MICHELIN to partner the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series as the championship grows in Europe
MICHELIN has renewed its commitment to the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series (the new name for the former Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series) as it develops across Europe.
Since its first involvement in this championship in 2009, the French tyre firm has played a key role and will provide tyres that deliver a high level of grip, durability and performance adapted to the conditions encountered in NASCAR racing. MICHELIN sees this as a long-term partnership, with the focus of all its players, from the drivers and organisers, to its partners, very much on the notion of reasoned motorsport. In addition to being a responsible form of racing, the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series is also exciting and entertaining for spectators.
A longstanding technical partnership
Since 2009, MICHELIN has provided this series, which originated in the United States, with a comprehensive technical partnership, including the supply of tyres and bespoke support for the teams.
Two tyres have been developed for the championship and its uncomplicated cars:
- The MICHELIN S9C slick (33/70-15).
- The MICHELIN P2E rain tyre (33/70-15).
The most specific feature of these tyres is their 16cm sidewalls, since the cars which compete in the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series are identical to their American counterparts. They are consequently particularly wide and that calls for a tall sidewall.
It should be remembered that these cars tip the scales at 1,200kg, are powered by engines of more than 400 horsepower and have uncomplicated mechanicals. They are not equipped with electronic aids, which puts additional emphasis on the role played by the tyres which need to deliver both grip and longevity.
The NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series visits conventional race tracks, as well as 600-metre long ovals with nine-degree banking (e.g. Tours, France). The tyres provided by MICHELIN consequently need to be versatile in order to provide the expected level of performance at all venues.
Technical regulations that favour responsible motorsport
In this championship, which has been imported from the USA, the technical regulations permit just one set of tyres per meeting for a total of three hours’ track time, including practice, qualifying and the race itself.
The introduction of a maximum tyre allocation per car is a measure which MICHELIN backs with a view to steering motorsport to a form of responsible racing that contributes to the mobility of tomorrow.
The principle of tyre allocations means that fewer tyres are used, which in turn means that fewer covers need to be made and transported, which is good for the environment and also good news for team budgets.
For a complete campaign, only 24 tyres are required per car and driver, which equates to a total of 600 tyres for the season.
A durable partnership
MICHELIN sees this partnership as a way to ensure the long-term future in Europe of the machinery seen in the American series. Ever since its initial involvement in the series in 2009, MICHELIN has worked closely with and evolved with the organisers of the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series. The question of tyre costs, for example, is studied jointly in association with the organisers in order to meet the requirements of competitors and ensure that the series is affordable.
The exclusive partnership between MICHELIN and the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series fits with an approach to racing that makes real sense for the organisers, teams and partners alike.
Philippe MUSSATI, Director of MICHELIN Motorsport’s Customer Competition Department, goes over the reasoning behind the partnership:
What does this involvement in the official European NASCAR series mean to MICHELIN Motorsport?
P.M.: “Our involvement is founded on several factors. First of all, its serves as an exceptional showcase thanks to what I would describe as the championship’s different approach which is catching the attention of European motor racing fans. The series also represents the sale of some 600 tyres, while the notoriety enjoyed by NASCAR and the visibility that the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series brings us are clearly beneficial to MICHELIN. Last but not least, this series is important for MICHELIN because it fits with our perception of responsible motorsport, with capped tyre allocations at each meeting. This reasoned approach to motorsport makes sense to the teams, organisers, partners and spectators, while also being good for the environment.”
What are the NASCAR values that appealed to MICHELIN?
P.M.: “In addition to being a highly spectacular championship, the notion of reasoned and responsible motorsport is something that all players in the series find appealing.
It has all the ingredients required to attract spectators who can enjoy the entertainment as a family or with friends. Making motorsport spectator-friendly is very important.”
What technical challenges did MICHELIN face when designing these new tyres for the European series?
P.M.: “We faced several technical challenges when designing the tyres for the NASCAR WHELEN Euro-Series. First of all, the cars are highly specific in terms of their weight, power output, suspension and absence of electronic aids. Their tyres must therefore take these constraints into account to deliver the required grip, longevity and competitiveness. This fits perfectly with the MICHELIN Total Performance research and development strategy which seeks to take performance forward on all these fronts at the same time.
Another challenge was the variety of track layouts and surfaces visited in the course of the season. This variety is another complex parameter when it comes to ensuring performance and longevity. MICHELIN has taken all these factors into account to develop a slick and a rain tyre that are an ideal match for the demands of NASCAR racing in Europe.”