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Michelin Sebring Notebook

Pre-race news, statistics and notes ahead of IMSA racing at Sebring International Raceway…

Photo: Michelin

Ahead of this weekend’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway, 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, 6 sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M

Michelin Pilot Challenge
GS – 6 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

Continued Limited Personnel and Protocol: As at Daytona, both Michelin and operational and logistics partner Jackson Motorsports Group continue to work with personnel restrictions within IMSA’s Event Operations Protocol. Numbers for both entities rise slightly from the six Michelin staff and 17 Jackson support staff present at Daytona.

Virtual communications and designated pick-up and drop-off points, at socially distanced measures, continue into Sebring.

Two Pit Lanes, One Workshop: Similar to the 2019 IMSA regular season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, IMSA will utilize two pit lanes to separate the WeatherTech Championship and two Challenge series.

The Challenge teams will pit at Turn 16 onto the Ullman Straight. Michelin then sets up a second Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reader for both pit lanes. Unlike at Michelin Raceway, Sebring’s paddock setup allows for just a single, centrally located tire workshop rather than two.

A Second Sebring Trip: Several Michelin and support staff have already been to Sebring this year to set up “the big tent” ahead of March’s planned SuperSebring, before the FIA World Endurance Championship race was canceled and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring postponed until November.

The 24,000 square foot tent was set to house roughly 13,500 tires for the roughly 130 cars across four racing series. Those on site had to then undo the setup and ensure the safe return of both Michelin’s proprietary and commercial tires back to Michelin North America’s headquarters in Greenville, S.C.

10 and 10: Monday’s Michelin IMSA Insider on Sportscar365 highlighted a pair of notable milestones for Michelin at Sebring in 2020. Michelin was inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame in 2010. This year marks the tenth season of the Michelin bridge exiting Turn 17; the bridge signage premiered in 2011.

All 17 O.E. Brands are Back: With the return of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series this weekend, all of IMSA’s 17 automotive brands will race in either or both of the WeatherTech and Pilot Challenge races this weekend. Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ford, Honda and Hyundai join the 12 brands that were in the WeatherTech race two weeks ago at Daytona.

GT Le Mans Michelin Notes: Porsche and Corvette have split all GTLM wins at Sebring since IMSA’s 2014 merger, three wins apiece. Porsche won in 2014 and seeks its third straight Sebring GTLM win after winning the 2018 and 2019 12-hour races, in large part due to optimizing its tire strategy for the cooler night conditions.

Corvette, fresh off its 100th IMSA win at Daytona, seeks its tenth win with Michelin in Sebring. The team has nine 12-hour wins (2004, 2006-2009, 2013, 2015-2017) since switching to Michelin in 2004. BMW has not won in this class at Sebring since 2012.

Testing: A number of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge teams tested at Sebring in June once IMSA lifted testing restrictions. Some drivers, including last year’s IPC race winner, Stevan McAleer reported running in ambient temperatures nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures are again expected to be warm this week, with wet weather never too far away during a Floridian summer.

Late Entry Changes: A few new drivers are to run the two Challenge races. Kenny Murillo joins the No. 65 Murillo Mercedes-AMG GT4 in Michelin Pilot Challenge. Two new drivers – Road to Indy race winner Rasmus Lindh and past Grand-Am DP driver Dominic Cicero – join the Prototype Challenge field at Performance Tech Motorsports and MLT Motorsports, respectively.

Florida Win Streaks, Challenge Series: Both Riley Motorsports (Michelin Pilot Challenge) and Forty7 Motorsports (Prototype Challenge) are riding win streaks of more than eight consecutive months in Florida by the time their respective races start this weekend.

Dylan Murry and James Cox (GS) and Joel Janco and Jonatan Jorge (LMP3) scored wins on November 10, 2019 in the non-points IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore in Sebring. They then won their 2020 regular season openers in January at Daytona driving with third drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen (GS) and Kyle Kirkwood (LMP3).

Torque Show Remote: As in Daytona, 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 the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring with these handles:

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

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