Michelin scores big at Petit LeMans ALMS Finale with all top 7 cars; "Perfect Season" -- wins every 2002 ALMS Pole; every race; leads every lap. Audi scores overall win: Alex Job Porsche takes GT Class, (Braselton, Georgia)---Michelin...
Michelin scores big at Petit LeMans ALMS Finale with all top 7 cars; "Perfect Season" -- wins every 2002 ALMS Pole; every race; leads every lap.
Audi scores overall win: Alex Job Porsche takes GT Class,
(Braselton, Georgia)---Michelin concluded the 2002 American Le Mans Series in style today, winning the 1000 mile Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta to end a virtually perfect season of competition in America's premier sports car racing series.
Taking the race win was the #2 Audi R8 of Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen. Finishing second, less than a minute behind after twice being caught by untimely yellow flags was the #38 Champion Audi of Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson. Claiming Cadillac's fourth late season podium was the #8 of J.J. Lehto and Max Angelelli and Christophe Tinseau followed by their teammates in the #7 Cadillac and the #51 Panoz of Bryan Herta; Bill Auberlen and Gunnar Jeannette.
The #1 Audi of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro fought back from mid race contact to finish sixth while the #50 Panoz of David Brabham and Jan Magnusson took seventh. All top seven finishers were on Michelin Pilot racing tires.
"We are very grateful to our partner teams, their drivers, team managers, crew members and engineers and to our own Michelin engineers, tire developers, fitters and support team for achieving a perfect season," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsport for Michelin North America.
"Michelin thrives on competition, and with five other tire companies and a lot of great teams here in the ALMS, we are pushed to constantly develop and improve our technology to deliver our teams the Michelin advantage. Everything we learn in competition helps us to provide our customers with the best performance," said Johnson.
EVERY POLE * Michelin fitted teams won the overall race pole at Road Atlanta to complete a sweep by Michelin teams of the overall race and LMP 900 poles at all ten ALMS events.
* Michelin fitted teams also swept the GT class poles at all ten ALMS events.
* Michelin teams also won the GTS class poles at Le Mans; Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta.
* Earlier this year, Michelin teams swept the poles in all four classes at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans while taking the top ten spots in qualifying.
EVERY WIN * Michelin teams have now won 38 of the 39 ALMS races held in the four year history of the series.
* Michelin teams have won the famed 24 Hours of LeMans endurance classic for the last five consecutive years.
* In addition to their overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Michelin teams captured three class wins and nine of the top ten spots in the 2002 race.
* Michelin's Alex Job Racing and The Racer's Group Porsches also won every race in the hotly competitive GT class
EVERY LAP * Michelin teams led every lap of 2002 ALMS competition.
* Michelin teams also led all 375 laps of the 24 Hours of LeMans in June, 2002.
* Michelin teams have now led over 97 percent of the laps (6,542 of 6,740 laps) in ALMS competition since the series began in 1999. The last time that another tire company led an ALMS race came in September of 2000, now 23 races ago. Goodyear, Pirelli, Dunlop, Yokohama and Avon all regularly compete in the ALMS.
Some Highlights: Racing in the rapidly growing American Le Mans Series means competing in the heat of the day and the cool of darkness, in brilliant sunshine and heavy rain, on new tracks and old, short tracks and long, in three hour sprints and twice around the clock endurance battles. Despite a significant increase in the number of entries, number of events and the introduction of new venues, there was one constant, Michelin.
Here are some of the Michelin ALMS teams' 2002 highlights:
* Opening the 2002 ALMS season at Sebring by triple-stinting the factory Audi R8s to defy the blazing 95 degree heat and high track temperatures, racking up nearly 240 miles on the their first set of Michelins while posting a lap time that would have qualified on the front row with a set of tires that had been on the car for well over two hours.
* Helping Audi's Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro qualify on the pole, set the fastest race lap, lead most of the race and win the two hour 45 minute Miami race in 90 degree heat all on the same set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires..
* Seeing independent owner/driver Kevin Buckler, of The Racer's Group, claim the GT class victory at Le Mans after double stinting his Michelin tires much of the race to overcome an early deficit. Buckler went on to claim the prestigious Porsche Cup World Championship.
* Winning all three of the new ALMS venues this season, taking the honors at Road America; Washington, D.C. and Miami.
* Helping Alex Job Racing and drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr claim the GT class championship.
* Having Panoz drivers David Brabham and Jan Magnusson master the heavy wet conditions in Sonoma then hold off a late race charge by Champion Racing's Johnny Herbert as the track dried.
* Helping the Audi R8s claim an historic third consecutive victory at LeMans and their third ALMS championship.
Our People: A team of 36 Michelin engineers, tire fitters and operations managers were on site with over 3,000 tires to support the 14 Michelin entries at Road Atlanta for the 10 Hour/1,000 mile Petit Le Mans. Michelin dedicates an engineer to each of its teams.