Only recently, Michelin unveiled its first connected tyre solution that amateur driving enthusiasts can go out and buy for their cars. This is Track Connect, a system compatible with the newly-launched Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect tyre and now on sale in several European markets. A dedicated competition version has also been developed – the tyre maker calls it Michelin Motorsport Connect, and this solution will be introduced at the next rounds of the French Rally Championship between 13 and 15 April. Michelin Motorsport Connect will then initially be released in France, with prices starting at 400 euros, before being introduced elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world.
Launched in September 2014, the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship an on 18-inch, patterned Michelin Pilot Sport EV tyres. Work on developing new tyres for the second Formula E season had already begun when the FIA asked Michelin to continue with the same-spec tyre for the season in order to enable teams use a known tyre when developing their cars to meet new, less restrictive technical regulations. Work on the second-generation tyre nevertheless continued, and Michelin Motorsport says this means “two steps forward will have been taken” in regards to tyre development when its new tyre finally debuts at the start of the third Formula E season.
Michelin gives word that its fourth-generation Pilot Sport is being released in Europe as of this month. The initial launch range includes 17 tyres for 17 and 18-inch rims, with 19-inch fitments being introduced later this year and in 2017.
Michelin’s Pilot Sport EV has helped Formula E to overcome difficult weather conditions in Putrajaya, Malaysia, despite temperatures in excess of 30°C, a track temperature of almost 50°C and humidity levels of between 60 and 90 per cent. Round 2 of the 2015/2016 Formula E ePrix featured the same format as 2014, with a 12-turn, 2.5km track and the start brought forward by two hours to 2:04pm local time in order to minimise the threat of wet weather. Torrential rain swept over the city an hour after the chequered flag was shown. The hot, damp conditions made the day hard not only for the drivers, but also for the battery of their all-electric single-seater racing cars.
Formula E’s eighth round was staged over the weekend at Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport; an unusual backdrop for a track described by tyre supplier Michelin as one of the most delicate of the season for tyres. The twisty 17-turn, 2.47km course was dusty and dirty early in the day due to the relative lack of traffic, while its concrete slabs were particularly abrasive. The circuit’s width also allowed drivers to run three abreast in places, meaning heavy braking and hard acceleration were a feature of the event. These conditions present an obvious challenge for tyres to which Michelin’s grooved Pilot Sport EV rose.