MICHELIN INCREASES SPORTS CAR RACING PROGRAM IN 1999 AFTER DOMINATING GT SEASON IN 1998 (GREENVILLE, SC) -- Michelin's racing history is linked to many of the great auto marquees and to some of the world's greatest races and racing championships.
MICHELIN INCREASES SPORTS CAR RACING PROGRAM IN 1999 AFTER DOMINATING GT SEASON IN 1998
(GREENVILLE, SC) -- Michelin's racing history is linked to many of the great auto marquees and to some of the world's greatest races and racing championships. BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Chrysler and others have counted on Michelin tires to help bring them victory at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, as well as Drivers' and Constructors' championships in Formula One.
In 1998, Panoz Motor Sports brought Michelin numerous victories in sports car racing's GT1 class, including Sebring and Porsche scored at Le Mans, Daytona and in the Petit Le Mans with Michelin Pilot radials. Both manufacturers won Drivers' and Manufacturers' titles and Michelin was undefeated in North America GT1 competition.
On the strength of those victories, Michelin has increased its North American sports car racing program in 1999 to include more manufacturers and teams. Michelin is equipping six teams that are competing in all or part of the American Le Mans Series in 1999. Four different automobile manufacturers are represented.
"Michelin has always provided the world's best race teams and auto manufacturers the best tire technology," said Herb Johnson, Michelin's Director of Motorsports, North America. "Last year we proved the mettle of our Pilot radials in all kinds of racing conditions and Michelin looks to prove itself again this year with some new teams that will be competing in sports car racing."
In the Prototype class (formerly WSC, GT1), Michelin will equip two Panoz GTR-1s, the Doran/Lista Ferrari, Doran/Matthews Ferrari, Champion Porsche, two BMW V12 LMRs and a pair of Audi R8s. In GTS (formerly GT2), Michelin will equip the Schumacher Racing Porsche.
"The quality of the manufacturers, teams and drivers competing with Michelin tires this year is just incredible," said Johnson. "We will provide the teams with the technical support they need and the drivers with the handling and performance they demand on the track. We know that on long stints, our Pilot radials will offer the same grip and turning ability throughout, so we are very excited about what the Michelin-equipped teams can accomplish in 1999." Michelin's season began with two podium finishes and three top-ten efforts in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and now concentrates on the inaugural American Le Mans Series.