Michelin Makes Successful IMSA Racing Return to Detroit

June 1, 2019

Michelin Makes Successful IMSA Racing Return to Detroit

June 1, 2019

Michelin completed a highly successful return to The Raceway at Belle Isle Park with impressive performance in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the fifth race weekend of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Acura Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron won in DPi and overall. AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus won the GT Daytona (GTD) class with Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand.

Records Fall

Penske Acura’s Juan Pablo Montoya led a charge that saw nine of the eleven Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class entries better the previous qualifying lap record.

Montoya’s pole lap of 1:19.373 at the 2.3-mile island circuit is a healthy 2.9 seconds under the previous record of 1:21.273. “The (Michelin) tires, you can see we keep pushing and we keep getting quicker,” Montoya said.

Despite five caution periods that disrupted the flow of the one-hour, 40-minute sprint race as teams fought side by side, six of the 11 DPi entries bettered the 2018 lap mark with runner-up Felipe Nasr of Cadillac lowering the race lap record to 1:21.091.

“The Michelin (tire) seems like it has a little softer sidewall than the tire we used to use, so it’s a little bit more forgiving through Turns 1 and 2 over some of the bumpy stuff there. And obviously the lap times are quite a bit quicker,” said Montoya’s co-driver Dane Cameron.

Happy Return

Michelin’s return to the Detroit event after a decade long absence also marked the successful street circuit debut of the popular MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT S8M medium compound commercial tires used by the GTD competitors from Acura, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes, McLaren and Porsche.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to return to Detroit and meet so many new fans. We would like to congratulate the winners and thank all the teams, the race organizers, officials and fans for making this a memorable return,” said Ken Payne, technical director, motorsport, Michelin North America.

“We had a good race week, learned a lot and look forward to building on that base.”

Next Up

All WeatherTech Championship classes race next at Watkins Glen International. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is also the third round for the Michelin Endurance Cup. A handful of GT Le Mans teams will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 15-16.

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