(Nurburgring) -- Racing in the rain for the first time this season, the Michelin-shod Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S led nearly all of the 1000 km European Le Mans Series race earlier today at the Nurburgring in Germany. Jan Magnussen, who started ...
(Nurburgring) -- Racing in the rain for the first time this season, the Michelin-shod Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S led nearly all of the 1000 km European Le Mans Series race earlier today at the Nurburgring in Germany. Jan Magnussen, who started third in the event, took the lead in the second turn of the race. Magnussen and co-driver David Brabham never looked back thanks in part to tire strategy.
Magnussen and Brabham installed intermediate rain tires (tires designed to race in light rain) when rain started to fall about thirty minutes into the race. Other top competitors installed full-wet tires (tires designed to race in standing water). When the track began to dry, the Panoz drivers were able to stay on the track while the others had to pit for new tires.
"It started to rain about thirty minutes into the race," said Michelin Racing Manager Jerry Rinaldo. Michelin engineer Donnie Wilson, who is the dedicated tire engineer to the Panoz team, decided to install intermediate rain tires rather than full wets like the other teams. That's what made the difference for Jan and David...they didn't have to stop when the track started to dry. It was a great call by Donnie.
"Sometimes it's hard for people to fully understand how much tires contribute to a car's success," continued Rinaldo. "Today, it was very evident. The intermediate Michelin rain tire gave the Panoz team a clear advantage."
More than a minute and a half behind Magnussen and Brabham, JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller finished second in a Michelin-shod BMW while Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro finished third in an Audi equipped with Michelin tires.
Once again, Michelin cars led every lap of the race. The Magnussen/Brabham victory marked the first win for the Panoz team in 2000.
Chrysler Viper Cruises To GTS Victory The Michelin-shod Chrysler Viper driven by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Mark Duez drove to a 15-lap victory in the GTS category. In 2000, Team Oreca Vipers have won the 24 Hours of Daytona outright as well as GTS category events at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Dick Barbour Racing Porsche Wins GT Category The Dick Barbour Racing team continued its winning ways at Germany with drivers Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr driving a Porsche GT3 R fitted with Michelin tires to victory. The win marked the team's fourth of the season.