Michelin gains new teams at Sebring

Bentley; Doran; Matthews ALMS teams switch to Michelin. GT Class Ferrari; Porsche Teams also make the move to Bibendum for 2003. Sebring, Fla. - When the 2003 American Le Mans Series opens March 15th in the 51st running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours...

Bentley; Doran; Matthews ALMS teams switch to Michelin.
GT Class Ferrari; Porsche Teams also make the move to Bibendum for 2003.

Sebring, Fla. - When the 2003 American Le Mans Series opens March 15th in the 51st running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, several top competitors will be wearing new racing shoes, Michelin Pilot SX racing tires.

Three premier LMP 900 prototype teams, Bentley, Doran Lista Racing and Jim Matthews Racing all recently announced they are switching to Michelin tires for 2003.

Bentley, with its sleek cars and star-studded driver line-up has been the pre-season favorite for this summer's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Doran Lista Racing is a former 24 Hour of Daytona race winner, and Jim Matthews Racing is a rapidly rising team led by Riley & Scott, one of the most respected road racing firms in the business.

They won't be alone in carrying the Michelin flag into ALMS battle. Indeed the Joest Racing Audi, Audi Sport UK; Champion Audi and JML Team Panoz prototype entries all return as Michelin teams

Meanwhile, the powerful Pro Drive Ferrari 550 Maranellos return as the Michelin standard bearers in GTS class, while the defending Le Mans GT class champions Racers Group Porsches; ALMS GT class champions Alex Job Racing Porsches; and the steadily developing Orbit Racing Porsches return in the hyper-competitive GT class. Also racing with Michelin Pilot SX tires for the first time in 2003 are the GT class competitors White Lightning and J-3 Racing Porsche teams and the Ferrari 360 Modenas of Risi Competizione.

"We are pleased that so many top competitors have asked to switch to Michelin," said Herb Johnson Director Motor Sports for Michelin North America.

Why would so many top teams suddenly switch to Michelin when there are five other tire manufacturers offering ALMS tires and, in some cases, cash to top teams?

Recent history may provide some basis:

* Michelin Pilot SX fitted teams have dominated ALMS competition since the inception of the series, winning 38 of the 39 races and the last 37 consecutive events.

* Michelin teams had a virtually perfect season in 2002 ALMS competition, winning every pole, every race and leading every lap.

* In addition, Michelin fitted teams won their fifth consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2002.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jim Matthews
Teams Porsche Team , Risi Competizione