WRC 2018 - Turkey - The MICHELIN LTX Force shows its strength
After an eight-year absence from the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Rally Turkey returned to the sport’s elite series this season with a visit to a brand new venue, Marmaris. The southwestern coastal resort and its magnificent surrounding countryside featured a menu of exceptionally selective stages which provided the foundations for a thrilling contest on a level playing field, since they were unknown territory for all of the front-running competitors.
The three-day event turned out to be not only the slowest gravel fixture of the season but also the roughest, with most competitors reporting misadventures of some sort. The total distance of 882.69 kilometres included 321.20 kilometres of against-the-action clock divided into 17 challenging tests which clearly entertained the many spectators – most of whom were newcomers to the sport.
To help the WRC runners in their battle for supremacy, Michelin had two types of tire available in Turkey: the hard-compound MICHELIN LTX Force H4 and the medium MICHELIN LTX Force M6. Meanwhile, its WRC2 partners were able to choose between the hard-compound MICHELIN Latitude Cross H90 and the softer Latitude Cross S80. In both classes, the harder variant was by far the preferred option, although the M6 did play a part in the strategies of certain crews.
The hostile conditions, which included rocks described by some as being as big as footballs, effectively put the cars and their tires to a gruelling test.