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Asian Le Mans Series

Michelin Considering Increased Tire Options for 2014

Michelin considering larger selection of tires for Asian Le Mans Series…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

The first season of the Asian Le Mans Series delivered positive results, on and off the track, for drivers, teams and series partners, including Michelin.

The French tire giant is looking to increase its commitment for next year’s expanded five-round championship, with the possibility of offering a larger variety of tire compounds to teams.

As the exclusive tire partner for the series, Michelin made available a single commercial-grade tire compound option (S9) for use in the championship’s debut season. That could change with S8 and S9 offerings potentially on tap for 2014.

“What we’re thinking about for next year is to propose two choices of compounds,” said Patrick Dias, Michelin Motorsport Asian and Pacific director. “We got some feedback from teams that the [2013] compound was sometimes a little bit too hard. But it was not a problem because all of the teams were on the same level.

“It’s very possible that next year, if we are able to put in place the logistics, to propose two compounds. That would be an option that could also bring a little bit of interest to the championship with strategy.”

This year’s championship came down to just two points, with the OAK Racing Team TOTAL squad of David Cheng winning the LMP2 title thanks to their bonus points won by claiming three poles.

Dias, who joined the Michelin Group in 1978 as a test driver, believes the tire strategy could play an even more interesting role in the series next year.

While Michelin will remain the exclusive tire partner in 2014, Diaz said the company remains open to competition, once the series grows to a large enough level to sustain multiple manufacturers.

“It’s our DNA to have competition,” Dias added. “Compared to five or six years ago, we’ve evolved. We were a little bit against the closed championship but are much more open now we also need to be here.”

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

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