Michelin Aims To Deliver At IMSA "Courage" Track
As Michelin and its technical partner teams work through the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship they face circuits that are defined by horsepower, or handling and several highly technical circuits.
And then there is Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), site of this weekend’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, which demands them all.
“CTMP is one of the most historic and challenging tracks in the world,” said Ken Payne, technical director motorsports, Michelin North America. “It is a very fast, bumpy, 2.459 mile, 10 turn circuit with limited run-off areas and a need for big commitments. CTMP is a driver’s track.”
The 2015 GTLM class winners here, Porsche North America’s Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, provide a sense of the challenges presented at CTMP.
“The special thing about this track is that just about every corner flows into the next one without any straights in between,” said Tandy. “When the corners merge together rather than just a corner followed by a straight, it’s the driver who makes more of a difference.”
His co-driver Pilet, the 2015 series GTLM champions simply says, “It takes a lot of courage to win here.”
“From a Michelin perspective, the key to success at CTMP is delivering a technical and handling platform that provides drivers with the confidence they require for the big commitment corners,” said Payne.
“The drivers want a high level of grip for precise corner entry, under braking, and acceleration, and they want the tires to stay under them for the entire stint,” said Payne. “If you compromise one corner you can pay for it for the entire lap.”
“Our technical partner teams have now had a couple of races on our Michelin tires designed for the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans and they have worked with their teams to adjust the cars to take full advantage.” said Payne.
Michelin WeatherTech Championship technical partner teams from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (first and third place) and Risi Competizione Ferrari combined to sweep the GT class podium at the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ford CGR followed that with a 1-2 finish last weekend, as they were joined on the Watkins Glen International podium by BMW Team RLL.
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix can be watched on Sunday, July 10 at 11:00 a.m. on FOX Sports 1.