MICHELIN CORNERING POWER AND LONGEVITY PAY OFF AT UTAH GRAND PRIX Top Three Finishers Beat Turbo Cars With Handling and Double Stints TOOELE, UTAH (July 11, 2010) ---Overcoming a massive differential in straight-line speeds favoring their ...
MICHELIN CORNERING POWER AND LONGEVITY PAY OFF AT UTAH GRAND PRIX
Top Three Finishers Beat Turbo Cars With Handling and Double Stints
TOOELE, UTAH (July 11, 2010) ---Overcoming a massive differential in straight-line speeds favoring their turbocharged rivals, Michelin technical partner teams from Patron Highcroft HPD, Drayson Lola and Muscle Milk Cytosport Porsche used cornering power and consistency to sweep the podium today in the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.
Pole winner Simon Pagenaud and co-driver David Brabham dropped back to fifth place on the race start and a subsequent restart as the more powerful turbocharged cars enjoyed nearly a 30 miles-per-hour advantage to blast by on the main straightaway. But from there, they stalked the leaders, then used their cornering speed and consistency to take their third consecutive victory in 2010 American Le Mans Series competition.
"This is a very satisfying win because it was certainly against the odds," said Brabham. "We made up all of the time in the corners and with our consistency. Simon just kept laying down amazing laps to open the gap. When we saw the other Michelin teams double-stint their tires over the final 90 minutes we asked if we could double-stint to the end and our Michelin engineer said, 'no problem.'"
"This was a David and Goliath kind of race and a fantastic win for the Highcroft team and Michelin,"said Pagenaud. "Very few teams can do such a job. I knew that we couldn't do anything about the speed of the turbo cars, but our Michelin tires were much better in the corners and so much more consistent that we were able to close in, pass, and then pull away. Michelin provided us with amazing tires, they just kept getting quicker and quicker and they stayed very consistent all the way to the end despite the heat."
Leading the last 50 laps of the race in green flag conditions to claim the victory in the GT category and take the provisional lead in the ALMS GT championship was the pole winning #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Jaime Melo.
"We had a very good balance on the car and the Michelin tires were very, very consistent so I had a lot of confidence in traffic," said Melo. "We came out of the last yellow behind the BMW, but I was able to pass him on the first lap and we just kept pulling away. We had time to change tires on our last pit stop but the tires were still very consistent so we double- stinted to the end," said Melo. The Risi Ferrari's final margin of GT victory was 21.179 seconds.
Finishing in fifth place overall and taking the victory in the LMP Challenge class for identical Chevy powered Oreca prototypes racing with Michelin customer tires was the Level 5 Motorsports car #55 of Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker.
Taking second and third places in the LMPC class and sixth and seventh overall were Green Racing Team Gunnar and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, each car ran the entire two hour, 45-minute race on a single set of Michelin tires.
"We are very pleased that the hotter the track got and the longer the green flag runs, the bigger the advantage that we were able to provide our technical partners," said Karl Koenigstein, Michelin ALMS technical team leader.