DAYTONA, Fla. – Michelin made a highly successful return to the Rolex 24 At Daytona and helped kick off a new era in North American motorsports with an impressive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory at this weekend’s launch of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“Michelin successfully faced a number of challenges in returning to Daytona International Speedway for the first time in 13 years and did so with technical partners that had never raced their current cars here,” said Ken Payne, technical director motorsports, Michelin North America.
“It is a compliment to the teams and our Michelin engineers and developers that our technical partner teams from Aston Martin, BMW Team RLL, Corvette Racing, Risi Competizione Ferrari, Porsche North America and SRT Viper experienced good tire performance and reliability and were able to lap within a very tight range,” said Payne. “We leave here feeling very tired and glad to be back at Daytona.”
Michelin was chosen by all 11 entries competing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the only class in the new series offering open tire competition.
The Michelin technical partners included all six auto manufacturers and the five factory teams: Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Porsche and SRT Viper entered.
Finishing second in GTLM was the BMW Z4 of BMW Team RLL driven by Bill Auberlen, Andy Priaulx, Joey Hand and Maxime Martin. Finishing third after qualifying on the class pole and leading the early stages of the 24 Hour race was the SRT Viper of Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The series is the result of the merger of the former American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series. The race was won by Sebastian Bourdais, Joao Barbosa, and Christian Fittipaldi in the Action Express Corvette DP prototype.