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Posted on January 21, 2019

THE MICHELIN ERA WITH IMSA BEGINS WITH THE ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

 

 “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Lao Tzu (604 BC-531 B.C.)

Fifty-two weeks ago, Michelin arrived at Daytona International Speedway with a team of transporters and engineers to support its five technical partner teams who entered a total of nine cars in the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Things are much different in 2019. As Michelin becomes the official tire of IMSA and title sponsor of the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, consider these comparisons:

 

2018

2019

IMSA series entered

1

3

Classes entered

1

7

Cars entered

9

115

Automotive partner marques

5

19

Technical support staff

12

37

Transporters

7

26

Tires

2,200

12,750

 

Why the “all in” commitment to IMSA?

“IMSA has become an excellent platform to both develop and demonstrate our technologies and build relationships with car makers and enthusiasts,” said Scott Clark, chairman and president, Michelin North America.

With 19 automotive marques competing in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, the series has more than twice as many brands competing than IndyCar (two), NASCAR (three) and Formula 1 (four) combined.

“The level of competition in IMSA is recognized globally, and IMSA has led the international motorsports industry by introducing open paddocks, driver autograph sessions and open grids to engage fans,” Clark said.

“The vast majority of the 19 brands competing in IMSA are Michelin customers, and many brands choose from the MICHELIN® Pilot® line for their premier performance vehicles. And their customers are our customers. This synergy makes sense for us to work, promote and race together.”

The Road to IMSA 2019

The journey to 2019 has been one of partnership and purpose. Since IMSA announced Michelin as its new official tire in fall 2017, both the Michelin and IMSA teams have worked closely to collaborate before the 2019 season.

During the course of the past 12 months, Michelin and IMSA have held six “On-Track Opportunity” days in addition to the recent Roar Before the 24 three-day test as a chance for teams to experience Michelin race tires and understand the level of support from the technical team.

Additionally, the Michelin brand team has prepared for its consumer and dealer activation plan, which will not only engage those audiences, but also help celebrate IMSA’s 50th anniversary.

Michelin will have 37 race-tire engineers and motorsports tire specialists at Daytona to provide support to competitors as well as to capture data, enhance tire performance on track and feed Michelin’s tire development program.

The Priority

Endurance racing has been at the core of Michelin’s motorsports history for more than 125 years. It has long been a platform of learning and innovation in an effort to develop the highest performing tires in the industry.

Clark added: “During these marathon races of 12 or 24 hours, we care most about the structural integrity of the tire and reliable performance over time as demonstrated by consistent lap times. To survive and succeed in grueling conditions, long-lasting performance is critical for race strategy.

“We ensure our tires work in unison with each car to achieve outstanding performance that runs deep into the life of the tire.”

The First is also a First

The Michelin era in IMSA will begin  Friday with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge, part of the inaugural IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series. This event marks the first time that Michelin has ever named a series for its industry leading MICHELIN® Pilot® line of performance tires.

Brands represented in the season opener include Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, Ford, Chevrolet, McLaren, Aston Martin, Honda, Hyundai and Alfa Romeo. The first eight brands listed race in the GS class, and the last three in the TCR class. Audi is the lone brand in this series to race in both GS and TCR.

In addition, Clark will wave the green flag Saturday for the start of the 57th Rolex 24 at Daytona and IMSA’s 50th Anniversary season.

Kickoff to the Michelin Endurance Cup

The Rolex 24 at Daytona kicks off the Michelin Endurance Cup, comprising the season’s four premier endurance events: the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of Watkins Glen and the season-ending 10 Hours of Petit Le Mans.

The 52 total hours on track in the Michelin Endurance Cup races represent nearly three-quarters of the entire WeatherTech Championship racing season.

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. Forbes magazine has ranked Michelin No. 1 on its annual survey of “Best Large Employers in America” for 2018. Learn more about purpose-driven careers with a purpose-driven company at jobs.michelinman.com.




 

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Category: Motorsports
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