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Michelin Mid-Season Update With Tony Ménard

Michelin North America’s director of motorsports Tony Ménard provides mid-season update…

Photo: Michelin

Following Friday’s news of a tightened up supply of Michelin tires for the remainder of the season for IMSA-sanctioned championships, Tony Ménard, Michelin North America’s director of motorsports, provides a mid-season update highlighting a variety of topics.

How has the season performed in your view?

“It’s been a great start of the season and beyond our expectations. We’ve broken 17 records through the first four races, throughout extreme conditions.

“Whether it was the freezing cold in Daytona, bumps of Sebring, heat at Long Beach, or aging track at Laguna Seca, Michelin was continuing to set records.

“IMSA has also implemented a tire pressure management regulation with our support, which is delivering great results in performance and safety. Lastly, there are record entries in the overall car count, which makes for better competition and exciting races.”

How have the 2020 and 2021 seasons impacted this season?

“Throughout the last two years of the pandemic and unprecedented industry challenges, we have made IMSA a priority and have been able to support full seasons of competition with new classes and the introduction of the Porsche Carrera Cup in North America.”

What does the significant growth in car count this year mean to you?

“Seeing growth in car count means that the interest is still high with manufacturers, teams, and fans. We saw 61 cars in the WeatherTech at Daytona, and the largest number of teams in Michelin Motorsport history at Sebring.

“That follows the 150 total entries at Petit Le Mans in 2021, which we believe reflects their recognition of the performance of our tires and services.”

As world events continue to impact everyone in different ways, what is Michelin doing to help the race season continue?

“The ongoing challenges in the global economy continue to impact many aspects of Michelin’s motorsport tire operations. Over the past year, this has impacted Michelin’s ability to build inventories while prioritizing delivery of our motorsports products for scheduled events.

“As a result, careful supply monitoring and management of specific motorsport tire lines and dimensions is required through the end of the season.”

What steps are you taking to support the IMSA season?

“Beginning immediately, Michelin will prioritize race sanctioned events. As a result, race teams may not have access to race tires for private testing.

“Teams are free to use tires they may already have on hand to supplement the number of tires used for testing. These actions will help ensure appropriate volumes of tires are available for IMSA sanctioned events during this period.”

How will these changes impact weekend practice sessions?

“It will not change the race weekend practice and qualifying sessions.”

How will the supply shortage impact tire allocation for race weekends?

“In February of this year, IMSA and Michelin announced a plan to include one carryover set of tires in the race weekend allocation.”

What is behind the recently announced six percent price increase?

“With the continuing increases in materials, manufacturing and logistics we are working to keep up with the ongoing market dynamics that are changing rapidly.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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