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New ALMS class to race with Michelin tires

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The 2010 American Le Mans Series season will feature the introduction of an exciting new class of identical prototype cars designed to provide competitors with a sophisticated Le Mans Prototype at a cost more affordable to teams.

To provide competitors with consistent, long-wearing tires, the ALMS and sanctioning body International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have chosen Michelin as the exclusive tire provider for the 2010 season. Teams will participate in the full 2010 ALMS season and run full race distances including the Twelve Hours of Sebring, a six-hour event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the 10 Hours/1,000 mile season ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

“The new LMP Challenge (LMPC) class is unique for Michelin in that we will provide LMPC teams with commercialized tires that are available to club racers through our competition tire distributors,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsports manager. The LMPC tires are available for ALMS competition only to the LMPC class entries. Michelin will continue to provide proprietary tire technology for the other ALMS classes where Michelin enters the 2010 ALMS season with 106 overall race wins and 315 class wins in the 109 race series history.  

The new LMP Challenge class has already attracted entries from series newcomers Genoa Racing; Green Earth Team Gunnar; Level 5 Motorsports, and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, while also earning entries from veteran ALMS teams like Intersport Racing and Primetime Racing.

Powered by 430 horsepower Chevrolet LS3 V8 engines and equipped with six speed-paddle shifting Xtrac gearboxes, the purpose built, carbon fiber prototypes, are designed and built by the noted Le Mans based ORECA-Courage organization.  Earlier cars have raced in the European based Le Mans Series. The cars were developed and have competed to date exclusively on Michelin tires.

Early tests indicate that the LMP Challenge class entries will be expected to lap within approximately five to seven seconds per lap slower than the far more exotic and expensive LMP2 Prototype entries.

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