Ahead of the Motul 100% Synthetic Grand Prix at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Michelin provides pre-race statistics, notes and data.
GT Le Mans, 9 sets, GTLM range
GT Daytona, 6 sets, Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M
Testing Background: GTLM and GT teams tested over two days at the Charlotte Roval, Sept. 15-16, under ideal weather conditions and running late into the night both days. Michelin organized a single GTLM day, while GTD teams used one of their allotted number of days.
Banking Differences: The Charlotte Roval features banking of 24 degrees in the turns and 5 degrees on the straights. This compares to Daytona’s 31 degrees with 18 in the tri-oval and 2 on the straights. Counterclockwise circuits typically load the right-side tires, and if camber is built in for the banking, the right-hand corners may be more difficult if the car isn’t square. The oval track was last repaved in 2006, so may be abrasive and high wear.
Different Tire Interaction: As part of a NASCAR weekend, the Michelin rubber will interact with NASCAR’s Goodyear rubber this weekend. IMSA’s first two practice and qualifying sessions will run before the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, but the race itself runs after the Xfinity event. That creates an unknown in how the track and tires will react, particularly with cold tires and brakes at race start, if the track remains dry and doesn’t wash off any NASCAR rubber laid down.
Strategic Gamble: The Motul 100% Synthetic Grand Prix will be the only 100-minute race on the 2020 schedule. As such, there are a handful of strategic options available. GTLM features a base drive time of just five minutes, and that opens the possibility a team could swap one of its drivers and fulfill that time if an early full course caution comes out. The GTD minimum drive time of 30 minutes is also its shortest of the year, down from its usual 45.
A 20-year gap: Michelin was part of the April 1, 2000 American Le Mans Series race held at Charlotte, on a slightly different version of the track’s infield road course. Michelin supplied 14 of the 23 cars entered, including the overall winning BMW V12 LMR prototype driven by Jorg Mueller and J.J. Lehto. Michelin also scored class wins with Dodge Viper (GTS) and Porsche (GT) that race. Two drivers are still active from that race today in Bill Auberlen and Ian James, while James’ co-driver Roman de Angelis wasn’t even born until Feb. 15, 2001.
The Torque Show: The Torque Show, presented by Michelin, continues to air live during the weekend from its remote studio rather than on site. It changes locations this weekend. The Torque crew has driven eastbound from California to South Carolina, and will broadcast from the headquarters of Jackson, a top brand marketing and motorsport marketing agency. Stay tuned to its social media channels (@TorqueShowLive) for air times from the Jackson headquarters in Simpsonville, S.C.