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Latest News From Michelin New Zealand

Michelin notches up its 20th consecutive Le Mans success

19 June 2017

After providing Michelin with the first of its recent sequence of victories at Le mans with Laurent Aïello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 (Porsche 911 GT1-98), Porsche fittingly earned the French tyre firm's 20th straight victory in the endurance racing classic today.

This time round, it was Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley (N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid) who claimed the discipline's most prestigious prize after winning the weekend's drama-packed race which was led during the hours of darkness by the N°1 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy), in the wake of the near-simultaneous retirements of the N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) and N°9 (Lapierre/Kunimoto/Lopez) Toyota TS050-Hybrids, and after the long period spent by the N°8 Toyota (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) in its pits to resolve a technical issue.

During this time, the N°2 Porsche concentrated on its bid to recover the chunk of time it had lost on Saturday evening while curing a technical probelm. Undeterred, and after the race had been led briefly by an LM P2 prototype, the three drivers went on to emerge at the top of the order with one hour remaining.

Since the beginning of its uninterrupted sequence of 20 Le Mans victories in 1998, Michelin has won the Le Mans 24 Hours in association with Audi, Bentley, BMW, Peugeot and Porsche. And prior to that, it won the French marathon with McLaren, Mercedes, Alpine-Renault and Chenard & Walcker.

"This run of 20 wins shows that Michelin has succeeded in providing its partners with winning solutions that have matched the evolution of the cars and the race itself over the past two decades," observed Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon. "Our ability to think ahead and respond to new challenges has been one of the driving forces behind the new technologies we have developed over recent years and which have gradually found their way onto our road tyres".

"This approach has allowed us to build fruitful technical partnerships with the automobile world's biggest and most prestigious carmakers, and thereby foster innovations and facilitate the transfer of new technologies from the race trak to the street".

"Today, I would like to congratulate Porsche on its 19th Le Mans victory, especially since our association with the German brand goes back a very long way."

From removeable wheels and tyres, to slicks, radial tyres and solutions adapted to the first diesel-powered prototypes and the latest-generation hybrid LMP1-H cars, the list of Michelin innovations that have showcased their pertinence at Le Mans is very long, and poised to become even longer in the future. Michelin is currently working on a new generation of even more energy-efficient, connected tyres incorporating advanced biotechnologies.

MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres for the new Porsche 911 GT3

7 March 2017

At the launch of the latest version of the Porsche 911 GT3, eight out of ten cars rolling off the production line will be fitted with specially developed MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 N1 ultra-high-performance tyres, in 245/35 ZR20 front and 305/30 ZR20 rear sizes.

Designed specifically for the Porsche 911 GT3, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 N1 is the latest generation of Michelin’s road-legal track tyres. Compared to its N0 marked predecessor it offers improved lap times, stability and more sporty handling, and provides drivers with a unique balance between safety and driving enjoyment that makes it suitable for everyday road use, as well as in very demanding conditions on the racetrack.

The co-development of these tyres took two and a half years and during this time the tyres were developed and fine-tuned to suit the characteristics demanded by Porsche engineers for the new 911 GT3. This resulted in tyres which offer very high grip levels, consistent performance and excellent front/rear balance, while still conforming to European regulations concerning rolling resistance (R117-2).

This extensive development process led to the production and testing of around 350 prototype tyres and included intensive track testing at Michelin’s Ladoux test centre in France, and the Nürburgring and Nardo tracks in Germany and Italy.

An innovative range of motorsport-derived technologies are used in the tyres, including multi-compound technology where different rubber compounds are used on the inner and outer sections of the tread to ensure high and consistent grip levels in a variety of weather conditions. In addition, Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0 optimises the pressure in the tyre's contact patch so the same amount of rubber is always in contact with the road or track, whether driving in a straight line or cornering.

The trust that Porsche has in the performance of this tyre range is clearly demonstrated by the fact that it is also the original equipment fitment on other Porsche models including the 918 Spyder, Cayman GT4 and 911 GT3 RS.

Michelin chosen as official tyre supplier for Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar

7 March 2017

Aston Martin has announced at Geneva that it will equip all of its Valkyrie hypercars with MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 ultra-high performance tyres in 265/35 ZR20 front and 325/30 ZR21 rear sizes.

Blurring the line between motorsport and road tyres, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 is the latest generation of road-legal track tyres specially designed for ultra-high performance cars that are used on road and track.

With its high-power, high-downforce, low-weight philosophy the Aston Martin Valkyrie promises to redefine the limits of road car performance and in order to explore these limits on a race track, the Valkyrie will put unprecedented demands on its tyres.

The MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 uses an innovative range of motorsport-derived technologies such as Bi-Compound technology, which involves the use of different rubber compounds on the inner and outer sections of the tread and Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0, which optimises pressure in the tyre's contact patch so the same amount of rubber is always in contact with the road or track. This means that whether driving in a straight line or cornering, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 offers drivers a unique balance between safety and driving enjoyment that makes it suitable for everyday road use as well as in very demanding conditions on the racetrack. To achieve this level of performance, Michelin engineers focused on simultaneously improving performance in different areas in-line with the Group’s Total Performance strategy.

As a result of this strategy, compared to its predecessor the Pilot Sport Cup+, the Pilot Sport Cup 2 lasts up to 50 per cent longer on track while offering faster lap times*, improves resistance to aquaplaning in wet weather and maintains high levels of driver safety and enjoyment.


6 February 2017

Bathurst, Australia - A Michelin-shod Mercedes-AMG GT R has set a new production car lap record of Bathurst's famous Mount Panorama circuit.

Experienced Mercedes-AMG factory driver Bernd Schneider, lapped the 6.2km circuit in just 2min 16.5secs in the second of two officially timed sessions ahead of the 2017 LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hour Race.

The AMG GT R was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The German's time eclipses the production car lap record of 2min 24.03sec, set by Schneider in 2015 driving a Mercedes-AMG GT S.

Last year the AMG GT R lapped the Nüburgring Nordschleife in a time of 7min 10.9sec, which is faster than any other road-going sports car ever tested by German motoring magazine Sport-Auto.

Click here to watch the Mercedes-AMG GT R set the lap record.