N?rburgring next Michelin challenge

(Greenville, S.C.) - Having already scored race wins this season at such storied tracks as Daytona, Sebring, Silverstone and Le Mans, Michelin American Le Mans Series (ALMS) teams head to Germany's Nürburgring on July 9 for a 1000km endurance ...

(Greenville, S.C.) - Having already scored race wins this season at such storied tracks as Daytona, Sebring, Silverstone and Le Mans, Michelin American Le Mans Series (ALMS) teams head to Germany's Nürburgring on July 9 for a 1000km endurance event. The recent 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Audis and Chrysler Vipers will lead the Michelin effort in the second of the European races on the 2000 ALMS schedule.

"Nürburgring has certainly seen its share of great racing over the years," said Herb Johnson, director of motorsports, Michelin North America. "The new Nürburgring track is one of the smoothest road course tracks in the world. That is certainly a welcome change for tire engineers who have had to develop tires for very coarse and rough tracks most of the season. But we have had excellent tire wear at each race and we fully expect that to be the case at Nürburgring."

In the prototype category, the Le Mans-winning Audi team will be riding on Michelin tires, as will the BMW and Panoz teams. Team Oreca will field a pair of Michelin-shod Chrysler Vipers, which not only scored its third consecutive Le Mans GTS victory earlier this month but also won the 24 Hours of Daytona outright in February. Alex Job Racing, Dick Barbour Racing and Mike Colucci Racing will field Porsches fitted with Michelin tires in the GT category.

While Nürburgring is a new venue for the ALMS, it is not new to Michelin. Michelin has competed at "the Ring" in the FIA GT championship as well as in super touring cars and the Porsche Cup. In 2001, Michelin will compete in Formula One at Nürburgring (Michelin will enter F1 competition in 2001 with BMW/Williams and Jaguar Racing).

Michelin has scored six of the last nine overall wins at Le Mans, including the three most recent (Audi in 2000, BMW in 1999 and Porsche in 1998). Michelin also has won the GTS category at Le Mans the past three years with Chrysler Viper.

In addition to its recent success at Le Mans, Michelin won the 12 Hours of Sebring with Audi, the 24 Hours of Daytona with Chrysler Viper and two American Le Mans Series races with BMW earlier this year. In 1999 competition, Michelin won numerous sportscar, motorcycle and rally world championships.

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 27,000 and operates 23 plants in 21 locations.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Dick Barbour , Alex Job
Teams Williams , Jaguar Racing , Alex Job Racing