Alpine and Michelin, 44 years on…
Practically 44 years after winning Le Mans together on June 11, 1978, Alpine and Michelin rekindled their successful relationship in world-class endurance ra...
After its defeat at the hands of Alpine at Sebring, Toyota bounced back to claim the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with the Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Kobayashi/Lopez/Conway. Unsettled weather saw Michelin’s partners sample the entire range of Pilot Sport tires ahead of mid-June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Round 2 of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship was marked by unsettled weather as the sunshine that had prevailed in Belgium’s Ardennes Mountains since the start of the meeting made way for a downpour an hour into the race itself. The resulting hazardous conditions led to a succession of Safety-Car interventions and Full Course Yellow periods.
“Our full range of tires was used today, from our slicks and intermediates to full wets. That’s always useful ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours,” reported Pierre Alves, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing program. “Unfortunately, the race itself was upset by numerous interruptions.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing lost its N°8 prototype due to an issue with its hybrid unit, but the N°7 of Kamui Kobayashi, Jose-Maria Lopez and Mike Conway survived to win the day after just 103 laps and less than three hours of action. Second place went to the Alpine/Michelin of Vaxivière/Lapierre/Negrao, but the Glickenhaus/Michelin of Pla/Dumas/Derani failed to convert its pole-winning performance into a podium finish.
In LMGTE Pro, the two factory Michelin-equipped Porsches collided at the start, which played into the hands of the winning Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Pier Guidi/Calado. Porsche/Michelin took the LMGTE Am spoils, however, with the N°77 car of Ried/Priaulx/Tincknell, ahead of the N°33 and N°98 Michelin-tired Aston Martins.
The 6 Hours Spa-Francorchamps was the FIA WEC’s final fixture before the 90
6 Hoiurs of Spa-Francorchamps – Final positions:
Kobayashi/Lopez/Conway (Toyota GR010 Hybrid/Michelin), 103 laps
Vaxivière/Lapierre/Negrao (Alpine A480/Michelin), +27.473s
Geleal/Frijns/Rast (Oreca07-Gibson), +1m6.185s
Andrade/Habsburg/Nato (Oreca07-Gibson), +1m40.676s
Gonzalez/Da Costa/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson), +1m48.571s