LEMANS, France (July 21, 2005) — Group Michelin and Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. are both celebrating wins at the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Michelin-equipped cars took the overall victory and the next five spots as well as wins in two other classes, while Yokohama outfitted the GT2 class winner.
The overall win by the Champion Racing Audi team was the 14th by a Michelin-shod car in the event's 82-year history and eighth in a row. Michelin teams also took victories in the GT1 (Corvette Racing) and LMP2 (RML Lola-MG). In all, 23 of the 49 starters ran on Michelin, the tire maker said.
Yokohama's Alex Job Racing/BAM! team took the GT2 class win and finished 10th overall in a Porche GT3 RSR.
For Tom Kristensen, one of three drivers in the winning Audi R8, it was the seventh win in the classic endurance race, making him the most successful driver in race's history. He raced on Michelin tires for six of the seven wins.
The 2005 race was considered one of the hottest in the history of the event, with daytime track temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Matthieu Bonardel, circuit racing program manager, Michelin Competition.
“That only makes winning here in such extreme conditions all the more satisfying and speaks volumes for the solid, meticulous groundwork our technical staff and partner teams put in to prepare this race,” he said.
The Job Porsche led the GT2 class for about 22 hours of the 24-hour race. “The ADVAN racing slicks were put up against hot temperatures and a track that became covered with debris,” the tire maker said, and “even with the elements against them, the tires continued to excel on the way to victory.”