Monza: Michelin preview

MICHELINS MAIN OBJECTIVE IN MONZA CONSERVE THEIR LEAD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP After a month off, the 2007 FIA GT Championship are back in mystique Monza, Italy the season's fastest circuit and without a doubt the most demanding on the tyres. After...

MICHELINS MAIN OBJECTIVE IN MONZA CONSERVE THEIR LEAD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

After a month off, the 2007 FIA GT Championship are back in mystique Monza, Italy the season's fastest circuit and without a doubt the most demanding on the tyres. After three races this year, and each seeing a different winner, Michelin is leading the championship in the GT1 category with Vitaphone Racing Team and AF Corse Motorola in the GT2.

The track: 5.793km

Gerard Bombled, Head of circuit activities, Michelin

"This is an extremely complex circuit for us, especially regarding the rear tyres, and more notably the rear lefts of the prototypes. Wear isn't exceptionally high at Monza but the extremely high speeds reached dictate a robust tyre while turns like Parabolica call for impeccable balance. At the same time, you need good response from the front tyres to avoid understeer through the chicanes. In fact the demand of the drivers tends to change between practice and the race: during practice they like a nice responsive front end but that can compromise rear tyre performance which is what they tend to favour during the race."

The tyres

Gerard Bombled, Head of circuit activities, Michelin

"Monza is an extremely rapid circuit and our tyres are perfectly adapted to these conditions."

"Since the beginning of the season our objective has been to double the stints using one set of tyres. We observed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans that in the GT1 / GT2 categories, Michelin tyres were capable of running two stints without losing their performance. This is a huge step forward as last year we were unable to even consider this option. We worked on new developments over the winter and are now perfectly positioned to satisfy our partner's needs."

"Never the less, after the start of the FIA GT Championship season with its relatively short two hour races, we have noticed that the teams have a habit of changing tyres at the drivers change. With this tactic they have the possibility of running fresh tyres and benefiting from their performance in the final sprint. We will soon see if this proves to be the weekend's fashion."

-credit: michelin

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Teams AF Corse