Michelin Long Beach preview

April 11, 2018

Michelin Long Beach preview

April 11, 2018

Michelin teams and consumers have winning tires heading to the streets of Long Beach

The third stop of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship brings a fitting and timely reminder of the value that Michelin consistently delivers both to its racing teams and to consumers.

The 100 minute race on Saturday, April 14 (4:00 p.m. EDT on FOX) marks the only event for the Michelin-fitted GT Le Mans (GTLM) class factory teams to take place on actual city streets, in this case the 1.968-mile 11-turn downtown Long Beach circuit.

The factory choice

The choice of Michelin as technical partner by the big BMW, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford, and Porsche factory teams in the only IMSA class permitting open-tire competition is based upon their history of success with Michelin and the close collaborations between their respective technical groups and Michelin.

“The key to success at Long Beach is to have excellent tire performance under braking, at turn-in and corner exit, and on power-down applications throughout the full stint,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

In the race, Michelin believes that both its cool temperature (soft) and medium temperature range tire options have the ability to run extended stints, opening up strategic options for its teams in the race, which may see teams make just one pit stop.

Given the aggressive nature of the short race and the impact of any caution periods, that range has helped Michelin teams win in Long Beach using both soft and medium option compounds, on both one- and two-pit stops strategies, and even without changing tires.

Success on the street, for the streets

While extended tire tread life can pay off in the race, racers aren’t the only ones who value tire life.  Michelin earned top customer satisfaction scores and swept all four segments of the 2018 J.D. Power Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Study. With these honors, Michelin has won 88 total J.D. Power awards since the study began in 1989. Michelin has received more J.D. Power awards than any other tire manufacturer.

The first criteria used in those awards is tread wear or tire life, the kind that Michelin has developed in endurance racing in IMSA and at Le Mans.

Meanwhile, the Michelin engineers embedded with their teams here will take their insights from the streets to their technical centers on Monday morning to help win the race in delivering the next generations of tires for consumers.

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