MICHELIN Motorsport: an outstanding line-up in 2014
Pascal Couasnon, head of MICHELIN Motorsports, takes stock of last year's results and talks about the year ahead, when innovation and performance will be more crucial than ever...
If you had to pick just three Motorsports highlights from 2014, what would they be?
It's obviously hard to choose from the 150 international-level races in which MICHELIN Motorsports competed in 2014. But my pick would be:
- the first Formula E race in Beijing, with a single-seater running on MICHELIN 18-inch tires,
- an outstanding year in motorcycling, with the Italian title and the announcement of our return to MotoGP,
- the GT500 title in Japan, with a very clear technical lead in the last Motegi race - a track on which we have not always excelled,
- And how could I not mention the 17th straight win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
Motorsport is often described as Michelin's "second laboratory".
Yes, and rightly so! To give you just a few examples of the work done in Motorsports in 2014, we could mention:
- the introduction of treaded tires in Formula E, with a tread pattern very similar to the Pilot Sport family;
- teamwork on development processes and methods between the Technology Center, which develops production tires, and MICHELIN Motorsport;
- over and above technology transfers, technical gateways are established between the Technology Center's staff and our development team;
- we are also making more and more use of simulation...
So the 2014 track record is a continuation of Michelin's historic legacy?
2014 was a remarkable year, even by the standards of our already incredibly rich legacy. But we need to bear in mind that these results are exceptional. We compete in open series where the competition is fierce. What we achieve is by no means run-of-the-mill: it is the product of tremendous professionalism and commitment on the part of all of our teams.
What is the outlook for 2015? What do you think the main highlights will be?
2015 will be... intense. Alongside disciplines such as endurance and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where we will be aiming for an 18th consecutive win, there'll be rallies, with partners such as VW, DS or Hyundai, Formula E, SuperGT in Japan, and the various motorbike championships. We'll have to stay focused on each discipline, because the competition will be stiff. And don't forget the MotoGP trials, to prepare for our return in 2016.
You set up a Twitter feed in June 2013 and already have over 7,000 subscribers. In 140 characters, how would you define 2015 for the all the michelin.com users?
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