Michelin, a top player in Historic rallying
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), h...
Forty-eight years after securing the FIA World Rally Championship’s (FIA WRC) inaugural title together in 1973, Alpine and Michelin recently clinched the 2021 FIA R-GT Cup with Normandy-based Pierre Ragues in a MICHELIN Pilot Sport-equipped Alpine A110 Rally.
The first FIA WRC in 1973 saw Frenchmen Jean-Claude Andruet, Jean-Luc Thérier, Bernard Darniche and Jean-Pierre Nicolas harvest no fewer than six wins for the Alpine-Renault A110 1800 which went on to collect rallying’s first-ever Manufacturers’ world crown.
Now, almost half-a-century later, Michelin and Alpine have picked up another international success in the sport, namely the 2021 FIA R-GT Cup which featured five European asphalt rounds (Rallye Monte-Carlo, Rally di Roma Capitale, Rallye d’Ypres, Rally Nova Gorica and Rally Catalunya).
The campaign was dominated by Alpine A110 Rallys in the hands of French drivers Emmanuel Guigou and Pierre Ragues who competed on MICHELIN Pilot Sport tires from the firm’s Customer Racing catalogue.
A score of two victories and two second places handed first place in the competition to the latter, a talented allrounder who previously topped endurance racing’s European Le Mans Series with Alpine and Michelin in 2013.
The combination of the French two-wheel drive coupé and its Michelin tires lost no time emerging as a must-have package when Guigou delivered the model’s maiden international rally success in Slovenia, while another Frenchman – Nicolas Ciamin – steered his similar car to overall victory in the French Rally Championship’s Rallye d’Antibes this October, 46 years after Jean-Pierre Nicolas’ success on the same event in a Michelin-shod Renault-Alpine A110 1800.
Michelin and Alpine have also joined forces to organize the Trophée Elf Rally for privateers, and their association in motorsport doesn’t stop there. Michelin is a partner of Alpine’s 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) program which has so far bagged four podium finishes, including a remarkable third place at August’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Alpine A480/Michelin prototype will continue to be eligible for the 2022 FIA WEC and Alpine recently announced its intention to contest the discipline’s new ‘Hypercar’ class for four years from 2024.
Since 2018, Alpine and Michelin have also worked together in the Alpine-Elf Europa Cup which stars MICHELIN Pilot Sport GT M-equipped Alpine A110 Cups dicing at some of Europe’s finest racetracks.