Lime Rock: Michelin preview

MICHELIN TEAMS GO ASYMMETRICAL FOR BALANCED PERFORMANCE AT LIME ROCK Aggressive Track Requires Innovative Approaches in ALMS Title Battles LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 21, 2010) - The closest thing to an oval track on the American Le Mans ...

MICHELIN TEAMS GO ASYMMETRICAL FOR BALANCED PERFORMANCE AT LIME ROCK
Aggressive Track Requires Innovative Approaches in ALMS Title Battles

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 21, 2010) - The closest thing to an oval track on the American Le Mans Series schedule, Connecticut's picturesque Lime Rock Park provides a truly unique venue and one that requires an innovative approach by Michelin and its technical partner teams.

"The keys to success at Lime Rock are choosing the right tires for each corner of the car and finding the right balance of performance for all of the variables that the track throws at you," said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader. "You can't afford to compromise on a set-up at Lime Rock because it is so easy to go a lap down."

Lime Rock is both the shortest and quickest track of the ALMS season. The nature of the 1.53-mile track means that teams must be aggressive through every inch of the track to maintain, gain, or protect track position, especially in traffic in the record 36-car field.

The character and flow of the track, with a clockwise direction and mostly right hand turns means that a simply standard road racing set up and tire choice may not be successful.

"If you set up for the predominately right hand turns, you will be vulnerable on the lefts and the chicanes. If you go with too soft a tire compound, you will be vulnerable on longer runs," said Koenigstein. "That is why I expect that most of our Michelin technical partner teams will choose an asymmetric approach on tire compounds, or camber settings or tire pressures to help find the right balance of performance for the race."

Points will be at a premium at Lime Rock as the two-hour 45-minute ALMS Northeast Grand Prix (July 24) marks the mid-point of the 2010 American Le Mans Series with championship battles fully joined and a post Le Mans schedule packing five events into an eight-week span.

A deep and powerful GT category championship battle is especially tight as Risi Ferrari's Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni moved into the driver championship lead at the recent Utah Grand Prix over previous leaders, Flying Lizard Porsche's Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. Despite both teams' success, it is the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team that leads the GT class manufacturers' championship.

Michelin and its technical partner teams have won all six ALMS races held at Lime Rock Park and 19 out of a total of 23 classes.

Since the founding of the ALMS in 1999, Michelin technical partner teams have 110 overall wins in 113 races and 324 total class wins.

-source: michelin

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Series ALMS