24H du Mans

Toyota Hypercar takes Michelin’s Le Mans score to 24 wins in a row!

Michelin has extended its winning streak to a record-breaking 24 straight victories at Le Mans after Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José-Maria Lopez scored their first and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s fourth victory in the world-famous endurance race. The trio’s N°7 GR0101-Hybrid spearheaded an emphatic one-two finish for the Japanese make to celebrate the beginning of the exciting new Hypercar era in La Sarthe. Third-placed Alpine joined in the podium festivities, while newcomer Glickenhaus Racing completed the distance in fourth and fifth places. Michelin’s successful run in LMGTE continued, too, with AF Corse-tended Ferraris dominating both the Pro and Am classes.

24H du Mans

First pole of Le Mans Hypercar era for Toyota/Michelin

A perfect lap during this evening’s Hyperpole shootout saw Kamui Kobayashi put Toyota and Michelin at the front of the grid for Saturday’s Le Mans 24 Hours. The N°7 GR010-Hybrid (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) claimed the team’s fifth pole in a row and the first of the new Hypercar era. The N°8 sister car was second, ahead of the N°36 Alpine and N°708 Glickenhaus. The five Hypercar prototypes were covered by just three seconds. Porsche/Michelin clinched both the LMGTE Pro and Am poles.

24H du Mans

The tires Le Mans GTE winners trust

They may make fewer headlines than the front-running ‘Hypercar’ prototypes, but the LM GTE contenders have a habit of providing exceptionally thrilling battles at Le Mans. This year, Michelin has every chance of adding to its unique record in the class, simply because all the teams involved are competing on Pilot Sports. Yet the rules permit open competition between tire brands. So why do prestige carmakers like Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari and Porsche place their trust in the French firm for the world’s greatest endurance race?

World endurance racing’s LM GTE Pro class has accustomed us to some pretty breathtaking battles.

As evidence, look no further back than to last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours where the category-winning Ferrari crossed the line a mere 20 seconds ahead of the second-placed Corvette. That’s after more than 4,700 kilometers at an average speed of almost 200kph!

“The level of the drivers and teams is really top. Very professional,” confirms Giancarlo Fisichella, two-time winner of the class with Ferrari/Michelin. “Sometimes it's 24 hours of qualification from the beginning to the end.”

Clearly, when it gets this close, the teams and drivers can’t afford to leave the slightest detail to chance. So, given that they are free to work with the tire manufacturer of their choosing, getting that choice right is absolutely vital.

Five different carmaker partners

Since 2018, all the class’s runners have called on the services of Michelin, won over by the brand’s eloquent and record. Indeed, only once since 2003 has it failed to claim the top GT prize at Le Mans (LM GTE Pro/GT1/GTS), and it has won with five different partners – Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

So why do all these teams turn to the French brand year after year?

“We put our 100% trust sending a million-dollar race car and a driver into the darkness at Le Mans on Michelins,” replies Marc Maurini, Team Manager of Corvette Racing with whom Michelin has claimed seven GT victories at Le Mans since 2004.

The fastest GT drivers will probably clock up something like 1,500 kilometers each over the weekend, so they, too, need to know they can depend on the rubber that is fitted to their respective cars…

“Does having confidence in your tires make a difference at Le Mans? “I would definitely say ‘yes’,” states two-time LMGTE Pro world champion Nicki Thiim. “With the amount of speed we are traveling with down the highways of France, I think it’s fair to say that the four patches we have the contact with are very important for us. And no one delivers it better than Michelin, in my opinion.”

The Aston Martin driver’s analysis is shared by Porsche rival Kévin Estre. “In GT racing, I’ve never raced with a better tire than Michelin,” agrees the former LMGTE Pro winner at Le Mans. “I believe it’s embedded in the minds of all the car manufacturers that if you want to succeed in endurance racing, you need to work with Michelin.”

From the track to the street

Given the freedom the teams have to join forces with the supplier of their choice, such praise understandably goes straight to the hearts of the company’s engineers… “Anyone can choose any tire brand for the World Endurance Championship’s GT class,” underlines Michelin Motorsport Director Matthieu Bonardel. “So it’s nice to be able to say that they have all chosen Michelin. To have earned this sort of acknowledgement of our technical leadership from these car manufacturers is important for us.”

As one might expect, Michelin’s winning partnerships in motor racing can lead to close collaboration in other fields, too, with all the parties involved eager to carry over the lessons they learn on the racetrack to the products they actually market.

“The Corvette-Michelin relationship has clearly been one of trust and confidence,” agrees Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager. “Our association has extended far into the car production side, as well. We run Michelin tires on the Corvettes which customers can buy, and we highly recommend them for the performance they provide. They make the Corvette what it is. And a lot of that came from the relationship we developed in racing.”

“In addition to our success in motorsport,” concludes Matthieu Bonardel. “Being able to win over market share with all these Premium makes like Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette is something else in which we can take real pride.”

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Quartararo and Michelin deliver devilish display in Catalonia

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) produced a masterclass performance to claim an assertive win at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Round 9 of 2022 MotoGPTM World Championship. Aided by the grip generated by his MICHELIN Power tires in spite of the hot weather that prevailed in the Barcelona region, the defending champion finished more than six seconds clear of Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco.  

FIA Formula E

A second covers Jakarta top-three!

The first-ever Jakarta E-Prix’s podium finishers Mitch Evans, Jean-Eric Vergne and Edoardo Mortara representing three different MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV-equipped constructors (Jaguar, DS and Venturi) were split by less than a second at the checkered flag in Indonesia!

Michelin wins the 2022 Nürburgring 24 Hours with Audi

Thirty years after its maiden victory in the German endurance racing classic, Michelin topped the order at the 50th edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours with the N°15 Audi Sport Team Phoenix R8 LMS crewed by Robin Frijns, Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch and Kelvin Van der Linde. The race permits open competition between tire manufacturers, but Michelin was chosen to equip no fewer than 73 of this year’s starters. It went on to monopolize the final top three, with GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3s sharing the other two podium places. The closing stages were marked by unsettled weather but the MICHELIN Pilot Sport range provided yet more evidence of its versatility, consistency and efficiency around the venue’s infamous 25-kilometer Nordschleife, in front of 230,000 spectators! 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Bagnaia takes home win as Michelin’s range covers all the weekend’s conditions

The Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley (Round 8 of the 2022 MotoGPTM World Championship) was won by home star Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), ahead of defending champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) came third to make it three different bikemakers on the podium, while two different tire combinations finished in the top-three to provide a further demonstration of the MICHELIN Power range’s exceptional versatility.  

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