This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans commences tomorrow, but you’re not invited. Nobody is – for the first time in its long history, the event will take place behind closed doors, sans partners, sponsors and spectators. Michelin will be present though, with 54 of the 59 competing cars running on its tyres.
Michelin motorsport director Matthieu Bonardel has given his reaction to the announcement of a changing of the guard in the world’s premier battery-powered single-seater racing series. Despite Hankook’s move to replace Michelin as Formula E tyre supplier after the 2021/2022 season, the French manufacturer continues to believe that “sporting competition and sustainable mobility are inextricably linked.” Michelin was the tyre inaugural supplier to Formula E, which began in 2014/15, and has actively shaped the series as exclusive tyre partner ever since.
As reported yesterday, from 2020/21 Goodyear will act as sole tyre supplier to the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS). We expected Michelin to be disappointed by this move away from open tyre supply, however, what came as news is that the tyre maker wasn’t even considered for the role of next season’s LMP2 supplier.
As of 5 September, Pascal Couasnon has succeeded Alexandre Taisne as director of its Mobility Experience business line, a role he will carry out in addition to his supervision of the Motorsport business line (Competition). Matthieu Bonardel, formerly director of the Michelin group’s Connected Tires department, is Michelin’s new Motorsport director. He will act in this capacity under the supervision of Couasnon.