Michelin helps Porsche, Dodge SRT Viper celebrate championships
Michelin technical partners Porsche and Dodge SRT Viper, and driver Kuno Wittmer, celebrated GTLM Manufacturer, Team, and Driver championships respectively as the Ten Hours of Petit Le Mans provided a fitting close to the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Porsche claimed the TUDOR GTLM Manufacturer Championship by backing up its victories by the Porsche Motorsport North America factory team at the ROLEX 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with a victory here by the independent Falken Porsche. Michelin technical partner teams finished second through 11th in today’s GTLM class competition.
“We are grateful to all of our technical partner manufacturers, teams, drivers and crews for their support,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsports Michelin North America. “We are disappointed that we couldn’t close out a perfect season with an eleventh straight TUDOR Championship GTLM win, but we have a lot of respect for our competitors and they put together a perfect race,” said Baker.
A total of 13 caution periods punctuated the ten-hour race on the 2.54 mile Road Atlanta circuit on a sunny, cool and windy fall day with track temperatures in the mid-60s for the opening and closing stages.
Dodge Viper factory driver Kuno Wittmer of Montreal claimed the GTLM Driver Championship after the team split he and regular co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, winners at Indianapolis and Circuit of The Americas, to hedge its TUDOR Championship bets.
The move paid off as Wittmer teamed with Dodge Viper regular driver Marc Goossens and 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay to finish third and claim the TUDOR GTLM Driver championship.
Bomarito was joined aboard the #93 Dodge Viper by teammate Dominik Farnbacher and Rob Bell. Their sixth place finish locked up the TUDOR GTLM Team Championship for the Dodge Viper team.
Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia entered the race just seven points behind the Viper duo of Wittmer and Bomarito. Garcia saw his championship hopes dashed in a freakish collision as the top three cars, all Michelin technical partners, collided trying to stop at the pit lane red light after blasting out of their respective pit boxes.
The Road America and VIR GTLM winning Risi Competizione Ferrari was retired as a result of damage. The Daytona winning 911 Porsche recovered to finish fifth and the Long Beach, Monterey, Canada, and Watkins Glen GTLM winning Corvette fell to an eighth place finish.
Michelin claimed 10 victories and 31 of a possible 33 podium positions in the 11 races in the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Eleven different Michelin drivers claimed pole positions.
Taking the overall race victory was the Wayne Taylor Racing team with drivers Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli.
A two hour race recap will be broadcast on the FOX network on Sunday. The broadcast time will vary by location based upon NFL game times in each market.