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Posted on June 28, 2012

Michelin Readies for Next Race Cchallenge: From Le Mans to Lime Rock

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (June 28, 2012) – Fresh from Michelin’s 15th consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, Michelin and its technical partner teams return to American Le Mans Series competition for the Northeast Grand Prix at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park, July 6-7, 2012.

The contrasts between Le Mans to Lime Rock are dramatic. While a single lap of Le Mans covers nearly 8.5 miles and takes about three and one-half minutes, a tour of the 1.54-mile Lime Rock circuit can take as little as 45 seconds.

Former ALMS and Le Mans champion Allan McNish once described racing prototype cars at Lime Rock as akin to “flying fighter planes in your living room.”

The much shorter Lime Rock Park track length, coupled with a race time of just two hours and 45-minutes, compared to 24 Hours at Le Mans, means a high-intensity race with constant traffic and little rest for drivers or tires.

“Lime Rock is a distorted oval with nearly all right turns,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin North America technical team leader for the ALMS. “The left side tires take a fair amount of stress with very little rest or time to cool and the elevation changes impact tire loads as well.”

“Where at Le Mans, Michelin teams often run three and even four stints (fuel loads) on one set of MICHELIN® tires, here at Lime Rock, the key is to be very consistent under braking and at turn in so that drivers can attack in traffic or, if necessary, defend a position,” said Koenigstein.

While Audi took the race victory at Le Mans, Michelin will rely on its technical partner Muscle Milk Pickett Racing to claim a third consecutive ALMS victory with the Muscle Milk HPD Honda prototype driven by former (2010) Lime Rock winners Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf.

Adding to the excitement at Lime Rock is the East Coast LMP2 debut for Dempsey Racing and drivers Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster. The duo will make their second ALMS start and seek a first-ever ALMS podium.

In the brutally competitive GT class, Corvette Racing looks to complete a hat trick for drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin while, Corvette Racing teammates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia seek their first victory of the season.

The latest MICHELIN® “tall” front tires --1.2 inches (3cm) taller than their predecessors-- have played a key role in Corvette Racing’s GT wins at Long Beach and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and in Ferrari’s 1-2 GT finish at Le Mans.

Previous Lime Rock race winners Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long lead the Flying Lizard Porsche team along with Marco Holzer and Seth Neiman. All the while the impressive Extreme Speed Ferraris of Connecticut native Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek seek the team’s first ALMS victory, along with teammates Guy Cosmo and Ed Brown.

PREVIOUS LIME ROCK PARK WINNERS

YEAR

LMP1 Win

LMP2 Win

LMPC Win

GT Win

2011

Dyson Racing Team

Lola B09/86 Mazda

Dyson/Smith

N/A

Genoa Racing

Oreca FLM09

Lux/Julien

(Michelin)

BMW Motorsports

BMW M3GT

Mueller/Hand

2010

Team CytoSport

Porsche RS Spyder

Pickett/Graf

(Michelin)

N/A

Green Earth Team   Gunnar

Oreca FLM09

Julian/Jeannette

(Michelin)

Flying Lizard   Motorsports

Porsche 911 GT3   RSR

Bergmeister/Long

(Michelin)

2009

de Ferran   Motorsports

Acura ARX-02a

de Ferran/Pagenaud   (Michelin)

Dyson Racing

Lola B09/86 Mazda

Leitzinger/Franchitti  

(Michelin)

N/A

Flying Lizard   Motorsports

Porsche 911 GT3   RSR

Bergmeister/Long

(Michelin)

 

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,200 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

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For more information, visit www.michelinmedia.com or contact:                                                                                                            

Lynne Fowler                                                                       John Love

Michelin North America                                                     EMC Strategic Communications

office: 1 864 458 6365                                                      office: 1 248 816 0106

mobile: 1 864 561 9914                                                     mobile: 1 313 506 2114

lynne.fowler@us.michelin.com                                        john@emcstrategic.com

About Michelin North America

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company has earned a long-standing reputation for building innovative premium tires.  In addition to tires, the company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs about 22,700 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants.




 

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