Michelin clinches tire championship

(Portland, Ore.) - After dominating the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) throughout the 2000 season, Michelin wrapped up the Tire Championship for the prototype category this afternoon with the Michelin-shod Audi's victory. Allan McNish and Rinaldo...

(Portland, Ore.) - After dominating the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) throughout the 2000 season, Michelin wrapped up the Tire Championship for the prototype category this afternoon with the Michelin-shod Audi's victory. Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello drove their Audi to victory in round eight of the ALMS at Portland International Raceway.

En route to the victory, McNish and Capello were able to run a single set of Michelin tires on the rear of their Audi for all but 15 minutes of the race without a drop-off in performance, a remarkable feat. "I ran like hell and the tires were able to stand up to it," said McNish after the race.

"We won the battle and the war today," said Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin Racing Manager. "By winning the race today, we proved that Michelin tires were again the tires to beat at Portland. By winning the Championship, we proved that Michelin tires have consistently been the tires to beat throughout the season. The Championship is very gratifying because we have beaten our competitors in head-to-head competition. But don't expect us to rest...we still have many new ideas that we will be testing and introducing in the remaining four races this season. We race to win, for sure, but we also race to develop new technology."

To date, Michelin has scored 210 points while Yokohama has scored 93. Goodyear, Pirelli and Avon have also scored points in the ALMS prototype tire championship. There are four races remaining in 2000 ALMS competition.

Unlike other major racing series such as CART, NASCAR and the IRL, the ALMS features head-to-head competition among several major tire manufacturers. Since June of 1999, every ALMS prototype winner has ridden on Michelin tires.

Michelin also leads the Tire Championship in the GTS and GT categories by significant margins.

Jan Magnussen and David Brabham finished second today in a Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S fitted with Michelin tires. J.J. Lehto and Jorg Muller finished third in a Michelin-shod BMW.

Big Wins Michelin has won the three biggest sportscar endurance races in the world in 2000. Dodge Viper won the 24 Hours of Daytona while Audi won the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Additionally, Michelin has won every other ALMS race this season...Charlotte (BMW), Silverstone (BMW), Germany (Panoz), Sears Point (Audi), Mosport (Audi), Texas (Audi) and Portland (Audi).

Dodge Viper Takes Wins GTS at Portland The Michelin-shod Dodge Viper returned to victory circle in Portland. Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger won the GTS category over teammates Tommy Archer and David Donohue.

Porsche Scores GT Victory at Portland Bob Wollek and Sascha Maassen scored their third win of the 2000 ALMS season in a Porsche GT3 R fitted with Michelin tires. Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert finished third in Michelin-shod Porsche.

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 , Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , J.J. Lehto , Karl Wendlinger , Jorg Muller , Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Sascha Maassen , David Donohue , Olivier Beretta , Bob Wollek