All-Michelin podium at Spa as Hypercar prototypes dominate
The latest-generation MICHELIN Pilot Sport tires developed for endurance racing’s new Hypercar class were successful out of the box at the 6 Hours of Spa-Fra...
Michelin is looking to extend its score of 20 Nürburgring 24 Hours victories at this year’s running of the German classic around the circuit’s awesome Nordschleife on June 3-6. The entry features 125 cars and the leading GT3 runners (Porsche 911, Audi R8 LMS, Mercedes AMG, BMW M6, Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan) will benefit from the long-lasting performance characteristics of Michelin’s endurance racing tire range.
Having been postponed until September in 2020 owing to the pandemic, this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours has reverted to the traditional late-spring slot and spectators will be allowed back to line the infamous 25.378-kilometer loop through Germany’s Eifel Mountains.
“It’s the longest and most exacting circuit in the world,” notes Pierre Alves, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes. “It’s an undulating track with a bit of everything, from sweeping corners to tight turns and long straights, plus the spectacular Karrusel banking.
“Its numerous compressions add to the challenge faced by tires, while the GT3 cars leave the ground entirely over certain crests. The weather can be changeable and the circuit’s length can complicate tire choice, since one portion of the track may be wet and another completely dry.
“Our partners in the front-running class will have a choice between cold-weather medium, medium and hot-weather medium MICHELIN Pilot Sport slicks, plus two rain tires: a full wet and one for drying conditions. They are all technologically advanced products engineered to deliver long-lasting performance.”
In addition to its 20 wins, Michelin holds both the race’s distance record (4,035km / Audi / 2014) and the fastest race-lap record (8m17.340s / 183kph / Porsche / 2018). Michelin runners also dominate the Nürburgring Endurance Series which uses the Nordschleife all-year round. The first two races of 2021 were won by Porsche and Michelin.
The majority of the 34 GT3 entries in the premier class will compete on Michelin rubber and the carmakers involved have again committed significant resources in their attempt to secure the top prize. The chances of BMW and Porsche have been delegated to three and six teams respectively, while there are no fewer than seven Audi R8 LMSs and the same number of Mercedes AMGs, not to mention the Ferrari 488s and Lamborghini Huracans.
The 2021 Nürburgring 24 Hours will start at 3.30pm local time on Saturday, June 5.