Thursday, March 4, 2021 – Le Castellet, France: Maiden outing for the new range of MICHELIN Pilot Sport Hypercar tires as the Toyota GR010 Hybrid completes a 30-hour endurance test.
After months of design, CAD* and simulation work, it was the moment of truth at last for the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport range of Hypercar tires which have been developed to deliver benchmark long-lasting performance.
“Our engineers began exploring ideas for these new tires the moment details of the Hypercar formula were released in 2018,” says Pierre Alves, Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing program manager. “Our CAD work started when Michelin was nominated as the category’s tire supplier.”
The Toyota GR010 Hybrid’s 30-hour run at Le Castellet in the south of France wasn’t its first track appearance, since it had already undergone a shakedown check at the same venue in October. It was, however, the Japanese brand’s latest FIA WEC/Le Mans challenger’s first endurance test.
Mixed weather, ranging from clear skies during the day, to early-morning and night-time mist, provided the team with a chance to evaluate the full MICHELIN Pilot Sport range. “We ran all three versions of the slick, plus the rain tires which were fitted for the night-time stints,” reports Pierre Alves. “Our focus at this stage was on their durability.”