#TBT – Audi wins Michelin’s 15th straight Sebring 12-hour

February 14, 2019

#TBT – Audi wins Michelin’s 15th straight Sebring 12-hour

February 14, 2019

Six years ago in 2013, Audi Sport delivered Michelin its record 15th consecutive overall victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Audi’s win in 2013 capped off Michelin’s 15-year run of overall wins. Audi scored 11 of the 15 wins, with Peugeot (two), BMW (one) and Porsche (one) also adding their names to the overall win mark.

After 2013, another tire provider covered the Prototype field. The merged championship united the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Series. Michelin remained in the open-tire GT Le Mans class the first five years of the merged IMSA series. Corvette (2015-2017) and Porsche (2014 and 2018) have combined to win the five GTLM races at Sebring since.

The Audi win stands as the last time a Michelin-shod car won at Sebring overall. That will change next month, thanks to Michelin’s new role as Official Tire of IMSA.

Sebring 2013 start: The beginning of the end of the beginning. Photo: Michelin North America

Looking back on it, the 2013 12-hour classic at Sebring seemed in many ways, the end of an era.

This was the first race of the final ALMS season, which featured five classes of competition: LMP1, LMP2, PC, GT and GTC.

It marked the last time Audi’s all-conquering LMP1 R18 e-tron quattro tackled Sebring’s treacherous bumps.

Audi opted to race at Sebring to prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, even though there was no FIA WEC component to the weekend.

It marked the first race for Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen without Rinaldo Capello as their teammate. Lucas di Grassi stepped into that seat for this race.

Oliver Jarvis, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler shared winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro in 2013. Photo: Michelin North America

The winning car, though, featured Audi’s younger trio of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Oliver Jarvis. Audi won both the race and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge in Prototype that race, becoming the first hybrid to win the environmental motorsports competition.

Jarvis enjoyed a banner start to the 2013 sports car season. He’d taken a GT class win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in an Audi R8, then added the overall win at Sebring in the Audi R18 LMP1 car.

The No. 4 Corvette C6.R in its last season with factory team, 2013. Photo: Michelin North America

Michelin also scored two further class victories in that 2013 race. Corvette Racing claimed the GT class win with Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R. The Level 5 HPD team won LMP2 with Scott Tucker, Marino Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe.


Much has changed in the six years since in international sports car racing. At the time, it seemed the last opportunity to view LMP1 prototypes at Sebring.

But, that has now changed with the launch of the “Super Sebring” weekend next month.

It sees the FIA World Endurance Championship return for the first time since 2012. The FIA WEC’s 1000 Miles of Sebring race on Friday comes before the 12-hour race on Saturday, which features the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Six years later, Jarvis has a chance to be a part of another Michelin overall win at Sebring. Jarvis set a new all-time qualifying record at the Rolex 24 At Daytona with the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P last month. He’ll go for the win here with Tristan Nunez, Timo Bernhard and Rene Rast alongside him in one of the two Mazda Team Joest cars.

Swap Fassler for Westbrook alongside Gavin and Milner at Corvette. Photo: Michelin North America

Fassler joins Gavin and Milner in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. Corvette Racing has been stuck on 99 wins in North America since Gavin and Milner delivered the team’s most recent win at Long Beach last April.

Briscoe and Westbrook, of course, share the No. 67 Ford GT for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. A Sebring win has thus far eluded the Ganassi Ford GT program since its 2016 inception. But Franchitti was part of Ganassi’s overall winning entry with a Ford Riley Daytona Prototype in 2014.

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