Michelin signs additional teams for 2005

Dyson Racing moves to Michelin for 2005 ALMS season Sauber and Aston Martin seek competitive edge with Michelin® tires. Leading American Le Mans Series team Dyson Racing today undertook its first test of Michelin® tires in preparation for the...

Dyson Racing moves to Michelin for 2005 ALMS season
Sauber and Aston Martin seek competitive edge with Michelin® tires.

Leading American Le Mans Series team Dyson Racing today undertook its first test of Michelin® tires in preparation for the 2005 season. Dyson Racing's switch to Michelin rubber makes it the third team to choose Michelin in two weeks.

The Dyson-Michelin agreement follows the switch by Sauber Petronas from Bridgestone to Michelin in Formula One and Aston Martin with Prodrive's choice of Michelin as technical partner in their return to sports car racing.

The two announcements follow the success of new Michelin partner teams, B.A.R. Honda in Formula One and Corvette Racing in international sports car racing during 2004.

Michelin-partner teams have won all but three races in the history of the American Le Mans Series. Dyson Racing and Goodyear took two of the victories in the past two years. But with Michelin winning the tire manufacturer's championship in the P1 class for six years in a row, Dyson elected to change for 2005.

Team-mates Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace already have raced in other series on Michelin tires this year. Dyson piloted the Michelin-equipped Zytek prototype at the Silverstone round of Le Mans Endurance Series, while Wallace raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"The tires were fantastic in the Silverstone 1000 KM. They had great grip from the first lap out of the pits and were incredibly consistent," Dyson said.

"We were able to go two stints without changing tires, and the car was as fast the last lap as the first. Really, that drive convinced me that Michelin had the edge."

Aston Martin and Prodrive will launch a new assault on the GTS class in 2005 -- aiming to repeat the victory at Le Mans achieved by American hero Carroll Shelby in an Aston Martin DBR1 in 1959.

The new Aston Martin was unveiled Nov. 4, 2004, on Michelin tires at Aston Martin's headquarters in Gaydon, Great Britain. An intensive testing program now follows for "Aston Martin Racing" prior to the DBR9's debut race at the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

"Aston Martin Racing" will run two cars at Sebring March 17 to 19, 2005, and then move to Europe to prepare for the Le Mans 24 hours in June 2005.

In Formula One, Sauber follows in the footsteps of B.A.R. Honda next year. After only scoring 26 points in 2003, B.A.R. Honda completed a spectacular season, finishing second in the manufacturer's championship with 119 points.

Sauber will make its debut on Michelin tires during testing in Barcelona, starting on November 24.

"As we demonstrated in 2004, our technology makes a significant contribution to the performance of F1 cars," said Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin Group's director of competition.

"I look forward to enabling Sauber Petronas to benefit from this technology, just as B.A.R. Honda did in 2004 when, coupled with the formidable progress achieved in other areas, the team rose to second place in the Manufacturers' World Championship."

Corvette Racing also enjoyed a dramatic comeback to victory lane this year. The U.S. squad was beaten by 10 laps in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 by the Michelin-equipped Ferrari team and also lost the final four races of the ALMS season. In 2004, Michigan-based Corvette Racing was undefeated in the ALMS and reclaimed the GTS Class crown at Le Mans -- finishing first and second in the 24 Hour classic.

After securing 46 major victories world-class competition in 2004 in Formula One, World Rally Championship, MotoGP and major sports car events, Michelin looks for even more success in 2005.

"The fact that major teams and manufacturers keep knocking on our door is the highest compliment we could receive as a tire manufacturer," said Amanda Head, Michelin motorsports marketing manager, Michelin Americas Small Tires.

"Dyson in ALMS has been a very tough opponent during the past few years, and we expect they will continue their winning performances next year with Michelin tires.

"The battle in P1 between Dyson and Champion Audi will be outstanding and provide our tire engineers with a great internal competition. The competition among our partner teams is just as fierce as our competition against other tire manufacturers.

"That love of competition is what drives us to be relentless in developing the best tires, both for the track and the road."

Michelin is chosen by some of the world's top car makers and brands for their motorsports competition including Honda, Renault, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Audi, Porsche, Corvette, Ford, Citroen, Mitsubishi and Yamaha.

The world's largest tire maker, Michelin (www.michelinman.com) manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America employs 23,920 and operates 21 plants in 17 locations.

-michelin-

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About this article
Series ALMS , Formula 1
Drivers Andy Wallace , Chris Dyson
Teams Sauber , Aston Martin Racing , Corvette Racing , Citroën World Rally Team , Dyson Racing