New "Street Soft" MICHELIN® Tires Help Muscle Milk Honda to Overall Win; New "Tall" MICHELIN Fronts Take Corvette to GT Victory
LONG BEACH, CA (April 14, 2012) – Michelin rolled out the latest tires in its technical arsenal and walked off with the big wins here at the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach on Saturday.
The latest generation of the ultra-successful MICHELIN® "street soft" race tires helped the Muscle Milk HPD Honda prototype of Lucas Luhr
and Klaus Graf overcome an extra pit stop and power to a 43.66 second victory over the Dyson Racing Mazda of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the second round
of the 2012 ALMS championship.
Michelin technical partner teams took five of the top six overall positions in the two-hour race on the 1.968 mile downtown Long Beach street circuit.
LUCAS LUHR COMMENTS
"I have been racing with Michelin tires for several years and they have very high standards," said winning co-driver Lucas Luhr. "We did a test and we
didn't run long, but we were absolutely sure that they would do the job. As we saw today, the Michelin tires were perfect. They were just great. We looked
at the tires that came off the car after my stint and they were still perfect.
"The Michelin "street softs" were a key to our success. The track grip level was low, but the "street softs" helped us dramatically with braking and
handling. We give a big 'thanks' to Michelin for providing us with that new tire."
STANDING TALL IN GT
Michelin's new 2012 "tall" (1.2 inches taller) front tire developed for its GT technical partner teams also starred in one of the most competitive classes
Michelin technical partner teams from Corvette Racing, Extreme Speed Ferrari, and Aston Martin combined to claim four of the top-five GT positions with the
#4 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 driven by Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin taking the class win. The victory was the first in ALMS competition for Milner, a
co-driver on the 2011 Le Mans winning Corvette.
OLIVER GAVIN COMMENTS
"I watched Tommy drive to the front in the first half of the race and saw that our Michelin tires were very fast and he made a great run. When we came out
of the pit stop, I had to chase down the BMW. Our car was very good. I was pushing hard, but not qualifying style, and I reeled him in quite quickly. Once
I was past, we pulled out a margin and the tires stayed underneath me for the whole stint. Thank you, Michelin."
Overcoming a ninth place GT class starting position to move to the lead in the first 35 minutes, the Extreme Speed Ferrari of Johannes van Overbeek and
Scott Sharp finished third, followed by the #3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia and the #007 Aston Martin of Adrian Fernandez and Darren
LMP CHALLENGE ROCKS
Taking the LMP Challenge class victory and the final spot on the overall race podium was the #06 Core autosport prototype driven by Alex Popow and Ryan
Dalziel. Finishing second in class and fourth overall was the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing #5 driven by Memo Gidley and Mike Guasch. Completing the
LMP-Challenge podium and taking fifth overall was the #05 Core autosport entry of Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.
All LMP-Challenge class entries compete using a Michelin non-confidential specification tire.
(manager motorsports, Michelin North America)
"Today's success in America's premier street race is a great compliment to our Michelin technical partner teams and to our tire developers, chemists, and
race tire engineers. This was a very difficult scenario. Due to the rain yesterday the ALMS teams had no dry track time for practice. Many of the teams,
including Muscle Milk HPD, were running new cars that made their data from previous years irrelevant. We are pleased that we were able to provide our
technical partners with the right tires to help them to be successful and we thank them for their confidence and collaboration with Michelin and
congratulate them all on a great race."