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2015 News

News Archives From Michelin Australia

Porsche and Michelin FIA WEC Champions!

Porsche and Michelin clinch the 2015 FIA WEC Drivers’ title and LM GTE Cups in Bahrain to add to their 2015 Manufacturers’ title.

22 November 2015

The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been run and won, with Michelin’s partner Porsche claiming the top prize in both the LM P1 and LM GTE Pro classes.

The performance, durability and versatility of Michelin’s 2015 range of endurance racing tyres was on display all year. From the high grip they delivered in cold weather at Silverstone and Spa, the quadruple-plus stints they permitted in LM P1 at Le Mans, to their consistency and ability to double stint at the  most exacting circuits in high temperatures.

Leading the way for Porsche and Michelin was Australian Mark Webber and teammates, Kiwi Brendon Hartley and German Timo Bernhard in the N°17 Porsche LMP1. The trio have dominated the latter half of the season, but things did not go all their way in the final race of the year.

As has been the case all year, it was Michelin partners Audi and Porsche out in front for the 6 Hours of Bahrain which started in daylight and ended after nightfall as the two German teams diced for the 2015 Drivers’ title which changed hands several times.

The Championship fight looked over for the N°17 Porsche 919 Hybrid when it was forced to pit with a throttle issue on lap 17. They were able to rejoin the race, but only after spending close to 15 minutes in the garage. From there it was going to be an uphill battle to claim the points they needed to win the drivers’ Championship.

Lotterer/Fässler/Tréluyer (N°7 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro), gave everything they had in their bid to win the Drivers’ crown. They ended up having to settle for second place in the race behind Dumas/Jani/Lieb (N°18 Porsche 919 Hybrid) who made the most of their car’s efficiency to produce a surefooted display, and win the 2015 6 Hours of Bahrain.

The drivers of both teams contributed to a thrilling race which provided some breath-taking passing manoeuvres, differing race strategies and some exceptional driving skill.

With persistent technical problems threatening to end any hope they had, the N°17 Porsche did just enough to cross the line in 5th place and win the 2015 Drivers’ Championship - a fitting reward for their wins at the Nürburgring, Austin, Fuji and Shanghai.

The FIA World Endurance Championship offers Michelin not just the challenge of providing tyres developed to meet the specific needs of its different manufacturer teams, it also permits open competition between tyre firms. Michelin yet again enabled all of its partners and drivers to fight at the sharp end in the course of the 2015 season.

“I would like to congratulate Porsche on its multiple Championship titles, and I am proud of the role Michelin played in its success,” said Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon.

“We work closely with all of our partners and we were at their side throughout this year’s FIA WEC which was of an extremely high level in both sporting and technological terms. This year saw a significant step forward, especially the LM P1 prototypes which boasted power outputs and aerodynamic downforce of an unprecedented level.”

“Once again, the 6 Hours of Bahrain showcased Michelin’s capacity to develop tyres that match the different needs of its partners and the specific challenge of each circuit,” notes Jérôme Mondain, manager of Michelin’s endurance racing programme.

“The bigger selection we had in Bahrain enabled Audi and Porsche to run different race strategies and offset pit-stop schedules.”

Porsche and Michelin win the LM GTE Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain also saw the Stuttgart firm take the top prize in LM GTE Pro.

While the N°92 Porsche 911 RSR of Pilet/Makowiecki failed to figure well in qualifying, it went on to dominate the race. Patrick Pilet, who was nominated to start, overtook several cars to appear in front after half-an-hour. Fellow Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki then finished off the job to collect the win ahead of the N°51 Ferrari 458 Italia (Bruni/Vilander) which failed to match the lap times of the German machine.

Rigon/Calado (N°71 Ferrari 458 Italia) were initially slightly off the pace but they fought back to pass the Aston Martins before a pit-stop problem put paid to their remaining chances of winning the Drivers’ title and clinching the top Manufacturers’ prize for the Italian make.

The winner of the 2015 FIA Drivers’ title was Richard Lietz (N°91 Porsche 919 RSR), even though the consistent Austrian could manage no better than fifth in Bahrain.

LM GTE Am honours for SMP Racing and Michelin

The LM GTE Am Trophy went to SMP Racing’s Shaytar/Bertolini/Basov who benefited from a perfectly-managed season by the Sergey Zlobin-run squad. Along with the skilled Andrea Bertolini, the two Russian drivers succeeded in warding off the threat of fellow Ferrari runners Perrodo/Collard/Cressoni (AF Corse), the latter standing in for Aguas at the season’s finale.

For Michelin, it will take a moment to reflect on the achievements of 2015, but it will soon be back working on their 2016 campaign.

“It has been a successful year in terms of the lessons we have learnt and the titles we have won,” concludes Pascal Couasnon.

“Michelin is already preparing for 2016 when the GTE Pro cars will not only be more powerful, but will also generate between 10 and 15 percent more aerodynamic downforce. There will be improvements to the LM P1 cars, too, and our development engineers are already working on these changes.”


Porsche and Michelin: 2015 WEC Manufacturers' Champions!

2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
6 Hours of Shanghai

1 November 2015

The two Porsche 919 Hybrids fitted with Michelin tyres, took the chequered flag in the penultimate round of the World Endurance Championship in China this weekend, once again finishing first and second place.

This strong result was enough to clinch the 2015 WEC Manufacturers’ crown and claiming the team’s fifth straight victory since June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Victory for the N°17 LMP1 Porsche of Australian racer, Mark Webber, along with his team mates Timo Bernhard and Brendan Hartley, has put the crew in a strong position to win the 2015 Drivers’ title. They are locked in a battle with the N°7 Audi of Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer, who were third in China.

Sunday’s race was essentially divided into two distinct parts, with the first three hours effected by heavy rain which prompted Race Control to kick off the action behind the Safety Car for the first five laps.

When the Safety Car peeled off after round 10 minutes, the real competition got underway as the cars threw up plumes of water, with their Michelin rain tyres capable of clearing up to 120 litres of water every second.

In LM P1, the Audi R18 e-tron quattros immediately challenged the Porsche 919 Hybrids which were running first and second, and the early battle also involved the Toyota’s two TS040 Hybrids which tried to make life as hard as possible for the two German makes. It was during this phase of the race that the N°18 Porsche (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) span after a tangle with the N°7 Audi (Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer).

At this stage, the two Audis focused on chasing the N°17 Porsche (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) as closely as possible in order to prevent Brendon Hartley from pulling out too big a gap, but the Toyotas started to lose ground.

The low grip and difficult visibility forced Race Control to deploy Full Course Yellows twice on safety grounds, while a number of accidents brought out yellow flags.

By the two-and-a-half hour mark, the N°18 Porsche had fought back to join the fight between the Audis and its N°17 sister car. After the third round of refuelling stops, the N°7 Audi – the drivers of which can still win the 2015 Drivers’ crown – and the similar N°8 car (Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis) succeeded in appearing in front, with the two Porsches around five seconds back.

It was around this time that the rain started to ease off and eventually stop, meaning there was less and less water on the track. At this point Porsche chose to double stint on Michelin rain tyres, a strategy that saw the team’s two cars recover the lead before steadily extending their cushion as the track dried out more or less completely over the final three hours.  

With just one round in the Championship remaining – the teams head to Bahrain on November 21 with the Driver’s Championship still very much up for grabs. 

For more information click here.


New Champion Crowned on the Streets of Surfers

MICHELIN: Offical tyre partner Porsche Motorsport

25 October 2015

Nick Foster, in the Bob Jane T-Marts Porsche fitted with Michelin tyres, has been crowned the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Champion this weekend on the streets of the Gold Coast.

After what he described as the worst possible start to the season, Nick Foster never gave up and today claimed the ultimate reward.

Failing to score even a single point in the first four races of the season, the challenge ahead of Nick was huge. The speed was always there, and thanks in part to the knowledge that his tyres would not let him down, Foster was able to push hard in every race.

“To win the Championship is by far the best moment of my career so far – it hardly seems real at the moment! Even though the start of the year was tough, I never gave up because I knew we had the package to get the job done,” said Foster.

“Having the confidence to push hard each and every lap was really important, especially this season. With Michelin tyres we know this is possible. There have been times this season when we have taken the tyres off at the end of the round, and there is still plenty of life left. We can’t ask for more than that!”

For Michelin, the Porsche Carrera Cup is an exceptional challenge, with the race track acting as the ultimate proving ground.

The long lasting, high performance of the Michelin N2 tyre that the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia uses has been on display all year. The performance has resulted in quick lap times, and even new lap records, being set right up until the closing stages of the final race of the weekend.

“We have seen some of the best racing in Australia in Carrera Cup this year with the drivers able to push their tyres for the whole weekend – this is why we go racing,” said Michelin Australia Marketing Manager, Tim Hoare.

“Globally, the Porsche motorsport platform allows us to innovate and deliver performance – that is why we partner with them. Our engineers work with the Porsche engineers to deliver exactly what the Porsche drivers demand: speed, safety, longevity, and driving pleasure, without compromise.”

For Michelin, this partnership extends off the track as well.

Michelin works with Porsche's design teams from the bottom up, engineering tyres that react perfectly with the chassis, not just with their race cars but also with their road cars,” explained Mr Hoare.  

“Our experience on track is then applied to our road products. For example, the tread compounds used in our Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 road tyres are of the same family as the compounds found in the N2 tyres used in Carrera Cup.”

The philosophy of “MICHELIN Total Performance” is at the heart of Michelin's research and development strategy globally and is applied to the development of all Michelin tyres. It reconciles qualities that some believe to be conflicting by virtue of technology such as grip and long lasting tyres. 


MICHELIN Primacy SUV tyres

 

The most important safety feature on your SUV

13 October 2015

The new MICHELIN PRIMACY SUV tyre delivers confidence and tranquility to drive your family safely even in the most unpredictable driving conditions.

Most SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) drivers choose their vehicle’s safety features carefully – considering ABS, airbags, and traction control. But more often than not, they underestimate the vital role that tyres play. As the only contact with the road, good tyres are a driver’s first guarantee of a safe and comfortable ride.

The area of a tyre that touches the road surface is approximately the size of a postcard. It is not much when you consider all the functions of a tyre: supporting the car, transmitting traction and braking forces, absorbing road shocks and steering.      

The MICHELIN Primacy SUV is exclusively designed by Michelin for SUVs. It was developed specifically for the Asia Pacific’s extreme road and weather conditions with the objective of offering maximum safety to SUV owners and their families.

Speaking about the new tyre, Cedric Binoit, Managing Director, Michelin Australia said, “We have listened to SUV drivers in our region. They choose their vehicles because they want more safety for themselves and their family on their daily commute, as well as during long distance travel.

“SUVs are larger, more robust vehicles, they offer better visibility and more space, but they can at times be more difficult to handle and to stop, especially on wet roads. The MICHELIN Primacy SUV tyre was developed to address these needs, and provide maximum safety and protection to the driver and their family.”

The new tyre offers the following significant safety improvements when compared with leading competitors1:

- Up to 2.3 meters shorter braking distance on wet roads.

- 10% improved grip in wet cornering.

- 3.8 meters shorter braking in dry conditions.

This is achieved through the use of the following Michelin tyre technologies:

FlexMax2.0, StabiliGrip - New grip-enhancing flexible tread and tread design to reduce braking distance and lateral slip on wet roads.

CushionGuard - Tread compound and architecture designed to help reduce vibrations and bumps on the road.

EvenPeak - Greater variation in the size and position of tread blocks reduces road noise, whilst also keeping the drive steady, smooth and comfortable.

As a result of the combination of these technologies, the MICHELIN Primacy SUV tyre is able to offer drivers a safer, smoother ride. Thanks to MICHELIN Total Performance, this is achieved without compromising other tyre performance characteristics such as tread life and fuel consumption.  

1. The test was carried by CATARC on 11th Apr, 2015. Vehicle: Honda CR-V 2.0 WT. Tyre size 225/65R17.


Australians and New Zealanders Involved in 2015
Le Mans 24 Hours Victory for Michelin



14 June 2015

Porsche, which, in addition to the two firms' worldwide association on the race track, is an original equipment partner of Michelin, notched up its 17th win at last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours thanks to a one-two finish with the N°19 (Hülkenberg/Bamber/Tandy) and N°17 (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber) Porsche 919 Hybrids. The German firm continues to be the most successful carmaker in Le Mans history.

Aided by Michelin's competitive, consistent tyres which are a perfect match for the configuration of the 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team also established a new track lap record for the 13.629km circuit during qualifying on Wednesday, June 10. Neel Jani's time of 3m16.887s (249kph) smashed the previous record which was posted in 2008 by Stéphane Sarrazin (Peugeot 908 HDI), now a member of the Toyota Racing line-up.

The performance of this year's LMP1 prototypes marked a big step forward, and this was further illustrated by the fastest race lap which was clocked by the N°7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the hands of Benoît Tréluyer on its 337th lap. His time of 3m17.475s was further evidence of the ferocity of the battle that opposed the two German makes over the weekend.

Said Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin Motorsport: "Michelin would like to congratulate Porsche Team on its one-two finish and also Audi Sport on its podium. We are also delighted to have taken our score to 24 victories in the world's most prestigious and most exacting endurance race."

Said Jérôme MONDAIN, manager of Michelin Motorsport's FIA WEC programme: "This year's Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin provide another eloquent illustration of the performance and grip of its endurance racing tyres which successfully covered distances in excess of 700km. The ability of Michelin's tyres to multi-stint, which used to be an exception not so many years ago, has today become an integral part of our partner teams' strategies. All the LM P1 manufacturer teams used a single type of tyre for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours: namely the MICHELIN 'soft hot weather' slick, which is designed to give its best at temperatures ranging from 18°C to 40°C. The work carried out by Michelin Motorsport's engineers on the tyres' temperature windows as a function of the track temperature has definitely paid dividends."

Michelin's partners Audi Sport Team Joest, Porsche Team and Toyota Racing all performed quadruple stints on the same tyres in the course of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, covering distances of up to 736 kilometres on a single set.

It is important to recall that the current-generation LM P1 prototype tyres are between five and six centimetres narrower and two kilos lighter each compared with 2013. At the same time, the cars' aerodynamic downforce has increased, as has the power of their engines.