Michelin makes final preparations for 24 Hours of Le Mans
Michelin tires are ready for the June 12-13 running of the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans! This was reflected both in the 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, back in April and the six hours of Laguna Seca, Calif., in May.
The latest endurance tires developed by the Clermont Ferrand-based manufacturer made their first competitive appearance at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, where the celebrated track's undulating lay-out, fast, sweeping corners and fickle weather put them to a particularly punishing test.
"For the first time, our LMP1 partners weren't running on identical slicks," points out Serge Grisin, the manager of Michelin Competition's four-wheel programs. "This year, to maximise the durability of our tires, we have decided to prepare a broad selection of products from which our LMP1 partners (diesel and petrol prototypes) have been able to choose for their 2010 programs.
"We are feeling confident ahead of June's Le Mans 24 Hours. The latest Michelin slicks provided an eloquent demonstration of their competitiveness during the 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps qualifying session thanks to a time that was almost three seconds quicker than 2009's pole-winning lap here. Then, in the race, their durability enabled our LMP1 partners to double-stint without the slightest problem.
"At Le Mans, I think we can look forward to four-stint strategies. We were also very pleased with the way our new 'rain' tires performed during free practice, despite the exceptionally cold weather."
For the fourth year running, victory in the 1,000km Spa-Francorchamps went to Peugeot. A dramatic race ended with Sébastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud crossing the line in first position in the N°3 Peugeot, ahead of the similar Peugeot 908 HDI FAP of Sarrazin/Montagny and the Audi R15 Plus of Kristensen/McNish/Capello.
Michelin runners also dominated the LMGT1 and LMGT2 classes at Spa with new tires developed especially for Le Mans. They turned out to be both competitive and durable. Michelin also claimed the GT2 class victories in all three opening rounds of the ALMS.
At Laguna Seca/Monterey, in the third stop of the 2010 American Le Mans Series, Patrón Highcroft HPD of Brabham/Pagenaud/M. Franchitti claimed the Prototype honors.
Michelin has won 12 consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Michelin technical partner American Le Mans Series teams and drivers are well represented at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Peugeot Team Total, Aston Martin Racing, Drayson Racing, Patrón Highcroft Racing, Risi Competizione, Flying Lizard Motorsports, and Corvette Racing. In addition, ALMS rivals from JaguarRSR and Autocon will also contest the legendary endurance race.
In addition, a number of ALMS regulars will be driving for other teams including: Simon Pagenaud (Team Peugeot Total), Guy Smith (Rebellion Racing), Scott Tucker (Kolles), Christophe Bouchut (Kolles), Patrick Long (IMSA Performance Matmut), Dirk Muller (BMW Motorsport) and Wolf Henzler (Team Felbermayr-Proton).
Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle.