DAYTONA, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2014) — To celebrate its return to the 24-hour endurance race this weekend at Daytona International Speedway after 13 years, Michelin Motorsports will reward the winning GT LeMans team with 24 sets of Michelin street tires for the team's drivers, engineers, mechanics, managers and staff.
The "24 for 24" contest will draw attention to the link between racing and street tire development, Michelin North America Inc. said.
"Our racing technology goes into our street tires, and our teams have helped us develop many of the innovations that we've taken to market,…" said Silvia Mammone, Michelin's motorsports marketing manager.
"Drivers and team principals get the glory, but winning a 24-hour race demands a total performance by every member of the team, so we want them to share in the victory and enjoy the Michelin tires that best suit their own vehicles," she said.
Michelin last competed at the Daytona 24-hour classic in 2000, before the endurance series organizers adopted a single-tire spec rule.
This year the unified Tudor United SportsCar Championship — the merged Grand-Am Rolex and American LeMans Series — features four classes, three of which are serviced exclusively by Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. The fourth, the GTLM class, offers open tire competition.
Thus far only Michelin and Falken Tire Corp. have registered their participation, with Michelin supplying all but one team.
"Michelin is pleased by the unification of sports car racing in North America and we are looking forward to returning to the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the first season of competition in the new Tudor Championship," said Chris Baker, motorsports director for MNA.
Michelin's race tire customers for this event are: Aston Martin Racing; BMW Team RLL; Corvette Racing; Porsche North America; Risi Competizione Ferrari; Krohn Racing Ferrari; and SRT Viper.
To emphasize the track-to-street connection, Michelin embeds an engineer with each of its technical partner teams. The relationships often extend beyond the race track to the street. For example:
- The engineer embedded with Corvette Racing, Lee Willard, led the Michelin tire development team on the Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP run-flat tires that are exclusive on all of the new Corvette C7s;
- Bill Bostic, the engineer with SRT Viper, is a test/development engineer at the Michelin Proving Grounds working on tires for future Chrysler vehicles; and
- The Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Pilot Sport A/S 3 ultra-high-performance tires incorporate technologies developed in endurance competition.
The race begins at 2:10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 and ends 24 hours later on Sunday afternoon. Fox and FoxSports 1 and 2 will provide coverage.