BRASELTON, GA (October 20, 2012) – Michelin took on the challenges of one of the most demanding races of the year, the 1000-Miles of Petit Le Mans and emerged with the overall race win, a 1-2 finish in the rugged GT category, a sterling performance by the Nissan DeltaWing and the American Le Mans Series Tire Manufacturer championships for both the top Prototype and GT classes.
The Switzerland-based Rebellion Racing team scored its biggest international victory with a dominant performance in the 15th Petit Le Mans. After spending much of the 2012 season on the FIA World Endurance Championship chasing the exotic Audi and Toyota LMP1 prototypes, the Rebellion Racing Toyota team took on the challenges of Petit Le Mans in the hope of securing a big overall race victory.
Drivers Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Andrea Bellichi delivered the pole, fastest race lap and the victory here at Road Atlanta.
EXTREME SPEED FERRARI EDGES CORVETTE FOR MICHELIN 1-2 IN GT
A pair of Michelin technical partner teams led the way in the GT class as the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari capped its breakout ALMS season with an exclamation point, scoring the team’s second victory and claiming second place in the ALMS GT Driver Championship for drivers Johannes van Overbeek and team owner Scott Sharp. The co-drivers, joined here by Ferrari ace Toni Vilander, played its speed and late race fuel strategy to perfection to win both the class, and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge.
Finishing second in GT after a race long battle was the #3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor. The runner-up finish, the fifth in the ten race season ended a 13-year streak with at least one ALMS win for Magnussen.
NISSAN DELTAWING SHOWS ITS POTENTIAL
The Nissan DeltaWing thrilled its fans, stunned its critics and made a big step forward in showing its potential with a strong fifth place overall finish here at Petit Le Mans. Starting from the last spot in the 42-car field, drivers Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordonez took the DeltaWing into the top ten rally and stayed there all race, reaching as high as third place. The radical car designed by Ben Bowlby to race with half the horsepower, weight, down force and fuel of conventional prototypes, delivered the goods as it ran best laps within 0.5 seconds of the top international P2 class competitors. The team was able to triple –stint their MICHELIN® tires twice and despite making a premature change due to a flat spotting, used just five sets of tires in the 1000-mile race
MICHELIN CLAIMS BOTH ALMS P1 PROTOTYPE AND GT TIRE CHAMPIONSHIPS
As the race reached its 70 percent official distance, Michelin clinched its 12th ALMS Prototype Tire Championship and 13th consecutive ALMS GT Tire Championship.
Michelin is the ALMS technical partner for the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Honda Prototype and for the Corvette Racing, Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari, Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche and SRT Viper GT teams.
CORE AUTOSPORT WINS PC CLASS
CORE autosport wrapped up its season with another victory as the #06 with drivers Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Mark Wilkins secured their fifth win of the season and 10th podium in 10 races. The team won eight total races and secured all the PC Class Championships.
“We are very pleased that our Michelin technical partner teams were able to meet the challenges of a very demanding track and 1000 miles of competition,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager. “The performance of all of our teams was very gratifying to our Michelin engineers, tire developers, fitters and support staff who all share in the wins, championships and the impressive performance of the Nissan DeltaWing.”
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs more than 22,200 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.
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