MICHELIN AIMS FOR MOTOR CITY TRIPLE PLAY Michelin "Street Soft" Tires Prove Hard to Beat in ALMS DETROIT (August 25, 2008) - Heading into the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, the ninth stop on the 2008 American Le Mans...
MICHELIN AIMS FOR MOTOR CITY TRIPLE PLAY
Michelin "Street Soft" Tires Prove Hard to Beat in ALMS
DETROIT (August 25, 2008) - Heading into the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, the ninth stop on the 2008 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Michelin and its technical partner teams are looking to complete a "street soft" triple play.
When the ALMS teams arrived at St. Petersburg, Florida for the first of three (Long Beach and Detroit) temporary "street" circuit events of the season, Michelin unveiled a surprise.
MICHELIN® tire designers, engineers, and chemists had created a new "softer than soft" tire to optimize grip and handling on temporary circuits while maintaining the traditional Michelin extended wear. The results at St. Petersburg and at the next event in Long Beach provided the proof of their concept as Michelin technical partner teams swept to victory in all four ALMS classes.
Designed for both prototype classes, the new MICHELIN "street soft" tires seem to be a particular benefit to the V12 turbo-diesel powered Audi R10, which races in the heavier LMP1 class. After struggling on street circuits, especially Long Beach, in 2007, the Audi team shined at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, winning both races and, despite being nearly 450 pounds heavier, posting a qualifying time that took the IndyCars three full sessions and over 1600 laps to top.
"Racing on street circuits is a constant battle for grip, especially early in the race weekend," said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin motorsports technical team leader for ALMS. "The streets are used everyday by the public and cars, trucks and busses all leave bits of fluid on the road along with dust and dirt. A softer tire can increase grip, the key is that the tires still must provide consistent handling and extended wear over a full 60-minute run," said Koenigstein. The new Michelin "street soft" tires are the softest compound tires that Michelin has ever raced in the ALMS.