24H du Mans

Le Mans 2020 put back 98 days

Initially scheduled for the weekend of June 13-14, this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed until mid-September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 1968 race was also held in September and saw Michelin provide new radial tyres for its partner Alpine.

24H du Mans

Sixty-two entries for last Le Mans to star hybrid LMP1 prototypes

Le Mans organiser ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has listed the 62 entries that have been invited to take part in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14. More than 50 cars will contest the race on Michelin rubber. The French firm is targeting its 23rd straight win in La Sarthe and its 29th in total. Hybrid LMP1 prototypes will appear for the last time.

24H du Mans

2019 LE MANS 24 HOURS - Long-lasting performance to the line, with Michelin…

This year, as always, Michelin’s mission at Le Mans is to provide the drivers of the 53 cars competing on its tyres with superior grip and long-lasting performance as it bids to extend the unbeaten spell it has enjoyed in the endurance racing classic since 1998. Meanwhile, Michelin is busy working on mobility for the future in association with the fuel cell-powered GreenGT prototype which will perform a parade lap of the French circuit.

 

Given how much of a sprint race Le Mans has become, with the drivers, mechanics and tyres all needing to perform impeccably from the rolling start to the chequered flag, no matter what the conditions, the race could justifiably be renamed the 86,400 Seconds of Le Mans!

Michelin’s unbeaten run at Le Mans dates back to 1998 and, this year, it is targeting its 22nd straight win,as well as its 80th podium finish and 100th class win since the race was first held in 1923. It’s an ambitious objective for the French tyre firm which is providing tyres for 53 of the 62 cars entered for the 2019 race which will get under way at 3pm on Saturday, June 15, in front of more than 250,000 spectators.

It is no accident that 85 percent of the field has chosen to compete on Michelin rubber in light of the reputation Michelin’s Pilot Sport endurance racing tyres have forged for long-lasting performance, not to mention the expertise of Michelin Motorsport’s engineers and technicians and the experience they have of Le Mans.

Due to the regulations, this is probably the first time that Michelin is contesting Le Mans with the same-spec tyres two years in a row. “Le Mans features twice on the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance calendar, and the regulations state that no changes may be made to tyres in the course of the season,” explains Jérôme Mondain, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes. “That said, the tyres we have for Le Mans this year have already provided eloquent evidence of their potential and longevity.”

When it comes to longevity, the brand effectively has an enviable record. At last year’s Le Mans, for example, it established a new record in the prototype class when former F1 champion Jenson Button completed 55 laps (750km) at an average speed of 220kph on a single set of Michelins. That’s equivalent to going the distance of more than two F1 grands prix on the same four tyres!

As in 2018, changing tyres during routine stops will not cost teams time since the job can be done while refuelling is in progress. Even so, thanks to the longevity of their Pilot Sport tyres, Michelin’s partners will still be able to perform double-, triple, quadruple- or even quintuple-stints if circumstances dictate, depending on their car’s characteristics, their race strategy and the weather. From 2020, tyre changes will again cost valuable minutes, however, since they will only be authorised once refuelling has been completed.

All the LMP1 teams at Le Mans in 2019 are racing on Michelin tyres, including the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids – which will be looking to repeat their one-two finish of last June – plus the six increasingly competitive non-hybrid cars. Michelin is also supplying the 34 cars (representing six prestigious makes) entered in LM GTE Pro and Am. In LMP2, Michelin is once more working with Alpine, with whom it won the race outright in 1978. In this fiercely-fought class, Michelin tyres have been chosen by the majority of the teams.

The 2019 Le Mans programme also features the Road to Le Mans support race and Michelin is providing the tyres for all 50 entrants whose dream is to one day step up to the real thing. There will be a glimpse of the future, too, when the fuel-cell-powered Green GT performs a parade lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe. Indeed, the Le Mans organisers plan to add a class for fuel-cell prototypes from 2024.

Click on the photo to download the Le Mans 24 Hours racecard

MOTOGP™

Michelin on the virtual racing front

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.

FIA WRC

Rally Mexico Win #6 for Ogier

Sébastien Ogier steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC to victory this weekend to earn his sixth success in Mexico. However, Round 3 of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was brought to an early close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FIA WRC

FIA WRC - 2020 Rally Guanajuato Mexico - Racecard

The Rally Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and a big challenge for the Michelin tyres! Get our racecard to find out more about the 3rd round of the 2020

FIA Formula E

Da Costa (DS Techeetah/Michelin) takes Marrakech laurels

Antonio Felix Da Costa steered his Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped DS E-Tense FE20 to victory in Marrakesh, home of Round 5 of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Morocco, Africa’s number one nation in terms of renewable energy, has hosted Formula E action every year since 2016.

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