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 horrendous weather in Germany’s Eifel Mountains to finish clear of eight other Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped GT3s.
Following its postponement from May to a late-September slot due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Nürburgring 24 Hours took place just a week after the Michelin Pilot Sport range provided yet another demonstration of its Performance-Made-To-Last credentials at Le Mans with victory in all four classes and several new longevity records to its name.
Two-thirds of the works and semi-works SP9-class cars contested the German endurance classic around the infamous 25.3km Nordschleife – familiarly known as the Green Hell – on Michelin rubber.
The conditions were bad enough for the organisers to interrupt the action for much of the night. When the flag was green, however, the Michelin Pilot Sport Full Wet and Drying Wet successfully delivered the grip and confidence the drivers needed to engage in some superb battles despite the pouring rain.
“Our rain tyres performed remarkably at the Nürburgring,” reported Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programme manager after the race which permits open competition between tyre firms. “The three Michelin-equipped BMW M6 GT3s finished inside the top four and our partners BMW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes-AMG monopolised the top nine places overall. The best-placed car that wasn’t on our tyres ended up more than a lap back
“Our partners could have double-stinted, but the long interruption to the race and the fact that pit stops had to last a given minimum time led them to change tyres every time they refuelled. It’s just a shame that the weather prevented us from seeing what our new range of Michelin Pilot Sport slicks might have been capable of in Germany.”
The Rowe Racing-run N°99 BMW took the chequered flag 15 seconds clear of the N°3 Audi/Michelin (Bortolotti/Haase/Winkelhock) to score 20
The French tyre manufacturer on the race’s SPX class, too, with the new Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004C.