Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a second one-two finish at Le Mans to earn a 22nd consecutive win for its partner Michelin in the famous French endurance race. V...
Le Mans organiser ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has listed the 62 entries that have been invited to take part in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14. More than 50 cars will contest the race on Michelin rubber. The French firm is targeting its 23rd straight win in La Sarthe and its 29th in total. Hybrid LMP1 prototypes will appear for the last time.
From a shortlist of 75, the ACO has accepted 62 entries to participate in this year’s endurance classic which has long served as a Tech Lab for Michelin to develop and showcase the durability of its racing rubber which ultimately benefits its production tyres. Appropriately, the 13.629km-long French circuit uses a combination of a conventional track and ordinary roads!
This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will mark the end of an era since it will be the last to feature LMP1 hybrid prototypes. The 2020/2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, which starts in September, will effectively run to new technical regulations for the premier class and Michelin has been chosen as the tyre manufacturer for this stimulating new challenge.
For those carmakers who, like Michelin, are committed to promoting responsible mobility, Le Mans is the ideal platform to innovate in a way that reduces the sport’s impact on the environment. In keeping with this mission, Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance-equipped hybrid LMP1 prototypes have established a long list of new records over recent years, including a fourfold reduction in their fuel consumption, while the number of tyres required for the 24-hour ordeal has been slashed by a fifth.
Another chapter the 2020 race will bring to a close is Michelin’s successful record with these superlative prototypes. Since the FIA WEC’s creation in 2012, it has harvested 57 victories with Audi, Toyota and Porsche. During this time, the hybrid LMP1s have run exclusively on Michelin rubber, despite the class being open to competition between tyre brands.
The first of Michelin’s successes during this spell was at Le Mans in 2012 when Audi and Michelin recorded the first win of a four-wheel drive, electric/combustion-engined prototype. Before that, the two partners had innovated with the successful introduction of diesel power in world-class motor racing in 2006. It was only logical, therefore, that Audi should turn to Michelin for its hybrid programme and the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro/Michelin notched up 15 victories.
In 2014, Porsche chose Michelin for its return to endurance racing’s premier class with the Porsche 919 Hybrid which claimed 17 FIA WEC wins and three Le Mans triumphs in a row.
It is with hybrid pioneer Toyota, though, that Michelin has scored the highest number of WEC wins, namely 26 with three different cars.
Meanwhile, for the final appearance of LMP2 prototypes at Le Mans, Michelin will supply 17 of the cars in this category, since numerous teams have chosen to benefit from Michelin’s lasting performance for this exceptionally exacting fixture. Michelin is also proud to be working with this year’s only all-lady prototype entry.