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Posted on August 01, 2012

Michelin Heads to Mid-Ohio to Start ALMS Second Half

LEXINGTON, OHIO (July 31, 2012) – Michelin and its technical partner teams begin the second half of the American Le Mans Series season with considerable energy as they return to competition on August 4, 2012 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be broadcast live on ABC TV at 2:00 pm EDT.

Making effective use of the latest MICHELIN® street soft tires, the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD Honda prototype team and drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf, have reeled off four consecutive overall ALMS race wins at Long Beach, Monterey, Lime Rock and Mosport, Canada - to lead the ALMS Prototype (LMP1) championship.

A similar story plays out in the rugged GT category. Michelin and its technical partner teams from Corvette Racing (2), Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche and Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari have taken full advantage of the new 2012 MICHELIN tall front GT tires to combine for four consecutive victories. Corvette Racing and its drivers, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, lead the GT class championships heading into the second half of the season. Michelin leads the ALMS Tire Manufacturer Championship for both Prototype (LMP1) and GT.

In addition, Michelin technical partner Audi was the overall winner at the season opening Twelve Hours of Sebring.

SRT VIPERS DEBUT

The arrival of the SRT Viper factory team at Mid-Ohio marks the return to ALMS competition of a powerful competitor after a twelve year hiatus. Michelin and Viper have a long and successful history including a pair of ALMS GT titles, three GT-class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three overall wins at the 24 Hours of Nurburging, and five FIA GT World Championships.

DEMPSEY RACING RETURNS

Adding to the Michelin excitement at Mid-Ohio is the return of Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster aboard the Dempsey Racing P2 class entry. The team is seeking to follow up its Lime Rock performance with a second ALMS podium.

LE MANS SUCCESS

Michelin’s success in the first half of the 2012 racing season is not limited to North America. Audi delivered the 15th consecutive overall win for Michelin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The victory was the first at Le Mans for a hybrid entry. 

Ferrari added to the Michelin success at Le Mans, leading a sweep of the top four spots in the GTE Pro category. Audi and Ferrari also lead the new FIA World Endurance Championship with Michelin at the midway point.

The MICHELIN® street soft and tall tires have also helped Michelin achieve a key technical performance objective for 2012.

“One of our goals for the 2012 season was to broaden the range of tire performance,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. “Both our MICHELIN street soft tire and our tall front tire have achieved that objective.”

STREET SOFT TIRES EXCEED EXPECTATIONS

Designed to provide additional grip on the Long Beach street circuit, Michelin was confident that its new street soft tires would perform well on this storied street circuit, but with the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing the only car to utilize them, Michelin had very limited opportunities to test and benchmark development.

Using just three sets of street soft tires to win the six-hour race at Monterey and then taking another win on the hotter, more abrasive track surface at Lime Rock opened some eyes.

Success on a very fast, demanding circuit at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, where most teams run medium or even hard compound tires, was a further demonstration of the street soft tire’s performance range. “Delivering both high grip and extended tread life is very challenging and the MICHELIN street soft tire has certainly achieved everything we expected and more,” said Koenigstein.

TALL TIRES SUCCESSFUL IN GT

Meanwhile, with GT victories at Le Mans and in the last four ALMS races, “the taller MICHELIN front tire appears to validate our expectations that it would help our teams with braking, turn in, extended tread life and a greater window for car set-ups,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager.

PREVIOUS MID-OHIO WINNERS

YEAR

LMP1 Win

LMP2 Win

LMPC Win

GT Win

2011

Muscle Milk Aston Martin

Aston Martin Lola Coupe

Graf/Luhr

N/A

Intersport Racing

Oreca FLM09

Marcelli/Drissi

Team Falken

Porsche 911 GT3   RSR

Henzler/Sellers

2010

Dyson Racing

Lola B09/86 Mazda

Dyson/Smith

N/A

Level 5   Motorsports

Oreca FLM09

Tucker/Bouchut

Risi Competizione

Ferrari F430 GT

Melo/Bruni

2009

de Ferran   Motorsports

Acura ARX-02a

de Ferran/Pagenaud

Lowe’s Fernandez   Racing

Acura ARX-01b

Fernandez/Diaz

N/A

Flying Lizard   Motorsports

Porsche 911 GT3   RSR

Bergmeister/Long

 

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

MichelinNorthAmerica                                                     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

Category:

Motorsports

Tags:

ALMS, mid-ohio
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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its customers’ mobility, and sustainably; designing and distributing the most innovative tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 23,000 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com)