Silverstone: Michelin preview

MICHELIN GOES FOR DOUBLE STINTS The FIA GT Championship kicked off with a hotly-disputed race on the Zuhai circuit in China, and is now back in Europe for the next round on the mythic Silverstone layout. In China, Michelin took pole and the...

MICHELIN GOES FOR DOUBLE STINTS

The FIA GT Championship kicked off with a hotly-disputed race on the Zuhai circuit in China, and is now back in Europe for the next round on the mythic Silverstone layout.

In China, Michelin took pole and the first three places on the rostrum in front a crowd of some 22 00 spectators who thronged the circuit near Macao.

Victory in the GT category went to the Team All-Inkl.com Racing Lamborghini Murcielago driven by Christophe Bouchut and Stefan Mücke. In GT2, the AF Corse Motorola Ferrari cars team filled the first two places with Dirk Müller and Toni Vilander scoring their first victory of the year.

With a field of 25 cars fourteen of which are fitted with Michelin tyres, the Clermont-Ferrand manufacturer must provide its partners with the best possible products, and study the best tyre strategies in order to beat its rivals in this very closely-fought category.

Gerard Bombled, the Michelin FIA GT director: "Silverstone requires fault-free grip at high speed. This circuit's layout necessitates quick changes of direction, and it's very important to have good stability. In addition, the asphalt is rather hard on the tyres. The Silverstone event is one of the toughest for the tyre manufacturers, mainly because of the high-speed corners, which create a lot of lateral loading and put a lot of stress on the tyres. These different parameters dictate the choice of fairly hard rubber."

The tyres

Gérard Bombled, the Michelin FIA GT director: "For the Zuhai race we mostly used soft tyres given the undemanding nature of the circuit. At Silverstone we'll use slightly harder rubber from our range.

"In terms of race strategy our aim is to double stint, so we have to offer hard-wearing products without sacrificing performance in either qualifying or the race.

The weather can play havoc at Silverstone but during the two sessions on the Zuhai circuit we were able to test our full range of wet and mixed rubber with success. So overall we're pretty confident whether the track is wet or drying. As for each of the FIA GT events we'll bring around 700 tyres to equip all our teams."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Dirk Müller , Christophe Bouchut , Stefan Mücke , Toni Vilander
Teams AF Corse