Ford GT race cars to compete on Michelin competition tires in 2016 race
LE MANS, FRANCE, June 12, 2015 – Ford announced today at a press conference that it will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016 with Michelin as its exclusive tire technology partner. Ford will have two cars at Le Mans as part of the FIA WEC series and hopes to enter four EcoBoost® powered Ford GT cars at the famed endurance race that it won four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969 with the Ford GT40.
Ford will compete in the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance Professional (LM GTE Pro) class against other manufacturer teams including Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche among others. Cars in this class must adhere to strict tire usage rules with just eight sets of tires allocated for free practice, qualifying and warm up and a total of 16 sets for the race itself. Michelin has partnered with 23 overall race winners including the last 17 consecutive and every winning entry in the GT class since 2007.
“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the ultimate proving ground for manufacturers to test the technology that they will eventually deliver to the street,” said Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin motorsport. “We are humbled to be chosen by Ford as its tire technical partner for this exciting new program.”
“We’re very excited to have Michelin as our exclusive tire technology partner for the Ford GT race program,“ said Dave Pericak, director Ford Performance. “They are already a key partner with us on the production Ford GT development, and there’s no question that they have world class experience in developing performance tires for endurance sports car racing. We are thrilled to have them as part of our program.”
Michelin tires are also found on the Ford GT street car which was unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The all-new Ford GT supercar will exclusively feature MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup 2 tires.
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.