Nurburgring: Michelin race report

Tyre strategy: the key to success Today on the Nurburgring circuit Michelin and Peugeot Sport scored their third victory of the season thanks to Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin who crossed the finishing line in first place after 195 laps.

Tyre strategy: the key to success

Today on the Nurburgring circuit Michelin and Peugeot Sport scored their third victory of the season thanks to Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin who crossed the finishing line in first place after 195 laps. Just behind came the second Peugeot 908 HDi FAP driven by Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gene.

In LM P2, the RML team (Thomas Erdos- Mike Newton) gave Michelin victory, and In GT1 the ORECA Team Saleen of Ortelli and Ayari saw the flag in first place.

Matthieu Bonardel Michelin competitions director (4-wheels)

The medium tyre: the right choice for 2 stints "In relation to the different choices made the soft compound was not the best option at the start of the race. It worked okay for Peugeot over a single stint but it wasn't enough to allow Stephane Sarrazin to catch Nicolas Minassian. The 908 HDi Fap on medium tyres stayed in front.

On the other hand, the Courage that was on the medium compound right from the start double- stinted without problems opening up a gap over the Pescarolo on soft tyres. So the medium tyre was the best choice to do two stints. The soft compound was a lot quicker, but good for only a single stint. Finally, everybody discovered that the medium tyre was the one to have despite the fact that some people were not convinced yesterday."

Changing track conditions

"What we saw here on the Nurburgring circuit was that the start of the race was very different from the end. The track conditions changed quickly. In GT for example, the medium tyre was the only choice possible at the start, and at the end the soft compound was better both in performance and duration. It was quite normal as the temperature went down and the track rubbered in."

The medium/soft combination: the key to success

"The teams that chose to start the race on the medium compound and then put on soft rubber had the right strategy in relation to those who started on soft tyres or those who stayed on the medium compound up till the finish. There was a transition between medium and soft but not many teams found it.

With degradation coming from the rear as we explained, the Charouz Team opted for soft rubber at the front and the medium compound at the rear. They were able to do two stints without problems with a good balance. I think it was one of the best compromises.

Overall our products did well, and the right tyre strategy was a big advantage on this layout. The track evolved over the 6 hours and it wasn't just a question of choosing a tyre for the race, but different types of tyre to be fitted at the right moment."

Credit: michelin

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Nicolas Minassian , Marc Gene , Stéphane Sarrazin , Pedro Lamy , Mike Newton , Thomas Erdos