2014 WRC - Michelin secures 2014 WRC-2 world title - MICHELIN LTX Force Tires triumph in Wales
The new MICHELIN LTX Force gravel tire, which was introduced for the first time last August in Finland, has provided a first class account of itself over the second part of the 2014 WRC. In Wales, the times recorded on SS1 and SS2, which used identical routes to those visited in 2013, revealed a gain of up to one second per kilometre (i.e. 14 and 22 seconds better over the two tests respectively).
Simultaneously improving several of the factors that contribute to tire performance is an ongoing objective at Michelin in keeping with the MICHELIN Total Performance plan. The initial development work undertaken in-house and then in association with our different partners has reaped fruit.
The exciting event ended with Sébastien OGIER and Julien INGRASSIA on the top step of the podium in Wales in their VOLKSWAGEN Polo R WRC. Also of note was the performance of Finland’s Mikko HIRVONEN and his co-driver Jarmo LEHTINEN who celebrated their retirement from the championship with a fine second place overall in their FORD FIESTA WRC. They were joined on the podium by Mads OSTBERG and Jonas ANDERSON (CITROEN DS3 WRC) whose third place allowed Citroën Racing to secure runner-up honours on the 2014 Manufacturers’ world championship.
WRC-2 world title glory for Michelin
The 2014 WRC-2 Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ crowns ended up on the heads of Nasser AL-ATTIYAH and Giovanni BERNARCCHINI in their Michelin-tired Ford Fiesta RRC, just a week after the French tire firm made sure of the FIA European Rally Championship title in Corsica. At October’s Rallye de Espana, Sébastien OGIER, Julien INGRASSIA (VOLKSWAGEN Polo R WRC) made sure of the world championship’s overall Drivers’ title.
Last but not least, MICHELIN Motorsport is a partner of the FIA Junior WRC, which features Michelin-equipped CITROEN DS3 R3s. It was won by Frenchman Stéphane LEFEBVRE who also claimed the ERC-Junior crown.
“The 2014 FIA World Rally Championship has been extremely interesting and the introduction of two new Tires in the course of the season – the MICHELIN LTX Force gravel tire [introduced in Finland] and the Pilot Sport S4/H4 asphalt tire [introduced in France, in October] – was a highlight of the year for us and our partners. The increased competitiveness of these two solutions is the result of input from all our teams. I would like to say a big thank you to them all, as well as to our partners for their great results. The 2014 championship is over but we are already preparing for the 2015 season which will be with us very soon!”
The 2015 FIA World Rally Championship is due to kick off with the Rallye Monte-Carlo which will run from Gap, in the French Alps, to the Principality on January 22-25.
MICHELIN LTX Force tires (H4 and S4 versions)
- Size: 205/65R15 (equivalent to 17/65-15)
- Width: 205mm
- Sidewall height: 133 mm
- Interior diameter: 15 inches
- Type of pattern: directional and asymmetric (a left-hand and a right-hand tire)
- Weight: 16.4 kg
- Surface types: dirt and non-sealed roads
‘H4’ version (hard compound): aggressive, hard-wearing dirt / dry conditions / temperature >15°C
‘S4’ version (soft compound): wet or damp dirt / temperature <15°C
Michelin had a total of 1,150 Tires available for its partners at Wales Rally GB, including 200 for the Junior-WRC competitors. Four hundred were fitted to rims and taken to Newtown for Friday’s mid-leg remote service. In total, 1,200 Tires were fitted and removed in the course of the rally.
MICHELIN’s staff in Wales:
- Rally programme manager (Mr. Jacques Morelli)
- Michelin Motorsport Marketing Director (Mr. Olivier Vialle)
- 2 coordinators
- 3 Michelin technical team advisers
- 8 fitters
- 1 press officer