Michelin ‘official tyre technology partner’ for Gran Turismo

As tyre technology partner, Michelin will share knowledge gained in real-world race series

Sony has appointed Michelin ‘official tyre technology partner’ for its PlayStation brand’s Gran Turismo franchise. The collaboration was announced in New York on 23 August, at the PlayStation Theater on Broadway.

Under the multi-year agreement, Michelin also becomes ‘official tyre supplier’ of FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships, with Michelin-branded tyres featuring in the game during its third World Tour live event, which took place at PlayStation Theater throughout the weekend of 24-25 August.

The relationship begins by increasing Michelin’s visibility through free downloadable content on Gran Turismo Sport. This will be available to users by October 2019; the Michelin-themed download features:

• A new Michelin section on the Gran Turismo Sport ‘Brand Central’ virtual museum, which introduces players to Michelin’s history in global motorsports, performance and innovation.
• Tyre technology by Michelin available in the ‘Tuning’ section of Gran Turismo Sport, applicable to the game’s established hard, medium and soft formats.
• On-track branding elements and scenography from many of the world’s most celebrated motorsports competitions and venues.

Through racing series such as FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, FIA Formula E and International Motor Sports Association series in the US, Michelin uses motorsports as a laboratory to collect vast amounts of real-world data that power its industry-leading models and simulators for tyre development. Tyre technologies proven on the track eventually transfer to road-going performance vehicles, including many of those that appear on-screen in Gran Turismo.

Michelin will share this knowledge openly with Sony in the first co-development exchange of its kind, aiming to provide Gran Turismo players with a new dimension of strategy and competition linked to tyre selection and performance, drawing ever closer to the pit-level decisions that race teams evaluate on every track.

“This relationship is a perfect match, connecting the most successful virtual driving experience with the global leader for high-performance tyres,” said Scott Clark, executive vice president of the Michelin Group’s Americas region. “Michelin leads the industry in tyre simulation. Michelin develops and tunes virtual tyres on virtual vehicles before the tyres are even produced, with extremely accurate translation to real tyres on real vehicles. Combining this technology with real motorsports data will enable Sony to bring more tyre strategy into the game, and in the longer term, also helps more people understand the critical role that Michelin tyres play in optimising vehicle performance.”

“The FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships is founded on a technical base established through 25 years of automotive physics simulation within Gran Turismo, and the unique automotive culture it has achieved over the years. With its passion for motorsports and solid engineering knowledge, having Michelin, the world’s leading tyre brand, come on board as an official tyre supplier of The Championships and technical partner helps us continue our vision of bridging the gap between virtual and real racing. The partnership also further highlights these events as the future of motorsports,” said Kazunori Yamauchi, series producer and president of Polyphony Digital Inc.

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