January 2019.

The tire manufacturer also used the multipurpose venue to showcase its complete tire lineup by offering test rides featuring the Pure Contact LS, as well as new General Tire products, including the GMAX RS ultra-high performance tire and all-terrain Grabber A/Tx.

Pure Contact LS

A featured tire at the ICAR, Mirabel event, the launch of the Pure Contact LS comes five years after the introduction of its predecessor. As Continental Canada Product Manager Leo Chan explains, this new tire will appeal to the growing segment of luxury sports vehicle owners.

“Continental focused primarily on comfort, safety and durability, characteristics which are sought-after by luxury sports vehicle owners,” he explains. “When you look at the improvements that have been made over the previous version of the Pure Contact, it’s easy to understand why we believe that this tire will dominate its category.”

As Continental points out, while initially designed for luxury sports vehicles, the Pure Contact LS is also the tire of choice for luxury sedans, minivans, and crossovers as well. It will be offered in 15 to 20-inch fitments with H and V speed ratings and limited 112,000 km tread wear warranty.

Ultra-High Performance GMAX RS

As the launch of the General Tire GMAX RS summer tire was also held at this event, those present witnessed General Tire’s first foray into the ultra-high performance tire market. “We made sure to integrate the key ingredients of a top summer tire, including exceptional performance on dry pavement, which truly makes it stand out amongst competitive offerings.”

Continental’s Leo Chan is convinced that distributors will be pleased with this new tire. “Sales reps will have an excellent product offering, as this new tire equals, and in some cases, surpasses, the performance of products offered by main rivals, at a much lower pricing point, which will make it a hit with a large customer base.”

Invitees also had the chance to test the off-road, all-season, winter-certified Grabber A/Tx, which was also tested last February on this same ICAR circuit during Continental’s winter event.

The 10th anniversary of the Continental/ICAR partnership will also be remembered for a surprise appearance by NASCAR Series driver, Alexandre Tagliani, who joined in the festivities by offering rides around the track to a few lucky drawing winners selected randomly.

“With all the new driving aids, motorists are isolated from contact with the road surface,” he pointed out. “I believe that a driving experience in a closed circuit setting such as ICAR allows drivers to get a real sense of the road surface and vehicle, which helps them gain a better understanding of driver reactions under extreme situations and the skills required to react appropriately in dangerous situations.”

The many guests were given an opportunity to test Continental products and their own driving skills behind the wheel of performance vehicles adapted to each testing scenario.
The General Tire ultra-high performance GMAX RS tires were tested on a selection of performance vehicles, including one donning Continental’s black and yellow colours.
Continental Tire Canada Product Manager, Leo Chan.
A special plaque was offered to the ICAR circuit to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Continental partnership.
NASCAR Series driver, Alexandre Tagliani.
Guests were offered an opportunity to reach speeds of 200 km/h aboard these exotic vehicles.
NASCAR Series driver, Alexandre Tagliani.
An impressive number of vehicles were required to cover the various tire applications during the one-day event.
Continental and General Tire brands were featured at the event.
After undergoing winter testing at an earlier event in February, all the season, winter-certified Grabber A/Tx underwent summer testing at the very same track.
A tire designed for extreme off-roading mounted on a Jeep Wrangler
Participants barely had time to catch their breath between testing rounds.
One of the highlights of the event for a majority of those present consisted of drag races, which offered a direct comparison between Continental and its competitors.

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