Michelin aims for 12th consecutive win at Sebring 12 Hrs
Riding a record winning streak that dates back to 1999, Michelin and its technical partner teams will try to put the Michelin Man atop the podium at America’s premier sports car endurance race for the 12th consecutive time at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 20.
With 11 consecutive race victories and 31 American Le Mans Series class wins at Sebring in the past 11 years, Michelin is the tyre of choice of many of the top manufacturers and teams again in 2010. A pair of exotic turbo-diesel entries from the defending 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Peugeot team will lead the Michelin prototype efforts along with the highly successful Aston Martin, Drayson Racing, Patr¢n Highcroft Racing and Team CytoSport entries.
“For Michelin, the keys to success in the Twelve Hours of Sebring come down to delivering maximum levels of grip while still providing extended wear,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. “High tyre grip levels make the car better under braking and allow teams to trim out aerodynamic downforce to gain straight-line speed. Simultaneously, the ability to multi-stint tyres while maintaining quick lap times saves time on tyre changes and improves track position.”
In the GT category, Michelin is the tyre of choice for a number of top GT competitors, including the defending Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans GT2 champions from Risi Competizione Ferrari. They are joined by the 2008 and 2009 ALMS GT2 champion Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsches and the legendary Corvette Racing factory team. Joining them are a pair of Ferraris from Scott Sharp’s new Extreme Speed Motorsports and a second Risi Ferrari for Krohn Racing.
In addition, Sebring will mark the debut of the new LMP Challenge class in the ALMS. Michelin will provide a single specification tyre to all six entries for the impressive Oreca-Courage carbon fiber prototypes.
“Our goal is to consistently deliver everything our teams want in terms of grip, handling, braking and extended wear,” added Koenigstein.
Michelin will celebrate Sebring race week by becoming the first tyre maker inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame on Friday, joining Ferrari, Porsche and Audi as the only manufacturers ever so honored. Michelin victories at Sebring have come with BMW, Audi, Acura, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, and Aston Martin.
With the exception of three laps under caution early in the 2005 race, Michelin technical partner teams have led every green flag lap at Sebring since lap 296 of the 1999 race. That adds up to 3,619 laps or more than 13,390 miles of competition at Sebring.
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin (www.michelin.com) designs, manufactures and sells tyres for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs approximately 21,500 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.