Tire Insider – Dijyano – Mosport

August 29, 2010

Tire Insider – Dijyano – Mosport

August 29, 2010

Andrew Simrell, Michelin tire engineer for Extreme Speed Motorsports. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Andrew Simrell is the Michelin race tire engineer working with the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari team.

A Georgia Tech graduate, Simrell currently works as a test driver at the Michelin proving grounds.

He has previously worked as the Michelin race tire engineer with the Highcroft, Tafel, and Muscle Milk Team CytoSport teams. For 2010 he is assigned to the new Patron-sponsored two-car Ferrari ESM team. The team races a pair of Ferrari F430 GTs for drivers Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Guy Cosmo, and Ed Brown.

Here are his comments in advance of today’s Grand Prix of Mosport:

The track:

Mosport is very fast with a number of very difficult high speed corners. The track generates the biggest loads on tires that we see all year in the ALMS. 

The conditions:

It has been dry all week and there is no rain in the forecast at the moment.  I expect the temperatures to be pretty close to what we saw in qualifying yesterday.  I expect the track temperature to be just a bit over 100 degrees (F) at the start of the race and I really do not see that changing much during the race.

We have a clear sky and direct sunlight today. The ambient temperature may drop a few degrees in the final hour of the race, but the track should retain the heat, so I do not expect much change.

Car Set Up:

We have worked hard to establish a good aerodynamic balance on the Extreme Speed cars. Typically there is a slight understeer, but you want a good race set-up that gives you consistency without excessive sliding of the tires on either end of the car.

The stress loads here are high, especially on the left side, so the teams have to be very careful with camber and tire pressure settings to avoid overstressing the inside shoulder on the left side tires.

Tire Selection:

We qualified on a full sets of our medium compound Michelin slicks. The rules require that we start on three of the four qualifying tires. We have the option of switching to our harder compound tires on the pit stops if the team wants to change.

Race Challenges:

Scott and Johannes qualified fifth in the #01 car and will start fourth since the Risi Ferrari has to go to the back of the field due to their driver change.  Guy and Ed will start tenth in the #02 car.

The challenge is to stay on the GT lead lap and gain track position. 


I expect this to be another epic fight in GT.  Mosport is a very tough track to pass people for positions. In 2008, Tafel and the Flying Lizard Porsche team went at it hard for several laps with bumping and penalties and everything. Last year, the Risi Ferrari and a Corvette were bumping for the lead after the last pit stops.  You almost have to bump to pass as there are not any long braking zones.

The Risi team may need to roll the dice a bit on strategy to make up ground, but they are very fast. So are the Lizards, the BMWs, and the Corvettes, and pretty much everyone. 


I expect some teams to lose a bit of performance on the second half of long stints and teams that can remain more consistent can gain some time. 

If there are any accidents on the fast corners, the yellows could be long. 

This is the first year for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team and Mosport would be a great place for our first podium.

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