MICHELIN MAN BUSY AT ALMS FINALE
Laguna Seca Race, Awards and Championships
MONTEREY, CALIF. (October 9, 2009) - The iconic Michelin Man will be busy this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the tenth and final race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. The technical partner of choice for 13 of the 24 entries in the four-hour race into sunset at the iconic 2.238-mile circuit, the Michelin Man will be both presenting and accepting awards.
In conjunction with the final race of the season, Michelin launched its first global advertising campaign this week, where the Michelin Man plays an integral role. The theme of the campaign, "the right tire changes everything" is intended to illustrate the competitive advantages of Michelin® tires in media outlets around the world. The campaign launched first in the U.S. so race fans are now able to see the first spot on national television as the Michelin Man appears as a heroic figure in a 3D animated world. Fans can also visit him on-line at: michelinman.com/the- right-tire or become a fan of the Michelin Man on the official Michelin Man Facebook page.
On the track, the Michelin Man will be cheering for all their technical partner teams as they have claimed 28 of a possible 29 ALMS class wins this year including teams from Acura and Porsche as they have already clinched the ALMS manufacturer championships in all three ALMS classes. The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura Michelin team and drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz have secured the LMP2 championships.
"Michelin and our technical partner teams from Acura, Audi, Corvette, Ferrari, Mazda, Peugeot and Porsche have enjoyed great success in 2009 ALMS competition by meeting the challenges at every turn," said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsports manager. "Now, in addition to the excitement surrounding the final race of the season and the ALMS championship battles, we are pleased that our dramatic new ad campaign featuring the Michelin Man will air during the SPEED TV broadcast of the race."
While the team and driver championships are still up for grabs in the LMP1 and GT2 categories, all of the remaining championship contenders are Michelin technical partner teams and drivers. Despite competition from four other tire makers, Michelin has also clinched the tire manufacturer awards in all three ALMS classes.
The Michelin Man will also join in presenting the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge Awards at the conclusion of the race to the top rated Prototype and GT teams.
The four-hour race on Saturday will determine the championship battles in the LMP1 class where the Patron Highcroft Racing Acura (3) of David Brabham and Scott Sharp and the de Ferran Motorsports Acura (4) of Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud have combined for seven race wins. The race will mark the final professional race drive for team owner Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indy 500 winner and twice Indycar series champion.
The GT2 championship leading Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche team will look to successfully retain its team and driver crown for Joerg Bergmeister, now teamed with Patrick Long. They have eliminated all but arch-rival Risi Ferrari and drivers Jaime Melo and Pierre Kaffer from title contention, but points could be at a premium as the Corvette Racing and BMW Rahal Letterman Racing teams have also scored wins in recent events.
-credit: michelin motorsports