Ahead of this weekend’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway, Michelin provides pre-race statistics, notes and data.
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
Missing the Fans: Many IMSA drivers and teams took time to wish their best to the fans, since they won’t be on-site at VIR this weekend. Check out their thoughts in this Michelin pre-race video.
Tire and Car Count: There are roughly 4,000 tires, including wet weather tires, taken to support the 68 cars entered across Michelin’s three IMSA race series competing at VIR. That number breaks down to 20 WeatherTech Championship cars, 34 Michelin Pilot Challenge cars and 14 Prototype Challenge cars.
Both Michelin and operational and logistics partner Jackson Motorsports Group continue to work with similar levels of on-site personnel as they have since IMSA’s return to racing in July.
Michelin Man Memories: The Michelin Man has stretched his arms and legs at VIR in recent years beyond podium and additional at-track appearances.
To prepare for his first time waving the green flag in 2017, the Michelin Man went through a thorough “training workout.” After a successful maiden green flag voyage, the Michelin Man waved the green flag again in 2018 and 2019. Stay tuned to see if he’ll do so again in 2020.
Fifth Time By: This year marks the fifth Michelin GT Challenge at VIR since Michelin was named race entitlement partner in 2016. Special Michelin Man trophies are a staple of the weekend here at VIR and have been for the years of the entitlement partnership.
VIR Road Trips: A couple drivers competing this weekend have road tripped to VIR in advance of the weekend. Before IMSA’s return to racing, Michelin Pilot Challenge driver Nick Galante drove a specially wrapped Racing to End Alzheimer’s BMW M4 street car cross country to raise awareness for that good cause.
Last week, BMW Team RLL’s Connor De Phillippi completed a drive in a BMW X5 M that included stops at BMW’s Spartanburg, S.C. plant, Michelin’s North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C. (pictured aove), and a final stop at VIR. The VIR ground crew team then put him to work on a slightly different type of vehicle.
105 and Counting: Michelin set its 100th qualifying or race lap record as Official Tire of IMSA at Road America when Nate Stacy set a new qualifying record for Michelin Pilot Challenge GS qualifying.
Five other records set during the weekend also occurred to bring the total up to 105 since 2019. More new marks could occur this weekend in all three series.
Recent VIR Michelin winners: Automotive brands to win with Michelin at VIR since the IMSA merger (2014) include all three full-season GT Le Mans entrants from Chevrolet Corvette (2016 and 2017), BMW (2018) and Porsche (2015 and 2019), plus Mercedes-AMG (GTD 2019), Ford (GS 2019) and Audi (TCR 2019). Risi Ferrari also won in GTLM in 2014.
Torque Show Remote: As at the previous three races since IMSA’s return to racing in July, 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.