In an expansion of its motorsport programs for 2023, Kenda Tire will become an official tire supplier to the Formula Drift Pro Championship, alongside four other suppliers. Under the two-year agreement, Kenda will supply its latest ultra-high-performance (UHP) Vezda UHP MAX tire to a select number of Formula Drift Pro teams for all eight rounds of the 2023 season.
The 200 treadwear Vezda UHP MAX benefits from a newly developed tread compound in addition to reinforced sidewalls and enhanced tread stiffness for maximum grip when cornering at high speeds – a characteristic that is crucial for drift cars.
“We’re very excited to partner with Formula Drift. We want to demonstrate how Kenda’s off-the-shelf Vezda UHP MAX tires can perform in the world’s most competitive drift series,” explained Brandon Stotsenburg, vice president of automotive at Kenda Tire USA. “Our motorsports mantra is about demonstrating how Kenda Tire can compete, and win, off the shelf, from podium to pavement. This is the perfect reason to partner with an iconic series like Formula Drift to vividly demonstrate the quality, performance and technical expertise of our tires.”
“Kenda has worked hard to develop a tire that builds on our strong reputation in the grassroots racing community,” added the company’s UHP motorsports program manager, Edward Koczan. “The Vezda UHP MAX will showcase our capability at the highest level of drift, demonstrating our commitment to providing a capable tire to all driving enthusiasts.”
Kenda is in talks with several leading Formula Drift Pro drivers and teams who will compete under the Kenda Tire name for the 2023 season. The Vezda UHP MAX tire will make its track debut at the Streets of Long Beach in California on April 7 and 8, 2023.
“We’re very happy to welcome a new tire partner to Formula Drift for our 20th anniversary season,” said Ryan Sage, president of Formula Drift. “This will be an incredibly important year for us all and adding an unknown factor such as a new tire supplier can only make the competition more thrilling, especially if Kenda-shod drivers are challenging for podium places.”