Michelin and its partner BMW chalked up their 20th Nürburgring 24 Hours wins at the weekend thanks to the N°99 M6 GT3. The Sims/Catsburg/Yelloly car overcame...
Michelin combined victory at the last round of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota in Bahrain with the win – with Mazda – at the 12 Hours of Sebring, final clash of North America’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Michelin claimed all the titles up for grabs in both competitions.
The 8 Hours of Bahrain saw the Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids celebrate the Japanese prototype’s swansong appearance by crossing the line in first and second places. The day’s win went to the N°7 crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez who accordingly clinched the 2019/2020 Drivers’ crown.
Since the FIA WEC’s creation in 2012, Michelin partners have won 63 races with the discipline’s successive hybrid LMP1 prototypes (Audi e-tron Quattro, Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS030/TS040/TS050 Hybrid) which will be replaced by the new Hypercars from 2021.
Thanks to a strategy based on double stints despite the abrasive track surface at Sakhir, Porsche scored a one-two finish in LM GTE Pro with its N°92 (Christensen/Estre) and N°91 (Bruni/Lietz) cars, but Aston Martin Racing had previously made sure of the class’s titles.
Porsche/Michelin topped the LM GTE Am classification, too (with Perfetti/Ten Voorde/Bergmeister, N°56), although the second-placed N°83 Ferrari/Michelin and Perrodo/Collard/Nielsen clinched the category’s Teams’ and Drivers’ crowns.
Michelin’s outstanding 2019/2020 campaign in LMP2 saw it win six of the calendar’s eight races and sew up the titles with United Autosports and Albuquerque/Hanson ahead of the trip to the 8 Hours of Bahrain which produced success for the N°37 Oreca. Michelin concluded its spell in the class by finishing on the podium with Racing Team Nederland’s third-placed N°29 Oreca.
“The 8 Hours of Bahrain went well for us,” reports Pierre Alves, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes. “In LMGTE, all our partners ran our medium tyre and the N°22 United Autosports-run Oreca posted the day’s best average lap time [1m51.841s] over the distance. With the edge of 0.040s per lap that gave it, and given the car’s low tyre degradation, it might well have won had it not spent so much time in the pits.”
Meanwhile, some 12,000 kilometres from Bahrain, the Michelin Pilot Sport range shone at the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida, USA, as well. The classic’s drama-packed 68
Michelin-equipped Porsches monopolised the top two places in GTLM with the N°911 and N°912 911 RSRs of Tandy/Makowiecki/Bamber and Bamber/Vanthoor/Jani to conclude the German make’s involvement in the North American series with a score of 124 class victories with Michelin under its belt. Corvette Racing/Michelin and Garcia/Taylor had wrapped up the class’s 2020 titles prior to the race.
Michelin runners won every round of the 2020 European Le Mans Series, 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Championship and 2019/2020 FIA WEC, as well as the recent 24 Hours of Nürburgring. As further evidence of its tyres’ Performance Made to Last credentials, its partners also packeted the titles up for grabs in the all the classes in which the French firm was involved.
8 Hours of Bahrain – Final positions:
Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin), 263 laps
Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin), +1m4.594s
Tung/Aubry/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson), 247 laps
Gonzalez/Da Costa/Davidson (Oreca07-Gibson), +1.894s
Van Eerd/Van der Garde/De Vryes (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +14.824s
Hanson/Albuquerque/Di Resta (Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin), +11.473s
Laurent/Negrao/Ragues (Alpine A470-Gibson/Michelin), 246 laps
Christensen/Estre (Porsche 911 RSR/Michelin), 235 laps
Bruni/Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR/Michelin), +2.886s
Rigon/Molina (Ferrari 488 GTE Evo/Michelin), +10.549s
12 Hours of Sebring – Final positions:
Bomarito/Tincknell/Hunter-Reay (Mazda/Michelin), 348 laps
Montoya/Cameron/Pagenaud (Acura/Michelin), +10.154s
Jarvis/Nunez/Pla (Mazda/Michelin), +11.704s
Simpson/Leist/Andrews (Cadillac/Michelin), 347 laps
Vautier/Bourdais/Duval (Cadillac/Michelin), 346 laps
Nasr/Derani/Chaves (Cadillac/Michelin), +11.773s
Van der Zande/Briscoe/Dixon (Cadillac/Michelin), 341 laps
Castroneves/Taylor/Rossi (Acura/Michelin), +5.079s
Kelly/Trummer/Huffaker (Oreca/Michelin), 340 laps
Forano/Jensen/Heinemeier-Hansson (Oreca/Michelin), 338 laps