Wet or dry: Michelin is well prepared!
With all the European races this year now over, the Le Mans Series makes a trip across the Atlantic for its only South American meeting of the season - which is the sixth and final round of the championship.
This weekend the drivers will face a challenging but legendary race of over 10 hours: the 'Mil Milhas' of Brazil, first held in 1956. Only after more than 1600 kilometres of racing will the drivers finally see the chequered flag.
Interlagos is a complex and demanding circuit, featuring high average speeds. The track is located in the southern suburbs of Sao Paulo, Brazil's biggest city, and the grandstands are populated by the most vibrant and enthusiastic crowd of spectators that the championship sees all year.
The circuit / the tyres
Track length: 4.309 km
Gerard Bombled: Circuit Racing Manager
Interlagos is one of the most exciting places we go to during the season, partly because the unusual anti-clockwise track direction throws up plenty of opportunities for overtaking. At this time of year we should encounter high temperatures, but we need to be prepared for heavy rain as well.
Interlagos also features several changes of elevation, particularly in the first corner. Tyre wear is relatively high on the right side of the car, and even more so at the back. Normally we would try to find a compromise by using different tyres on the right and left hand sides of the car, which means that the teams will have to adjust the chassis set-up accordingly.
If conditions are mixed, with wet and dry weather, one of the peculiarities of this circuit is that small rivers can form that run down the track. These little rivers can remain in place long after the rest of the track has dried. In the dry, the combination of the circuit layout and a reasonably abrasive surface means that Sao Paulo is about average in terms of tyre wear. The track is always very dirty at the start of the weekend, and this makes choosing the right race tyres so much harder - as the drivers need to anticipate the track and the grip levels getting better. "
"While we have accumulated a lot of data about the track surface at Interlagos, and despite winning the event last year, this season's Mil Milhas will hold a lot of unanswered questions because the entire circuit has been recently resurfaced.
We've slimmed down the range of available tyres slightly for Interlagos, and we will bring two types of medium/soft covers for the dry as well as two different types of rain tyre. This tyre choice has been made in the expectation of encountering quite high temperatures.
Some teams will look at using a compromise, by putting slightly harder tyres of the right side of the car. This should compensate for the expected pattern of tyre wear and make the rubber last longer."
The Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge
Michelin has created the Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge for the 2007 season to reward the teams with the most efficient energy consumption in each of the six rounds of the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
This challenge is based on a specially calculated formula that goes under the name of the Performance Energy Index (IP), and is based on the weight, fuel consumption and the average speed of each of the team's cars during the race.
The prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category at a press gathering followed by dinner at the Vila Olimpia restaurant in Sao Paulo, on Friday 9 November at 19:30.