The new MICHELIN LTX Force S5 acclaimed in Mexico
Michelin’s gravel tire strategy for 2017 reaps its first benefits.
Although gravel events account for the majority of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship’s 13-round calendar, the regulations permit just one type of tire (available in a choice of two compounds: ‘SOFT’ and ‘HARD’) – for the nine loose-surface fixtures, despite the broad spectrum of conditions crews face on them.
The first gravel rally of 2017 was this weekend’s Rally Mexico where, prior to last year, the most frequently used tire tended to be the HARD version of the MICHELIN LTX Force, with the SOFT alternative available in the case of wet weather. This time round, Michelin decided to rationalise its approach and MICHELIN Motorsport’s engineers have spent the past months optimising the firm’s LTX Force range by making the most of the opportunities permitted by the regulations. Its plan for 2017 is founded on three phases and will unfold as a function of the results observed during the season.