MICHELIN has been selected as the new tire supplier of the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series, the premier sports car endurance racing challenge based in Asia and created by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
Serge Grisin, director of MICHELIN’s four-wheel motorsport programs, and Mark Thomas Managing Director of the Asian Endurance Operating Company Limited, the licensee of the Asian le Mans Series, signed a deal which will see MICHELIN supply tires and associated services in 2013 to the Asian Le Mans. The event is organized by the Asian Endurance Operating Company Limited and sanctioned by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
MICHELIN was selected after a process that was open to all tire manufacturers.Through its involvement in the Asian le Mans Series, MICHELIN seeks to consolidate and reinforce its footing in Asia, a region where the French company is investing because of the market’s growth and the shifts of its approach to motoring.
“The interests of Asian motorists in cars and their demands are evolving very quickly,” observes Serge Grisin. “The culture of motorsport, which has long been deeply rooted in Japan and South Korea, is today developing in China. MICHELIN sees motorsport as an opportunity to demonstrate the qualities of its tires to this new generation of enthusiasts who demand both safety and performance. We are notably targeting those who make pleasure one of the prime factors in their relationship with their vehicle”.
“Thanks to its exacting technical regulations coherent with those of the FIA World Endurance championship, the Asian Le Mans Series is a great showcase to illustrate the benefits of the MICHELIN Total Performance plan at a very high level. This plan is core to the Group’s research and development strategy and consists in using unique technologies to develop tires that deliver high performance in all areas, even in those which are frequently seen as irreconcilable”.
“I would also underline that MICHELIN will work together with all the drivers who contest the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series, professionals and amateurs alike, providing them with racing tires that are safe, competitive and durable, as well as with services and technical advice which are the fruit of decades of success in endurance racing”, Grisin added. “We are delighted to have MICHELIN on-board with us for this season which is very important for the development of the Asian Le Mans Series,” says Mark Thomas.
“MICHELIN can claim an unrivalled commitment, experience and record in endurance racing. I am sure its contribution will satisfy the 2013 field which is particularly rich, not merely in numbers but also in terms of the cars and drivers who will be competing. Our sporting regulations call for versatile tires and quantities will be restricted to six sets per round. Furthermore, in association with MICHELIN, our wish is to preclude the use of development tires, so we asked our tire supplier to supply high technology products which are as close as possible to production tires”.
MICHELIN will handle logistics and provide service to teams in all six rounds of the series. MICHELIN technicians will be on-hand to help the drivers in their tires choices, while their analysis of how the tires perform in races as a function on the type of car, track profile and driving style will enable valuable information to be fed back to MICHELIN.