Pirelli to remain title sponsor, tire of World Challenge through 2018

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Pirelli will remain the official title sponsor and tire for the Pirelli World Challenge championships through the 2018 season, as a five-year extension was announced today by WC Vision and Pirelli Tire North America.

The partnership dates back to the fall of 2010, when Pirelli came on board as the series’ exclusive tire supplier. A short time later, Pirelli opted to also take on title sponsorship for the series.

“The five-year extension communicates the strong bond between our two brands,” WC Vision president/CEO Scott Bove said in a release. “At the heart of that bond is the P Zero slick and rain tire. Our teams and drivers are unanimous in their love for the P Zero as it gives them the foundation to run full out at 100 percent each and every race.

“Pirelli is a world-leading brand and we are proud to have our series titled the Pirelli World Challenge.”

With the extension, that bond is set to strengthen even further now as the series heads for its 25th anniversary season this coming spring.

This year, teams in the TC, TCA and TCB categories will use a new, longer-lasting Pirelli P Zero tire that is projected to wear over two race weekends instead of just one.

Additionally, teams now have a pre-pay option that enables them to earn “P Zero Dollars” toward purchasing new Pirelli tires as the season progresses.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.