Bill and his boat

April 14, 2015

Bill and his boat

April 14, 2015

auberlenBill Auberlen of nearby Redondo Beach is a hometown favorite for the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach.

As the senior BMW factory racing driver worldwide with 53 North American endurance sports car wins, Auberlen is passionate about racing and BMW.

Following his BMW Team RLL’s switch to MICHELIN® tires after winning the GT class at Long Beach in 2013, Auberlen said, “Now that we are working with Michelin and racing with MICHELIN tires I don’t know how we ever won a race with a competitor.”

Obviously, Auberlen has a growing passion for his team’s technical partner, Michelin, but not just for the reasons that you might expect.

billsboatProof of Auberlen’s strong support for Michelin is clearly evident if you ask him about his second passion, his Spectre Catamaran boat.

Auberlen’s pride and joy is a 32-foot long, twin 1300 horsepower engine offshore boat with his own designed X Power Drives that has a top speed just below 190 mph. Until recently however, some of that joy was lost each time he trailered the boat to Lake Havasu City, Arizona for boat testing or poker runs.

“I was blowing two trailer tires every trip,” said Auberlen. “I just paid the money and bought more of that brand of trailer tires.”

But the BMW team switch to MICHELIN tires gave Auberlen direct access to a dedicated group of Michelin engineers. After hearing his story, they suggested that he switch to a Michelin design and a different tire size.

Auberlen was initially reluctant to change to the MICHELIN tires. He liked the appearance of the smaller, competitor tires, but after yet another episode of blown trailer tires, he was finally ready to switch.

“I finally accepted that sitting by the side of the road changing blown trailer tires wasn’t such a great appearance,” said Auberlen.

It didn’t take long for him to recognize the wisdom of the Michelin engineers.

“The minute I saw the MICHELIN tires, before we even mounted them, I knew that they were in a different league,” said Auberlen. “The MICHELIN tires were so much more robust.”

And, just like the race car, the new MICHELIN tires have transformed his trailer experience.

“So far, I’ve made six trips with no issues,” said Auberlen. “The tires still look brand new.”

“I would tell anyone with questions on tires to ask Michelin,” said Auberlen. “The Michelin people know so much about tires and you don’t have to be a race car driver to get the benefit of their knowledge.”

Indeed anyone can call 800-847-3435 or go on line at to get Michelin’s advice on product lines, tire sizes, performance features and promotions.

Here at his home race, the Michelin engineers may have their own question for Auberlen. If he takes the GTLM class win with co-driver Dirk Werner aboard his No. 25 BMW Z4 GTE again, will he take the Michelin engineers for a boat ride? And, if so, will they go?

After all, while Auberlen’s boat trailer and new 2015 BMW X6 M tow vehicle ride on MICHELIN tires, Michelin doesn’t make boat tires.

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