Las Vegas next Michelin challenge

Greenville, S.C. - The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) visits the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the last of this season's three races that use portions of NASCAR-style oval tracks. The other two were Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas...

Greenville, S.C. - The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) visits the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the last of this season's three races that use portions of NASCAR-style oval tracks. The other two were Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, which the ALMS competed in April and September, respectively.

But rather than racing on the high banks, as they did at Charlotte and Texas, the ALMS cars will run on the bottom, flat portion of the turns at Las Vegas in addition to an infield road course.

"The track at Las Vegas is different than those at Charlotte and Texas," said Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin Racing Manager. "The cars never really go onto the high banks at Las Vegas like they do at the other two tracks. So, there is less load on the right side tires. The result is that at Las Vegas we use tires that do not have as stiff of a sidewall as the ones we used at Charlotte and Texas...the tires will be similar to the ones we use at natural terrain road courses.

"The Las Vegas track is non-abrasive," continued Rinaldo. "So, teams that are able to develop a good mechanical balance will probably be able to double stint their tires (change the tires every other pit stop as opposed to changing every pit stop) and gain some advantage."

Top Teams Riding On Michelin Tires At Las Vegas in 2000 In the prototype category at Las Vegas, the Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans-winning Audi team will be riding on Michelin tires, as will the 1999 Le Mans-winning BMW team, and the Panoz and Olive Garden Rafanelli teams. In GTS, Team Oreca, Hezeman Racing and Chamberlain Racing will field Michelin-shod Dodge Vipers. In the GT category, Alex Job Racing, Dick Barbour Racing and Mike Colucci Racing will field Porsches fitted with Michelin.

Michelin Dominated 1999 ALMS Event at Las Vegas At Las Vegas in 1999, Michelin cars led all 129 laps, scored the overall victory (J.J. Lehto and Steve Soper in a BMW V12 LMR), recorded the fastest qualifying lap (Eric Bernard and David Brabham in a Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S) and race lap (Bernard on Lap 60) in addition to scoring the GTS victory (Karl Wendlinger and Tommy Archer in a Dodge Viper) and the GT victory (Dirk Müller and Cort Wagner).

Michelin Scores ALMS Tire Championships
After dominating the ALMS throughout the 2000 season, Michelin has secured the Tire Championship for all three ALMS categories. Unlike other major racing series such as CART, NASCAR and the IRL, the ALMS features head-to-head competition among several major tire manufacturers including Michelin, Goodyear, Pirelli, Dunlop, Yokohama and Avon.

Michelin Wins Big In 2000
Michelin won the four biggest sportscar endurance races in the world this season. A Michelin-shod Dodge Viper won the 24 Hours of Daytona while Audis fitted with Michelin tires won the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans.

Michelin has won every 2000 ALMS race run thus far, including Sebring (Audi), Charlotte (BMW), Silverstone (BMW), Germany (Panoz), Sears Point (Audi), Mosport (Audi), Texas (Audi), Portland (Audi), Petit Le Mans (Audi) and Laguna Seca (Audi).

Michelin Leads The Way Michelin teams have led 1,747 of 1,752 laps in ALMS competition this season. Additionally, Michelin cars led every one of the 368 laps at Le Mans.

Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin.com) employs 26,500 and operates 21 plants in 19 locations.

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , J.J. Lehto , Karl Wendlinger , Tommy Archer , Steve Soper , Alex Job , Cort Wagner
Teams Alex Job Racing