MICHELIN CARRIES MOMENTUM FROM SEBRING, LE MANS AND DAYTONA VICTORIES INTO INAUGURAL PETIT LE MANS AT ROAD ATLANTA (GREENVILLE, SC) --- Michelin Pilot racing radials have scored victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring this year, and ...
MICHELIN CARRIES MOMENTUM FROM SEBRING, LE MANS AND DAYTONA VICTORIES INTO INAUGURAL PETIT LE MANS AT ROAD ATLANTA
(GREENVILLE, SC) --- Michelin Pilot racing radials have scored victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring this year, and dominated North American GT1 racing. With a strong group of five Michelin-equipped teams scheduled to compete at the inaugural Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta October 10, Michelin is confident about its ability to capture its 12th consecutive North American sports car racing victory in 1998.
"Michelin Pilots will be competing for the GT1 and overall victory with a strong contingent of entries at the Petit Le Mans," said Herb Johnson, Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "Michelin victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring show that Michelin tires have the grip, handling and endurance that is needed to win in one of the most grueling forms of racing. Road Atlanta is a very demanding course, but our victory there with the STP Champion Porsche in June showed our Pilot radials are up to the challenge."
The Visteon Panoz GTR-1, winner at the 12 Hours of Sebring in GT1 and the Le Mans-winning Porsche team head the list of Michelin-equipped entries for the SPORTS CAR-sanctioned 10-hour or 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans. CART driver, Scott Pruett of Granite Bay, Calif. will join Sebring winners Andy Wallace of France and David Brabham of Australia in the No. 4 Panoz. 1998 Le Mans and Daytona winner, Allan McNish of Scotland will be joined on the Porsche team by his Daytona co-driver, Uwe Alzen of Germany and Yannick Dalmas of France. The Michelin equipped Porsche 911GT1-98 was the overall and GT1 victor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Panoz and Porsche will be joined by three other Michelin-fitted entries. Two additional Panoz GT1 cars are entered including "Sparky," the Panoz Hybrid car. Eric Bernard of France, Johnny O'Connell of Phoenix, Ariz. and Jamie Davies of England will drive the No. 5 Panoz. Doc Bundy of Gainesville, Ga., John Nielsen of Denmark and Christophe Tinseau of France, will pilot the Panoz Hybrid. The Champion Porsche 911 with drivers Thierry Boutsen of Belgium, Bob Wollek of France and Ralf Kelleners of Germany will also compete in GT1.
Michelin began the season by claiming the GT1 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Rohr Motorsports Porsche 911 GT1. Panoz Motorsports drivers Wallace and Brabham led a Michelin sweep of GT1 at Sebring. The Champion Porsche finished in the runner up position, followed by a second Panoz entry. Panoz also has victories at Las Vegas, Homestead, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio, Minneapolis, Mosport and the overall and GT1 victory at the Sebring Fall Festival. Champion Porsche won at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen.
Michelin scored dual victories at Le Mans in June. The Michelin-equipped Porsche GT1-98, piloted by McNish, Laurent Aiello and Stepane Ortelli, both of France, claimed the GT1 and overall victory in the world's most prestigious endurance race. The Michelin-fitted Dodge Viper GTS-R driven by American David Donohue, Justin Bell of Britain and Luca Drudi of Italy were the victors in GT2. Michelin supported cars finished second in both GT1 and in GT2.
Michelin is the "Official Tire of Road Atlanta." In recognition of Michelin's sponsorship at Road Atlanta, the bridge overlooking the downhill chute to turn 12 is now recognized as the "Michelin Bridge". In addition, Michelin has a prominent presence on the Start/Finish Tower.
In addition to its activity in GT racing this year, Michelin North America is also supplying tires for the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Round nine of the 12-race series will be held Saturday at Road Atlanta. Dual race winners Todd Snyder and Jeff Simmons are locked in a tight points battle. Snyder leads Simmons 120-105.