MICHELIN’s success at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours in numbers
The 2013 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours provided MICHELIN with a particularly eloquent harvest of top results. A few numbers to illustrate the reasons for its success…
- Up to 5 stints on the same set of tyres in the LMP1 class with AUDI Sport Team Joest (stints of 10 or 11 laps each). The cars run by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH regularly completed four stints of 12 laps each on the same set of tyres;
- 3 stints on the same tyres in the GTE Pro and AM classes (all our partners). For the first time at Le Mans, the Type 991 PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSRs successfully triple-stinted (stints of 14 laps each) during all the different phases of the race;
- 2 different tyre strategies for AUDI Sport Team Joest (SOFT-compound „high temperature‟ tyres during the day, and SOFT-compound „low temperature‟ tyres at night) and TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (SOFT-compound „low temperature‟ tyres throughout the race);
- 4 teams… All o MICHELIN‟s LMP1 partners benefited from the MICHELIN „Hybrid‟ tyre: The N°1 AUDI R18 e-tron quattro, the N°7 TOYOTA TS030-Hybrid, the N°12 REBELLION Racing LOLA-TOYOTA and the STRAKKA Racing HPD ARX 03A all used this tyre on several occasions when the track was wet;
- MICHELIN has now claimed 16 consecutive victories at Le Mans since 1998 to take its total number of wins there to 23 since its first success in 1923;
- This year, MICHELIN celebrated CORVETTE Racing‟s 100th race on its tyres;
- Together, MICHELIN's partner teams have totalled more than 1,000,000 miles on its tyres at Le Mans since the 1998 race;
- 300kph: the top speed targeted in „zero emissions‟ mode by the NISSAN ZEOD RC prototype that has been allocated „Garage 56‟ at Le Mans in 2014. MICHELIN is the project‟s tyre partner;
- 25 metres: the height of the new MICHELIN Ranking Tower which was inaugurated during the official pre-race Test Day earlier in June. It kept spectators up to date with the latest classifications throughout practice and the race.
Serge GRISIN, the director of MICHELIN‟s four-wheel motorsport programmes, underlined the complexity and importance of this year‟s Le Mans 24 Hours which took placed in difficult weather conditions: “Our complete range of endurance racing tyres was available for this race which featured a broad spectrum of temperatures and levels of humidity on the track. We occasionally saw opposing conditions at different parts of the track, and that proved quite nerve wracking for our partner teams at times!"
“That said, the lessons we learned during this race will come in very valuable. They will be put to use immediately for the development of our new ranges for 2014, especially for our new LMP1 tyres.”
Driver changes, without changing tyres…
Yes. It is a possibility, as already seen in the LMGTE Am class at Le Mans! Nicolas GOUBERT, the Technical Director of MICHELIN Motorsport confirms that a driver-change need not always coincide with the fitment of fresh tyres: “Driving four or five stints is very tough physically and mentally for a driver. That‟s why the maximum time they can spend on the track during any one spell is restricted to four hours. For MICHELIN, driver safety is a priority, so we have to be capable of providing tyres that can cover five stints, which equates to the maximum allowed driving time.
“To take our technology even further forward, we could – in the future – develop tyres that are as competitive as they are today, yet which deliver an even higher level of longevity. In that case, teams would be able to change drivers without having to fit new tyres to the car.
“That would represent a step forward in the realm of responsible motorsport as well as being an eloquent illustration of the MICHELIN Total Performance plan which consists in working simultaneously on all the factors that contribute to tyre performance, including those seen by some to be irreconcilable. It‟s a case of packing more strengths into the same product.”
Combining entertainment and technology…
Pascal COUASNON, the director of MICHELIN Motorsport, underlined the quality of the show that MICHELIN‟s partners provided spectators during this year‟s Le Mans 24 Hours: “I would like to congratulate all our partners, in all the classes. They provided a spectacle of an exceptionally high quality!”
In LMP1, AUDI Sport Team Joest and TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH produced an exciting fight on the race track, including some spectacular overtaking. Tyre strategy was one of the factors that contributed to their battle. The race ended with AUDI Sport Team Joest‟s N°2 R18 e-tron quattro in the hands of DUVAL/KRISTENSEN/McNISH finishing on the top step of the podium, ahead of the N°8 TOYOTA TS030-Hybrid shared by BUEMI/DAVIDSON/SARRAZIN.
The LMGTE Pro class was won by PORSCHE AG Team Manthey who claimed a one-two finish with the new Type 991 911 GT3 RSR. It was a fine achievement for the German team which spent the entire Le Mans 24 Hours battling hard with the excellent ASTON MARTIN Racing.
This year's Le Mans 24 Hours showed how endurance racing is capable of combining advanced technology with exciting entertainment. It was a great 90th anniversary edition for the French race and a sound foundation on which to build in 2014 which will be even more pertinent in terms of promoting mobility.