Michelin “single stint” tires deliver home run at VIR
Michelin’s innovative new “single stint” tires concluded the second race of their two-race TUDOR United SportsCar Championship development process with an impressive performance here at The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR.
Porsche North America’s Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet claimed their third consecutive TUDOR Championship victory and led a 1-2 Porsche finish. Teammates Earl Bamber and Joerg Bergmeister withstood a late race charge from Risi Competizione Ferrari’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer to a repeat of the result at the previous race at Road America.
After breaking the track GTLM qualifying lap record by 1.254 seconds in qualifying on the hot, fast 3.24 mile Virginia International Raceway circuit, Tandy led from the start and he and Ferrari’s Kaffer repeatedly broke the race lap record over the first several laps of the two hour forty minute race. Kaffer later lowered the race lap record by 1.288 seconds.
BMW Team RLL’s Lucas Luhr and John Edwards finished fourth, followed by teammates Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner and Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.
“The biggest difference in the Michelin single stint tires is the pace,” said Tandy. “You don’t feel any difference in performance over the one hour stint, but the tread wear is more aggressive.” Bergmeister agreed, “The pace with the Michelin single stint tires is at least a full second per lap quicker. It is very impressive.”
With poles, qualifying and race lap records and wins in the first two races, teams and fans may be surprised to learn that the new tires will not appear in the final two TUDOR Championship races.
“Today marks a successful conclusion to this phase of development of our first generation single stint tires,” said Ken Payne, motorsport technical director, Michelin North America. “Now, we will take all of our data and the feedback from our technical partner teams and work to develop our second generation single stint tires for 2016.”
Michelin teams will have the option of the three medium compound multi-stint designs for the final two races of the TUDOR Championship at Circuit of the Americas (September 17) and Road Atlanta (October 1).