With the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship due to kick off at Silverstone, England, on September 1, Michelin and its partners will prepare for the upcoming campaign on July 23-24 at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya (4.655km) where the French firm will put its latest Pilot Sport Endurance range through its paces.
A little more than a month after the 2018/2019 WEC concluded at Le Mans, the championship’s players will reconvene on July 23-24 in Barcelona where the FIA WEC Prologue is being held for the very first time.
“After scoring our 28
“The Prologue will give us a chance to evaluate the new tyres we have prepared for the coming season after racing the same products from May 2018 until this year’s Le Mans, in compliance with the FIA WEC regulations. The latest-generation Pilot Sport Endurance tyres we have developed for our LMP1, LMP2 and LM GTE partners were designed to provide them with even longer-lasting high performance at all the circuits visited by the 2019/2020 championship.
“Our latest LMP1 solutions notably seek to finetune the front/rear balance, especially in the case of the non-hybrid cars, while our work in LMP2 has focused chiefly on new constructions and compounds to deliver enhanced grip and consistency. In LM GTE, our engineers have worked on new casings to improve the cars’ balance, as well as on new compounds to improve consistency of our tyres and widen the operating window of the different options.
“Barcelona is particularly hard on tyres and the weather is likely to be very hot at this time of year. It has never featured in the championship either, so we will have no benchmark data to compare with. We are therefore extremely keen to see how our new Pilot Sport Endurance range performs there.”
A field of 31 cars is expected to attend the test, including six Michelin-equipped LMP1 prototypes: two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, two Rebellion R13s and two LNT-run Ginettas.
Five LM GTE Pro cars are listed to take part, namely a brace of new Porsche 911 RSRs, two Ferrari 488 GTE Evos and an Aston Martin Vantage AMR which all four of the British team’s factory drivers will share. Here again, these cars will all lap on Michelin tyres.
All the teams down to contest the 2019/2020 FIA WEC in the LMP2 and LM GTE Am classes will be in Barcelona, too. The LMP2 list includes the two-time title-winning N°36 Alpine/Michelin, while the 11 LM GTE Am cars will be on Michelin rubber.