Michelin “single stinters” debut at Road America

August 8, 2015

Michelin “single stinters” debut at Road America

August 8, 2015

single_stinterMichelin technical partner teams at Road America are taking advantage of a special new tire for the TUDOR Championship GTLM class competition this weekend.

Drivers from Porsche, Corvette and Ferrari all smashed the previous GTLM class qualifying record using Michelin’s latest competition tire.

Porsche North America factory ace Earl Bamber led the way, capturing the class pole and a new lap record with a stunning 2:02.384 secs lap of the 4.08 mile circuit. His time is a full 1.4 seconds under the previous track record set in 2014 by BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards.

bamber_poleCorvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia qualified second at 2:02.608, while Risi Competizione Ferrari’s Giancarlo Fisichella was third quick at 2:02.721. All three bested the previous record by more than a full second.

Edwards relied on the 2015 Michelin medium compound to set the fourth quickest time at 2:03.689.

Unlike Michelin endurance racing tires developed for consistent performance over multiple stints at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance championship (WEC) competition, the new “single stint” tire is designed under the different pit stop rules here in IMSA for a single, 50-60 minute race stint.

“If the conditions stay fairly cool, the new tire should give our Michelin technical partner teams from Porsche North America, Risi Competizione Ferrari, Corvette Racing and BMW Team RLL another option for the race,” said Chris Baker director of motorsport, Michelin North America. .

The new Michelin tire features a medium compound but is sacrifices extended tread life to reach peak performance more rapidly and deliver lap times that are one-half to one full second quicker.

“In the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Series and at Le Mans, tires cannot be changed during refueling,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.

“Teams can save 15-20 seconds on a pit stop by skipping the tire change. As a result, we focus on developing tires that deliver a very high level of performance over extended runs. At Le Mans we target three full stints (fuel tank runs) for our GT cars and four stints for our Prototype technical partner teems.”

By contrast, TUDOR Championship teams are permitted to change tires while they refuel. As a result most teams change tires on nearly every pit stop, bringing different cars set ups and race strategies into play.

“We are pleased that our technical partners are seeing our new Michelin tire help to improve their performance,” said Baker.

“We want our teams here to have the best solutions to meet their needs and we have committed the resources to develop a special tire unique to this championship.

“That said, we have made no secret that we strongly prefer the WEC – Le Mans pit stop rules, as being safer, more technically and consumer relevant, less costly to teams, a simpler transition for American teams entering Le Mans, and more environmentally responsible. That position hasn’t changed, but our teams now have a new option.”

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