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With an entry of 350 cars for the Tour de Corse Historique (France) on October 4-9 and more than 100 for the same weekend’s RallyLegend (San Marino/Italy), historic rallying is riding a wave of popularity at the moment. Both events saw numerous competitors choose Michelin’s Customer and Classic Racing ranges which incorporate up-to-date technologies proven in the FIA World Rally Championship.
Interest in historic rallies is back on stream after the Covid pandemic played havoc with the 2020 calendar and caused the cancellation of this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. National and regional events are organized across Europe every weekend, while the major international fixtures – like the Tour de Corse Historique and RallyLegend – attract hundreds of crews and tens of thousands of spectators.
It’s true that the cars involved are a spectacular sight, not only for the sport’s older fans but also for the younger generation and non-aficionados. The cocktail of 1970s coupes such as the Alpine A110 and Lancia Stratos, Group B monsters of the 1980s including the Peugeot 205 T16, Audi Quattro and Lancia S4, and the powerful Group A machinery of the 1990s, from the Lancia Delta to the BMW M3, not to mention different generations of the iconic Porsche 911, never fails to provide an exceptional show.
Thanks to its catalogue of customer and classic rubber for rims ranging from 13 to 18 inches, Michelin is able to equip the majority of these cars with products that combine consistency with high performance. Owners of the more recent ‘Youngtimers’ can opt for the MICHELIN Pilot Sport R offering derived from the brand’s WRC solutions, while older models can be fitted with MICHELIN Pilot Sport TB+ tires which incorporate advanced technologies, compounds and constructions, too.
Having been active in the World Rally Championship since the series’ creation in 1973, Michelin boasts the sport’s most successful record at this level with a score of 58 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles, along with 347 world-class victories. Today, its customers are able to benefit directly from that considerable experience thanks to the firm’s collection of competitive tires for more modern and historic cars alike.
The MICHELIN Pilot Sport ‘R’ range (R11, R21) showcased its quality by winning on the Tour de Corse Historique’s notoriously twisty roads with Christophe Casanova and his BMW M3. “Despite fierce competition, Michelin crews monopolized the podium in Corsica,” reports Philippe Planeix, the Michelin Motorsport technician who attended the event to advise Michelin runners.
Meanwhile, Michelin equipped some 80 percent of the field in San Marino where former WRC ace François Delecour claimed first place in his MICHELIN Pilot Sport P01-equipped Ford Sierra Cosworth in torrential rain after a close scrap with Carlo Boroli and his Subaru Impreza 555. The Historic class was topped by a Porsche 911 SC running on MICHELIN TB5+ and TB15+ tires.
“Historic rallying is hugely popular and Michelin is delighted to be in a position to equip these superb cars which have left such an indelible mark on the sport’s history and which competed on our products back in the day,” says Julien Vial, Michelin Motorsport’s Customer Racing manager for Europe."