Toyota Gazoo Racing dominated the last FIA WEC race of the year to collect first and second places in Bahrain with the N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) and N°8 (...
The Lone Star Le Mans (Round 5 of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship) at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, was won by the Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance-equipped Rebellion R13 of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato. Michelin cars also topped the order in LMP2 (N°22 Oreca07-Gibson), LMGTE Pro (N°95 Aston Martin) and LMGTE Am (N°90 Aston Martin).
Michelin’s ‘long-lasting performance’ slogan can be read in two ways, and it was 20 years ago that the French firm’s successful record in American endurance racing kicked off when a Michelin-equipped Chrysler Viper (GT) made history by beating all the prototypes to win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000.
Two decades and countless victories and titles later in the USA, Michelin began 2020 with another win at Daytona as part of its IMSA WeatherTech Championship programme, this time in association with Cadillac.
Its American Dream continued last weekend with victory at the Circuit of the Americas before the 2019/2020 FIA WEC moves on to Florida for March’s eagerly-awaited Super Sebring meeting which will feature both WEC and IMSA action!
Getting back to last weekend, this year’s Lone Star Le Mans (aka 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas) was dominated by the N°1 Rebellion/Michelin. Despite double-stinting their Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance tyres in a bid to save time during pit stops, the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids were too penalised by their so-called Success Handicap to pose any sort of threat.
As in Bahrain in December, the N°95 Aston Martin Vantage/Michelin (Sorensen/Thiim) took the LMGTE Pro spoils after posting a new class lap record in qualifying, as well as a new race lap record the following day. The N°92 Porsche/Michelin and N°51 Ferrari/Michelin ended up second and third, a lap back.
Aston Martin/Michelin went one better in LMGTE Am by monopolising the top two places with the N°90 (TF Sport, Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam) and N°98 (Dalla Lana/Turner/Gunn) Vantages after an entertaining fight between the two cars. The N°56 Porsche/Michelin dominated the race’s early stages but had to settle for third spot.
Next round: 1,000 Miles of Sebring, Florida, USA (March 20).
2020 Lone Star Le Mans – Final positions:
1. Senna/Menezes/Nato (Rebellion R13/Michelin), 189 laps
2. Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin), +51.524s
3. Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin), +1 lap
4. Hanson/Albuquerque/Di Resta (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +7 laps (1
5. Tung/Aubry/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson), + 7 laps
6. Gonzalez/Da Costa/Davidson (Oreca07-Gibson), +8 laps
7. Lapierre/Borga/Coigny (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +8 laps
8. Van Eerd/Van der Garde/De Vryes (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +8 laps
9. Laurent/Nagrao/Ragues (Alpine A470/Michelin), +9 laps
10. Patterson/Yamashita/Fjordbach (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +10 laps