Michelin runners monopolise Dakar podiums
A year after making its return to the world’s most popular and gruelling cross-country rally, MICHELIN dominated the 36th running of the celebrated DAKAR in no uncertain terms. Partners of the French firm claimed one-two-three finishes in the event’s Car, Bike and Truck classes to showcase both the qualities of their tyres and the expertise of MICHELIN’s engineers. The MICHELIN LATITUDE C (Cars), MICHELIN DESERT Race and Bib Mousse (Bikes) and MICHELIN XZL+ (Trucks) allowed the company’s partner teams to control this year’s rally which was considered to have been one of the toughest ever seen since the competition first moved to South America.
Car class – The MICHELIN LATITUDE C… the absolute benchmark
MICHELIN not only contributed to the victory of Nani ROMA and Michel PERIN as the tyre partner of Mini X-Raid Racing Team but it also monopolised the top five positions overall. MICHELIN LATITUDE C runners won 12 of the event’s 13 stages, as well, proving that the brand’s special cross-country rally tyre combines speed, strength and versatility. The global performance package of this MICHELIN tyre enabled three different MICHELIN partners to claim stage victories, despite the varied challenges (fast tracks, fesh-fesh, sand, etc.) and the occasionally extreme temperatures. The MICHELIN LATITUDE C also helped Stéphane PETERHANSEL to establish a new record for the highest number of Dakar stage wins (65).
The experience of the 2014 DAKAR provided MICHELIN with valuable technical data which will now contribute to the development of safer, more durable production tyres designed especially for its South American and Asian markets where the majority of roads are not covered by asphalt.
Bike class – The MICHELIN DESERT Race and MICHELIN Bib Mousse… 12 stage wins from 13!
MICHELIN’s partners in the Bike class won every stage of the 2014 event, with the exception of one, and the MICHELIN DESERT Race tyre equipped with MICHELIN Bib Mousse was a vital ally for bikers in their bid for outright honours. Victory ultimately went to Marc COMA (‘factory’ KTM 450) who controlled perfectly from in front thanks to his speed and navigational ability. The Catalonian rider rapidly built up a handsome safety margin over his chasers before taking advantage of the qualities of his bike and MICHELIN tyres to deliver an incident-free run and take the spoils in Valparaiso. The work of the Clermont-Ferrand-based manufacturer’s engineers – who have developed a tyre that combines strength, agility, good traction and durability – also played a part in what turned out to be another all-MICHELIN top three thanks to Jordi VILADOMS (KTM) and Olivier PAIN (YAMAHA). The MICHELIN Bib Mousse, which is designed to function with the brand’s cross-country rally tyres, was yet again a valuable asset for its users on the DAKAR. This advanced solution, which replaces air inside the tyre, prevents punctures while at the same time optimising the tyre’s handling. Marc COMA’s fourth Dakar win takes MICHELIN’s score on the rally to 31 bike victories from 36 editions.
Truck class – MICHELIN XZL+… a key player in a memorable battle
This year’s fight in the Truck class was one of the closest in the history of the DAKAR. The winner Andrey KARGINOV and Gérard DE ROOY spent the whole two weeks locked in a fierce duel which was as exciting as any ever seen in the Car and Bike categories. Their MICHELIN XZL+ tyres were put to an exacting test on every stage but the class’s most commonly used solution stood up to the punishment perfectly. The MICHELIN XZL+ not only showcased its outstanding traction, strength and resistance to perforation, but was just as much in its element over the soft sand of the Atacama Desert as it was on the fast, rocky trails of Argentina and Chile. It went on to secure another one-two-three finish in the category thanks to MICHELIN’s partners KAMAZ and IVECO.
MICHELIN has been operational in South America since 1913 and continues to be particularly active today:
- South American headquarters: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Staff: more than 6,000
- Investment: €1 billion between 2006 and 2012
- Brands marketed: Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Montana , Kleber and Tigar
- 3 factories in Brazil
- Sales offices: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela
- MICHELIN is the number one manufacturer of radial truck tyres in Brazil and South America
- MICHELIN is the number one manufacturer of radial tyres for earthmoving vehicles in Brazil and South America
- Truck remould tyres: Service Michelin Refill