The developments of Michelin’s endurance racing tyres are on show at this year’s Le Mans 24 hours. The manufacturer said its winter programme, conducted between November 2015 and the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 2016 season-opener at Silverstone, comprised every class, while focusing on making its tyres more competitive against increasingly active competition. Nearly every car competing on Michelin tyres has evolved since last year, the tyre supplier explains.
The FIA World Endurance Championship 2016 season begins with the 6 Hours of Silverstone, and will be the first at which Michelin Motorsport’s newest endurance slicks will be used. The tyre supplier said it has focused its efforts for 2016 on the development of products for its LM P2 partners; the tyres were tested pre-season test at Le Castellet, France, last month. Michelin added that some changes have also been made to its wet tyres.
Porsche’s success in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been supported by its tyre partner, Michelin. The Stuttgart marque claimed top prizes in the LM P1 and LM GTE Pro classes this year, following its return to world class endurance racing in 2014 after a year of pressure from fellow Michelin runners Audi (in LM P1) and Ferrari (in LM GTE Pro). Michelin states that it provided tyres developed to meet the specific needs of its different manufacturer teams in the championship, which permits open competition between tyre firms.
The Porsche Team followed up Le Mans 24 Hours victory with a one-two finish at the 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring. While the N°17 Porsche 919 Hybrid was driven to victory by Timo Bernhard, Marc Webber, Brendon Hartley, their N°18 teammates overcame three Stop & Go penalties (of five, 30 and 60 seconds), for excessive fuel consumption, to steal second place from Audi Sport thanks, in part, to the tyre strategy that was adopted for Switzerland’s Neel Jani on Lap 143. Michelin supplied a total of 2,400 tyres to its 23 partners at the event, with bespoke products designed to suit the particular needs of Audi Sport, Porsche Motorsport and Toyota Racing teams’ vehicles.