Michelin Mid-Ohio preview

April 30, 2018

Michelin Mid-Ohio preview

April 30, 2018

Michelin and its technical partner factory teams from BMW, Corvette, Ford and Porsche look forward to a return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this week for the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race since 2012.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, the first two-hour, 40-minute race of the 2018 season, starts Sunday, May 6 at 1:00 pm on FS2.

Finding the Right Balance

The variety of corners, braking zones, and elevation changes on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit puts a premium on car set up and tire performance.

“The Mid-Ohio circuit is hilly and fairly technical, but long enough to let the cars stretch their legs,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

“Mid-Ohio is the first race of the year with elevation changes, and while not big, they create scenarios where drivers are braking and turning during compression, or heading uphill, turning and accelerating simultaneously which puts a big premium on having a well-balanced car.”

The pairs of factory backed GTLM entries from BMW Team RLL, Corvette Racing, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Porsche GT Team, all have chosen Michelin as their technical partner in the only IMSA class offering open tire competition. Each GTLM team may mix and match the Michelin soft, medium, and hard compound slick tire options they have pre-selected prior to the start of the season.

“We haven’t raced here in a while or with the current generation cars, but our GT Le Mans (GTLM) class teams and our Michelin engineers all know the circuit very well. Our engineers in the pits will help their teams to match their tire choices to the circuit conditions,” Baker said.

Evenly Matched  

With everyone showing speed in the first three races, Michelin expects the Mid-Ohio round to be wide open for the GTLM competitors.

“Seven of the eight full season GTLM cars have already claimed a podium in the first three races of 2018.

“At Long Beach, the best race laps for the top seven cars fell within a narrow 0.332 second range on a 77 second lap time,” Baker said.

“It should be anyone’s race.”

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