Broad approach and dedicated team support help Rolex 24 set new lap and distance records
Following its highly successful inaugural season as the Official Tire of International Motor Sports Association, Michelin reached both wider and deeper in its approach to 2020 IMSA competition.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening event of the 2020 WeatherTech Championship provided an excellent illustration of the breadth of opportunity, on and off the track, for Michelin to demonstrate its technical prowess and mobility solutions.
Michelin brought a new DPi/LMP2 tire into this season and, at the first and longest race, the tire and dedicated technical support helped enabled consistent performance and pace, contributing to a new lap and distance record of 833 laps and 2,965 miles completed.
It is this consistent performance, proven through endurance racing, that Michelin designs into its tires to support a performance made to last strategy that filters through its broad line of consumer tires.
With nearly 12,000 MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport GT race tires available to serve the field of race car entries throughout the weekend, the platform presents a proving ground of Michelin technology that serves races cars and drives innovation into products serving the multitude of people and vehicles surrounding this event, including the sold-out infield filled with campers, motorhomes and VIP coaches.
The garage areas and paddocks, filled with more than 200 high tech transporters and the 17 automotive marques entered in IMSA competition, presented their top teams and drivers to a large and enthusiastic crowd.
On the track, the new Michelin IMSA Prototype medium tires helped provide both pace and consistency in a wide range of temperatures during the 24-hour race. Track temperatures evolved from a peak of 83 degrees early Saturday afternoon to a low of 47 degrees overnight before warming again on Sunday under clear, sunny conditions.
The overnight action featured a record 280 consecutive green flag laps, or just one lap short of 1,000 caution free miles and helped Michelin establish the new race distance record of 2,965.48 miles, breaking the previous mark by 25 laps, or 89 miles.
“The combination of wide-ranging conditions, demanding driving scenarios and need for consistent performance over long durations, are precisely why Michelin uses IMSA endurance racing as a platform to prove and continue to enhance the performance capabilities of its tires,” said Tony Ménard, Michelin North America Motorsports Director.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is unique in the level of demands the tire is consistently under. We bring a solution we believe enhances the team’s performance and to support that we have a team of engineers and tire experts ready to serve each team to maximize our impact on their success.”
Post-Race Quotes: Daytona International Speedway
The GT Le Mans class remains the only open-tire category within IMSA. Michelin works with each of its technical partner teams to develop specific soft, medium and hard compounds for each manufacturer. That difference aided BMW’s win in the class today.
· John Edwards, GT Le Mans class winner, No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE: “I asked the team to go to the Michelin medium tire, and I thought that was our only shot to get the lead at the end of the stint. It ebbed and flowed for when we lost the lead, got it back, and maintained it until the end. Jesse was second, and I said I had full faith and with the medium tires we’d be better on the long run. And thankfully he proved I wasn’t a liar!”
· Ryan Briscoe, overall winner, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R: “But the balance has been consistent all race. There were some front aero tweaks, but it’s not been bad at all. Getting to debut this new Michelin tire in a 24-hour race is like getting at least four races in one worth of learning.”
Race Winners: Daytona International Speedway
Michelin congratulates the winners of this weekend’s races held at Daytona International Speedway.
Rolex 24 At Daytona (WeatherTech Championship)
- DPi: Renger van der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Kamui Kobayashi, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R
- LMP2: Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman, Colin Braun, Harrison Newey, No. 81 DragonSpeed ORECA 07
- GTLM: John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, Chaz Mostert, Augusto Farfus, No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE
- GTD: Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Corey Lewis, Andrea Caldarelli, No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo
BMW Endurance Challenge (MICHELIN Pilot Challenge)
- GS: Dylan Murry, Jim Cox, Jeroen Bleekemolen, No. 35 Riley Mercedes-AMG GT4
- TCR: Gavin Ernstone, Jon Morley, No. 61 Roadshagger Audi RS3 LMS TCR
Provisional top scorers in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup are listed below. The IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rewards performance at the 6, 12, 18 and 24-hour marks of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Daytona is the first of the four longest races on the IMSA calendar.
- DPi: No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R
- LMP2: No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA 07
- GTLM: No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE
- GTD: No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo