Retail

Talking with Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan about partnership with Michelin

Posted on August 9, 2012
Doug Fehan is the enthusiastic manager of the Corvette Racing program in the ALMS GT series.

Doug Fehan is the enthusiastic manager of the Corvette Racing program in the ALMS GT series.

Before the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) races at Mid-Ohio MTD had a conversation with Doug Fehan, GM Racing program manager for the American Le Mans Series. Among Mr. Fehan’s many accomplishments are Corvette Racing’s eight consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturer and team championships in 2001-08 and seven straight drivers championships with Ron Fellows, Oliver Beretta, Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, and Oliver Gavin. Corvette Racing is a technical partner with Michelin and we asked Mr. Fehan about that relationship.

Michelin emphasizes the partner relationship it has with selected race teams in ALMS, what does a technical partnership with Michelin mean for Corvette Racing?
Mr. Fehan: I think when you dive below the surface of any successful race team, it becomes very apparent that that success is not only based upon the hard work the team does but on the alliance with their strategic partners. In Corvette Racing’s case, obviously Michelin is one of those strategic partners. I don’t think that is exhibited any more clearly than when we look at how our relationship has prospered on the racing side, with victories at Le Mans and championships, but also when we look at how that translates into OEM business for Michelin, whether it’s the Michelin tire for the first time in history on the Corvette ZR1, that crosses the board then as Corvette is the tip of our technical spear at GM and Chevrolet and we’re beginning to see Michelin tires turn up on other high performance cars like the Cadillac CTS V series and several other of our vehicle lines throughout the Chevrolet and GM line-up.

In addition to that, when you look at how Michelin conducts its business, using ZR1 once again as the example, the same engineer who designs our race tires is the same engineer who designs the street tires on the ZR1. Now, you can talk about technology transfer, you can dance around it, you can come up with other examples, but let me tell you what, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line  and there is no straighter line than having the same guy design the street tire and the race tire.  I don’t know how much more clear you can make the case for the importance of the relationship between Michelin and Corvette, Chevrolet and General Motors.

What can we look forward in the near future for Corvette Racing?
Mr. Fehan: I think, on the horizon, probably one if not the most exciting time await us and that is the introduction of the next generation Corvette, for the street, which I know our fan base, our customer base is very, very excited to see and then of course after that is introduced we’ll be competing with that version on the race track. Once again, the fan base is really excited about that. That’s something that will all come down oh probably in the next twenty four months, which for us is right on the horizon. It seems like a long time but in racing time that seem like it takes about twelve minutes.  A year goes by faster than you can think,  so we are already working on the race car, I know the production car is very, very close  to being finalized, it’s going to be a very exciting twenty four months for everybody who enjoys racing  and loves Corvette.

Has Michelin been involved in the development of the new cars?
Mr. Fehan: Michelin as our strategic partner has been involved from the very beginning on the seventh generation, absolutely.

Related Topics: ALMS, American Le Mans Series, Corvette Racing, Doug Fehan, Michelin, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
News

Judge Declares Overtime Ruling Is 'Unlawful' For Now

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations was published by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. The ruling automatically extended overtime pay protections to more than 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.

Tire Pros is urging communities to buy from local retailers on Small Business Saturday. This year's day dedicated to locally owned small businesses is Nov. 26.
News

Tire Pros Supports Small Business Saturday With General Tires Rebate

American Tire Distributors Inc.’s Tire Pros franchise is partnering with Independent We Stand to support Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. To help drive traffic to member stores, Tire Pros is offering a consumer rebate on General brand passenger and light truck tires. 

News

New Jersey Assembly Helps Define Unsafe Used Tires

The New Jersey Assembly has left no doubt as to its view on unsafe used tires. By a vote of 72-0 on Nov. 21, it unanimously passed legislation to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires that pose a risk to New Jersey motorists and the public.

News

New Date Set for China Tire Show

The organizers of the China International Tire Expo (CITEXPO) have set a new date for the 2017 event: August 21, 22, and 23.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!