Donington: Michelin preview

Pescarolo-Michelin on the hunt for a second title A month after its victorious visit to the Nurburgring, Pescarolo Sport-Michelin will be looking to secure its fourth win of 2006 and its second consecutive Le Mans Series title when the series ...

Pescarolo-Michelin on the hunt for a second title

A month after its victorious visit to the Nurburgring, Pescarolo Sport-Michelin will be looking to secure its fourth win of 2006 and its second consecutive Le Mans Series title when the series moves on to Britain's East Midlands venue Donington Park. However, Creation Autosportif- Michelin will also be hoping for a top performance from the two LMP1 prototypes it has entered for its home round, while other likely duels include the anticipated scraps between RML- Michelin and Epsilon-Michelin in the LMP2 category, as well as between Aston Martin-Michelin and Saleen Michelin in LMGT1.

As host to the penultimate round of the 2006 Le Mans Series, Donington Park takes over from Silverstone where Audi R8-Michelin took victory in 2005. Michelin is extremely familiar with the British circuit where it recently triumphed in MotoGP in association with Honda's Dani Pedrosa. True or not, the story goes that the lack of grip here is due to kerosene fallout from the nearby international airport. "Donington is a legendary circuit that does offer much less grip in the dry than Silverstone, although grip is relatively high in the wet," says Michelin's Circuit Activities Manager Matthieu Bonardel. "It tends not to be a very demanding track for tyres but we mustn't lose sight of the fact that this is the first time we will see prototypes racing here. The GTs have already been to Donington when the circuit staged a round of the FIA GT Championship."

Despite three consecutive wins so far this year and a comfortable cushion at the top of the provisional championship standings, Pescarolo Sport is still one point short of securing its second Le Mans Series title. Emmanuel Collard and Jean-Christophe Boullion - who are joined this weekend by Didier Andre - could well put the outcome beyond doubt this weekend, although they will face some very stiff opposition, notably from the local British-based teams who will clearly want to shine on home ground. Their numbers include Zytek-Michelin as well as Creation Autosportif-Michelin which has entered two prototypes for the championship's fourth round.

"The clash between the different LMP2 title chasers, including the RML-run Lola-Michelin and the Barazi/Epsilon Courage-Michelin, is also likely to be very close," notes Mathieu Bonardel. "The LMP2 teams will run with the new tyre constructions introduced at the Nurburgring and will also have softer rubber than the LMP1s." Nothing has changed however in the LMGT1 category which promises to provide a thrilling showdown between the Saleen-Michelin run by Oreca (which won at Silverstone last year with the Audi R8) and the Larbre Competition and Cirtek Motorsport Aston Martin-Michelins."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Didier André , Emmanuel Collard , Jean-Christophe Boullion
Teams Larbre Competition