Michelin North America press release
Michelin and its technical partner teams will race in the present and for the future at the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sept. 16-17.
Michelin is the technical partner for the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0, in addition to its partnerships with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Prototype Muscle Milk Aston Martin and the Aston Martin Racing factory teams and GT-class Corvette Racing, Risi Competizione Ferrari, Flying Lizard Porsche and Extreme Speed Ferrari teams.
The six-hour race, the eighth and penultimate stop of the 2011 ALMS season, will be a key race in the 2011 ALMS manufacturer, team and driver championships. It also marks the return to competition of the updated version of Porsche’s highly innovative flywheel hybrid.
“The Porsche 911 Hybrid 2.0 has a 465-horsepower engine, plus a flywheel hybrid and a pair of 75 kilowatt front-wheel motors, so it is a very unique package,” said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader.
Electric energy generated during braking and deceleration is stored in an electric flywheel. During acceleration, this energy is automatically delivered to the front wheels. Drivers can also manually utilize the stored energy with a boost-paddle on the steering wheel for overtaking.
“The front-wheel motors add weight, power and torque to the front tires, so having the Porsche Hybrid race here as an unclassified entry allows us to see how our MICHELIN® tires perform on the same day, time, race and track against current competitors and then evaluate all the data,” said Koenigstein.
“The constant flow of innovative technology through motorsports and programs like the Porsche Hybrid provides Michelin with tremendous opportunities to learn,” said Koenigstein.
The technical challenges drivers face on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit include significant elevation changes and an often-slippery track surface.
In addition to its technical partners teams in the Le Mans Prototype and GT classes, Michelin is the sole tire provider for the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class featuring identical Chevrolet-powered Oreca prototypes.