Michelin IMSA Monterey Post-Race

November 1, 2020

Michelin IMSA Monterey Post-Race

November 1, 2020

Michelin and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams successfully faced a daunting combination of a low grip, high wear race circuit, and a hot, sunny, California fall day at the venerable WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Running in the highest temperatures of the weekend on the aging track surface showed the quality and performance of the MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT race tires used by the respective WeatherTech teams and drivers.

Despite the challenges, the two-hour, 40 minute race was run at record pace until the only caution flag briefly appeared in the closing stage to clear a piece of debris on the historic 2.238-mile circuit noted for its speed, elevation changes and wide variety of turns.

“In the past month we have raced in heavy rain at Charlotte, cool temperatures at the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and now hot, sunny conditions on a sandy, aging track in Monterey,” said Tony Ménard, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

“Tires have to face changing conditions, and this is the case for both racing and in daily life for our consumers. Delivering the best performances that last in these conditions is a series of challenges that we welcome and is why we are racing,” said Ménard.

Acura, Porsche, Audi and Hyundai were the winning automotive brands during the weekend with Cadillac, Chevrolet Corvette, BMW and Aston Martin also scoring podium finishes.

Michelin Post-Race Notes

  • Michelin Tire Tech Tip Minute: Air pressure is one of the most vital things to monitor in terms of tire performance and optimization. In the Monterey NBC Michelin Tire Tech Tip Minute, Kelli Stavast describes how pivotal pressures are for performance in an IMSA race.
  • Record Update: Jordan Taylor (GTLM) and Tyler McQuarrie (GS) set new qualifying lap records while Corey Lewis (GS), James Vance (TCR) and Simon Trummer (LMP2) set new race lap records this weekend. The five set in Monterey bring Michelin’s number to 127 since becoming new Official Tire of IMSA in 2019.
  • Big Weekend for Acura: Acura had its strongest weekend yet with its DPi and GT Daytona class programs in three years. In total, Acura had two poles, two wins, four podiums and 210 of 227 laps led in Sunday’s race. Additionally, both winning cars moved into the driver championship and Acura moved into the manufacturer’s lead in both classes.
  • Porsche Breaks Through: Porsche claimed its second straight GT Le Mans class win, after breaking through at Motul Petit Le Mans. Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, last year’s class champions, won their first race of the season in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19. This marks the Porsche GT Team’s 20th program win since 2014 and first at WeatherTech Raceway.
  • Pilot Challenge Update: A last-lap pass by Jeff Westphal ensured he and Tyler McQuarrie have a chance to defend their GS championship in MICHELIN Pilot Challenge. Westphal dove down the inside of Trent Hindman on the final lap to move the No. 39 Audi R8 LMS GT4 to the lead. McQuarrie broke his own qualifying record in the morning. In TCR, Bryan Herta Autosport fought through a split day. Two of its Hyundai Veloster N TCR cars were eliminated in a first-lap, multi-car collision, but Ryan Norman and Gabby Chaves survived the chaos and scored their third win of the year. The No. 33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR pair now leads that driver championship.

Race Winners:

Michelin congratulates the race winners at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca:

WeatherTech Championship (Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship)

  • DPi: Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor, No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05
  • LMP2: Patrick Kelly, Simon Trummer, No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07
  • GTLM: Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19
  • GTD: Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry, No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3

MICHELIN Pilot Challenge (WeatherTech Raceway 120)

  • GS: Tyler McQuarrie, Jeff Westphal, No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4
  • TCR: Ryan Norman, Gabby Chaves, No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR

Next Up:

The WeatherTech Championship and MICHELIN Pilot Challenge conclude their 2020 seasons at Sebring International Raceway, November 11-14. The Pilot Challenge race runs Friday, November 13, at 12:05 p.m. ET. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which wraps both the WeatherTech Championship full season and Michelin Endurance Cup, begins Saturday, November 14 at 10:10 a.m. ET with coverage on NBC Sports. All IMSA races air on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio carries all qualifying and races live, flag-to-flag and commercial free.

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