MICHELIN HOMESTEAD FIA GT ENTRIES INCLUDE LE MANS WINNING PORSCHE AND ORECA VIPER, AS WELL AS DAMS PANOZ
(GREENVILLE, SC) --- Two Le Mans winning teams are among those entering Michelin-fitted sports cars in this Sunday's 500 kilometer FIA Grand Touring Championship at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex. The Porsche AG team, overall and GT1 class winner at Le Mans, has entered two Porsche 911 GT1 98s in the GT1 class. Viper Team ORECA, GT2 class winner at Le Mans, has entered two Chrysler Viper GTS-Rs in the GT2 class. DAMS will field the No. 3 Panoz GTR in GT1.
"Michelin looks forward to the return of the FIA GT to the U.S. and to again demonstrating the precise handling and excellent grip we have provided Michelin Pilot-equipped teams all season," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "Our victories at Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring and last week's GT1 win at the Petit Le Mans prove that Michelin understands how to make winning high performance tires."
1998 Le Mans winner, Allan McNish, of Scotland, will co-drive the Michelin-fitted No. 7 Porsche 911 GT1 98 with Yannick Dalmas of France. Uwe Alzen and Jorg Muller, both of Germany, will drive the No. 8 Porsche 911 GT1 98. Eric Bernard of France and 1998 Sebring winner, David Brabham of Australia will pilot the DAMS Panoz GTR.
GT2 points leaders, Olivier Beretta of France and Pedro Lamy of Portugal, will be behind the wheel of the Michelin-fitted No. 51 Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Karl Wendlinger of Austria and David Donohue of Malvern, Pa. will drive the No. 52 Viper. The factory-backed ORECA team has won eight of the nine FIA GT2 races and clinched the GT2 Teams Championship (subject to official confirmation by the FIA).
Michelin began the GT season by claiming the GT1 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Rohr Motorsports Porsche 911 GT1. Panoz Motorsports drivers Wallace and Brabham led a Michelin sweep of GT1 at Sebring. The Champion Porsche finished in the runner up position, followed by a second Panoz entry. Panoz also has victories at Las Vegas, Homestead, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio, Minneapolis, Mosport and the overall and GT1 victory at the Sebring Fall Festival. Champion Porsche won at Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen and the Petit Le Mans.
Michelin scored dual victories at Le Mans in June. The Michelin-equipped Porsche GT1-98, piloted by McNish, Laurent Aiello and Stepane Ortelli, both of France, claimed the GT1 and overall victory in the world's most prestigious endurance race. The Michelin-fitted Chrysler Viper GTS-R driven by Donohue, Justin Bell of Britain and Luca Drudi of Italy were the victors in GT2. Michelin supported cars finished second in both GT1 and in GT2.
In addition to its activity in GT racing this year, Michelin North America is also supplying tires for the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Todd Snyder and Jeff Simmons are battling for the driver's championship and will square off this Saturday in round 11 of the 12-race series. Simmons won last week at Road Atlanta and took the points lead from Snyder (126-121).