Michelin knows Sebring is cool

March 15, 2014

Michelin knows Sebring is cool

March 15, 2014

sebring_tireThe forecast calls for plenty of sunshine on a clear race day with temperatures slightly over 80 degrees, but while the sunshine will warm the huge crowd, the 3.74 mile circuit at Sebring International Raceway will stay relatively cool for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring according to Ken Payne, technical director of motorsports, Michelin North America.

“The track surface here at Sebring doesn’t retain much heat, even from a lot of direct sunshine,” said Payne.

ken_payne“The years and the weather have lightened the surface so it reflects rather than absorbs heat. On a sunny day, newer or more recently paved tracks we would likely see track temperatures of 120 degrees or more, but even on a warm sunny day, like Friday the track temperatures on the concrete sections here at Sebring never got past 100 degrees, with the hottest asphalt sections at 113 degrees,” said Payne (pictured right)

With modest temperatures, the next question in tire compound selection is wear.

“After all the years and millions of miles of racing, the track surface is polished and not abrasive, so tire wear is more a factor of the bumps and the loads than the track,” said Payne.

“Having said that, the track conditions here change very quickly, sometimes as much as a full second per lap in less than an hour, so we have to be ready to adapt.”

Given the importance of grip and the ability to deal with Sebring’s legendary bumpy surface, Payne reports that the Michelin technical partner factory teams from BMW Team RLL, Corvette Racing, Porsche North America, SRT Viper and Risi Competizione and Krohn Ferrari have chosen the company’s soft and medium compound tires.

Michelin engineers expect the track temperature to be in the high 70 degree range when the 12 Hour race starts at 10:15 a.m.

Based on the latest forecasts and accumulated data, Michelin engineers are projecting a peak track temperature on the asphalt surface in the 110-115 degree range in late afternoon.

Michelin is the technical partner of choice for 10 of the 11 GT Le Mans (GTLM) class entries, the only open tire class in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Latest Photos

Latest Video

Kellymoss provides drivers a path to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Friday August 25, 2023