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Michelin Road America Notebook

Michelin’s pre-event notebook for IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America…

Photo: Michelin

Ahead of this weekend’s IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America, Michelin provides pre-race statistics, notes and data.

Tire Allocations:

WeatherTech Championship
DPi, 9 sets, IMSA Hard
LMP2, 9 sets, IMSA Hard
GT Le Mans, 9 sets, GTLM range
GT Daytona, 7 sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M

Michelin Pilot Challenge
GS – 5 Sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M
TCR – 4 Sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M

IMSA Prototype Challenge
LMP3 – 5 Sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M & S9M


Tire and Car Count: There are roughly 5,000 tires taken to support the 77 cars entered across Michelin’s three IMSA race series competing at Road America, the same number as at Sebring a couple weeks ago. Despite a handful of withdrawals, there are still 31 WeatherTech Championship, 33 Michelin Pilot Challenge and 13 Prototype Challenge cars entered.

Both Michelin and operational and logistics partner Jackson Motorsports Group continue to work with similar levels of on-site personnel as at the two Florida races.

New Corvette Memories, On Track: As Sportscar365 reported in 2018, Road America served as the unofficial debut venue for the new Corvette C8.R, even though the drivers couldn’t talk about it. This week they could.

“It will have been two years since I drove the C8.R for the first time at Road America. Things have improved so much on it since that day,” Antonio Garcia said. Oliver Gavin added, “Having tested the Corvette C8.R there for the first time and now what we’ve achieved with the team and our partners at Michelin, I think we’ll have a solid car there.”

New Corvette Memories, Off Track: After the 2020 Corvette Stingray was formally revealed in July 2019, Chevrolet presented it to a public audience for the first time at its Road America display. Gavin joined Corvette designer Ed Piatek to walk fans, media members and series stakeholders around the mid-engine car (pictured above).

The Corvette Stingray, which comes with new Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires as its standard fitment, will also serve as Official Pace Car this week for both the WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge races.

Long, Cool Straights: Road America’s three long straightaways – from Turn 14 to Turn 1, Turn 3 to Turn 5 and the Turn 10 Carousel down to Turn 12 Canada Corner – provide a significant amount of time for Michelin tires to cool.

Last Year’s DPi Distance Record: Last year, Mazda drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell set a two-hour, 40-minute race distance record at Road America with 83 laps and 335.984 miles completed in the caution-free race. That beat the old record of 76 laps and 307.648 miles by 28.336 miles. Each of the top seven finishers overall finished on the lead lap, and the top 16 overall finishers all beat the previous mark.

Those 16 cars included nine DPi cars from Mazda, Acura and Cadillac, both LMP2 cars and five GT Le Mans class cars from Ford, Porsche, Corvette and BMW.

Going for 100: Since taking over as Official Tire of IMSA in 2019, Michelin has set 99 new qualifying or race lap records. Michelin set 90 of a possible 114 in 2019 and has set nine additional ones so far in 2020 through three race weekends.

In addition to those 99 single lap records, WeatherTech Championship teams set five race distance records in 2019 (Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, Road America, Monterey and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta).

Recent Road America Michelin Winners: Automotive brands to win with Michelin at Road America since the IMSA merger (2014) include Porsche in GTLM (911 RSR) and GTD (911 GT3 R), Chevrolet in GTLM (Corvette) and GS (Camaro), Ferrari and Ford in GTLM, Mazda in DPi and Hyundai in TCR.

Huge Track, Wide Breadth: More fans can attend Road America this weekend. The 640-acre venue serves as a metaphor for the breadth of Michelin’s mobility reach and its “One Michelin” message. Technology gained from Michelin Pilot Sport GT race tires is used for tires many of these fans rely on: aviation, passenger car, truck, mining equipment, agricultural equipment, motorcycles and bicycles.

Additionally, tire performance means different things to different tires: for example, mining tire performance means carrying an extremely heavy load at slow speeds, while agricultural tires focus on low soil impact.

Torque Show Remote: As in Daytona and Sebring, The Torque Show, presented by Michelin, will air live during the weekend from its remote studio in Los Angeles rather than on site. Stay tuned to its social media channels (@TorqueShowLive) for air times.

Social Media Handles: Follow Michelin at Road America with these handles:

Facebook: @MichelinUSA
Twitter: @MichelinUSA and @MichelinRaceUSA
Instagram: @MichelinUSA

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