(Daytona Beach, Fla.) - Michelin won its first-ever overall Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier today at Daytona International Speedway. The Michelin-shod Dodge Viper driven by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy not only out-raced...
(Daytona Beach, Fla.) - Michelin won its first-ever overall Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier today at Daytona International Speedway. The Michelin-shod Dodge Viper driven by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy not only out-raced its chief rival Corvette fitted with Goodyear tires, but the entire 79-car field in the 38th annual 24-hour endurance classic. The Viper chased down the ailing Goodyear-shod Riley & Scott Lincoln from Dyson Racing, taking the lead in the 22nd hour and never looking back. The unofficial margin of victory was 32 seconds.
The Daytona victory follows Michelin overall wins in 1999 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans. Michelin and Viper won the GT2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998 and 1999.
The Viper started from the 21st position, behind many of the faster Sports Racer category entries.
"We came to Daytona to win and that's what we did," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "Having already won Le Mans, Sebring and Petit Le Mans, this really rounds out our endurance racing portfolio and is a great way to begin the new year. It's an incredible feat for a GTO car to win overall. All eyes were on the Vipers and Corvettes and we are thrilled that we were able to contribute to the Viper win. Every Viper sold since the car's introduction in 1992 has been fitted with Michelin Pilot radials, as has every Team Oreca Viper race car, so we couldn't be happier."
In the GTU category, Dieter Quester, Philipp Peter, Hans Jorg Hofer and Luca Riccitelli finished second in a Michelin-shod Porsche from RWS Motorsports.
Prior to today's win, Michelin's most recent class victory at Daytona came in 1998 at the hands of Alan McNish, Joorge Muller, Danny Sullivan, Uwe Alzen and Dirk Mueller in a GT1-category Porsche.