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Thirty years after its maiden victory in the German endurance racing classic, Michelin topped the order at the 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours with the N°15 Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS crewed by Robin Frijns, Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch and Kelvin Van der Linde. The race permits open competition between tire manufacturers, but Michelin was chosen to equip no fewer than 73 of this year’s starters. It went on to monopolize the final top three, with GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3s sharing the other two podium places. The closing stages were marked by unsettled weather but the MICHELIN Pilot Sport range provided yet more evidence of its versatility, consistency and efficiency around the venue’s infamous 25-kilometer Nordschleife, in front of 230,000 spectators!
It was back in 1992 that Michelin secured its first-ever win around the Nordschleife, with BMW. Three decades and 21 victories on, it was the preferred tire partner of the majority of the teams entered for the German race’s 50
Ten years after its first success with Audi, in 2012, the French firm took the spoils with the German make once again, this time with the N°15 R8 LMS run by Audi Sport Team Phoenix for Vanthoor, Vervisch, Van der Linde and Frijns.
“We even monopolized the top eight places overall this year with four Audis and four Mercedes-AMGs,” reports Pierre Alves, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing program.
Although much of the race took place in reasonably good weather, rain swept across the Eifel Mountains to liven things up and make tire selection even more complex with the finish in sight. Indeed, in the closing hours, the front-running cars could be seen lapping the 25.378-kilometer loop on a variety of choices, ranging from slicks, to ‘re-cut’ slicks and wets.
“Despite the challenging mix of conditions, our tires provided further proof of their versatility, performance and consistency to emerge on top again at the Nürburgring, while Michelin Motorsport’s fitters, technicians and engineers worked hard throughout to provide our partners with the best possible service,” adds Pierre Alves. “With one more 24-hour race behind us this year, our focus now turns of course to Le Mans which poses a very different sort of challenge!”
2022 ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring – Final positions:
Van der Linde/Vanthoor/Vervisch/Frijns (Audi R8 LMS EvoII), 159 laps
Christodoulou/Götz/Schiller (Mercedes-AMG GT3), +55.276s
Engel/Gounon/Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG GT3), +4m5.519s
Haase/Müller/Niederhauser/Rast (Audi R8 LMS EvoII), +5m12.864s
Giermaziak/Schramm/Beretta (Audi R8 LM3 EvoII), +7m25.468s