Michelin set to return to the FIM Endurance World Championship

Michelin is pleased to announce that it will be returning to the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) when racing resumes after the interruption forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its first outing will consequently be the 24 Heures Moto at Le Mans, France, at the end of August. Michelin plans to use its involvement in the FIM EWC to reaffirm its role as a leading player in motorcycle endurance racing which permits open competition between tyre brands.

Michelin’s first Formula 1 world titles

In 1979, Michelin demonstrated the superiority of its radial tyre technology by claiming the first of its titles in the Formula 1 World Championship. Forty years on, the French firm continues to see motorsport as a means to innovate and take its technologies forward, especially in competitions that place the accent on sustainable mobility and lasting performance. 

Michelin’s decade of innovation and success in motorsport

In the course of the past 10 years, Michelin’s increasingly sophisticated, energy-efficient, consistent and, now, connected tyres collected more than 300 world-class victories in disciplines as varied as MotoGP, endurance racing, rallying and Formula E.

 

In line with the conviction that has inspired Michelin for all of 13 decades, modern tyre innovations like PSS, 2CT and Variable Contact Patch 2.0 – which have all been honed in motorsport and tested in extreme conditions by some of the world’s most talented drivers and riders – are only of value if they serve sustainable mobility.

38,625 kilometres in front!

The decade that is drawing to a close saw Michelin return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2011 with a range of tyres developed specifically for today’s advanced World Rally Cars. To comply with the modern era’s ever more restrictive tyre regulations, and to cover the championship’s unique spectrum of gravel, wintry and asphalt terrain, Michelin Motorsport’s engineers produced an entirely new range of robust, versatile and durable solutions.

The fruit of their work – the LTX Force (initially known as the Michelin Latitude Cross), the X-Ice North and the Pilot Sport – has since evolved season after season and gone on to harvest no fewer than 116 WRC victories, along with the fastest time on 2,121 stages totalling 38,625 kilometres, equivalent to practically once around the Earth!

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A ‘Hybrid’ slick for Hybrid prototypes

In the world of circuits, Michelin’s programme has focused on endurance racing which it sees is the perfect discipline to showcase the performance and longevity of its tyres in extreme conditions. In addition to its ongoing unbeaten run at Le Mans which started in 1998, Michelin has been involved in the FIA World Endurance Championship since the competition’s creation in 2012

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Working with the likes of Audi, Toyota and Porsche as hybrid power emerged as the norm in the FIA WEC, Michelin Motorsport’s experts joined forces with their fellow engineers at the Group’s Technology Centre near Clermont-Ferrand, France; to develop increasingly competitive, energy-efficient and long-lasting tyres for the sport’s successive generations of prototypes, including the ground-breaking Michelin ‘Hybrid’ slick intermediate which stands out as one of the decade’s major innovations.

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Not only have Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance tyres won every one of the 62 FIA WEC races staged, but they have also claimed pole position and posted the fastest race lap each time out. On top of that, Michelin has racked up 57 wins in the fiercely competitive GTE class with such prestigious partners as Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette and Ford, not to mention new distance and lap records at Le Mans.

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24 MotoGP records for Michelin tyres

After an eight-year absence from motorcycle racing’s premier series, Michelin returned to the MotoGP World Championship in 2016 when it proposed a switch to 17-inch tyres in order to mirror trends in the two-wheel market. Starting from a clean sheet, its engineers and chemists collaborated with their colleagues at the firm’s Cataroux manufacturing plant to develop a new generation of tyres that has proved every bit as successful as its predecessors.

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First time out, in Losail, Qatar, Michelin established new lap and race duration records, and times have since continued to tumble thanks to ongoing work on its Power Slick and Power Rain ranges. In addition to the 73 wins it has scored in MotoGP since 2016, the brand established 24 new records (race duration, lap, race lap, etc.) in 2019 alone.

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Smart, energy-efficient tyres

In 2013, Michelin struck a deal to become a founding partner of the FIA’s upcoming new series for all-electric single-seater racing cars. Seven years on from that judicious decision, seven of the world’s biggest car manufacturers are now actively involved in Formula E which will gain world championship status from 2020/2021.

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To begin with, Michelin’s developers faced a considerable technological challenge inasmuch as the series was to feature a single tyre to cover all the possible types of conditions. The result was an 18-inch cover that has since proved not only exceptionally energy-efficient and versatile but also capable of delivering high performance at the street circuits visited by the championship which tend not to provide much grip.

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Formula E’s latest-generation Michelin Pilot Sport is now a smart tyre following the integration of a system known as Michelin Track Connect that allows tyre pressures to be monitored in real time, much like the solution that equips the high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Connect.

“We need to keep using motorsport as an exacting laboratory to put the Group’s innovations through their paces, including the use of bio-sourced materials to manufacture our tyres, data sensors, etc.” says Michelin Motorsport Director Matthieu Bonardel. “Our mission is to combine the best possible service to our partner teams before, during and after eventswith respect for the environment at an affordable cost. That’s the future of motorsport.”

With the emergence of electric vehicles, fuel-cell power, Roboraces, artificial intelligence, Concept Vision, Uptis and 4R strategies, the next decade promises to be every bit as stimulating for Michelin Motorsport as the 2010s were in terms of new technologies, innovation, performance and sustainable mobility.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: back-to-back Jerez glory for Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) picked where he left off at Jerez, Spain, last week to collect his second win of the year at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía. The second round of the 2020 MotoGPTM saw Yamaha monopolise the podium thanks to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi who came second and third. The grip and consistency of the MICHELIN Power Slick contributed to the establishment of a new lap record for the Spanish venue. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Quartararo’s big day in the Jerez sun

The Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana, opening round of the 2020 MotoGPTM World Championship, saw Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo celebrate his maiden topflight motorcycle racing victory after finishing clear of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was third as Michelin’s tyres combined grip with consistency throughout the three-day meeting.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premio Red Bull de España - Raceguide

The Michelin MotoGP Team is thrilled to officially restart the 2020 MotoGP World Championship this week. After more than four months of waiting, our tyres and especially, our new rear MICHELIN Power Slick, are more than ready to set new records.Before the action gets started, download our raceguide.

24H du Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual - Live and Racecard

All you need to know about the Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual is in our racecard. Clic on the photo to download it. Follow the race in live - Saturday 2.30pm (GMT+2)

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