Michelin will develop special Le Mans tyres for the Nissan Zeod RC
The French tyre manufacturer will be the partner of a project like no other in the motorsport world. The Nissan Zeod RC’s needs are very different from other racing cars and Michelin will strive to satisfy them.
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Better than the Delta Wing
Among the car manufacturers that take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Nissan has probably the most original strategy. The Japanese brand refuses to directly compete in the usual categories and prefers to use the race as a giant laboratory, as seen last year on the Sarthe track with its strange Delta Wing. With the silhouette of a rocket and an extremely narrow front axle, the car adopted a technical concept, unique in the world: Lighter than its competitors and with significantly less aerodynamic drag, it was able to reach impressive top speeds while consuming less fuel than other racing cars. In 2014, Nissan will be back at the Le Mans 24 Hours with a much more advanced version of this Delta Wing, known as the Zeod RC. Its technical specification is not yet known but we already know that the car will showcase electric power and once again, will aim to significantly reduce a racing car’s fuel consumption.
An exceptional tyre
The Nissan Zeod RC is based on the Delta Wing, i.e. finely tuned aerodynamics and a design aiming to minimise drag and reduce fuel consumption. The front axle is where the differences with a “standard” racing car are most notable, with a very narrow part requiring very special tyres that are much, much narrower than those usually developed for motorsport racing. Michelin will therefore be in charge of developing tyres that are unique in the world, like it did for the Delta Wing. Remember that for the Delta Wing, the width of the front tyres only measured 100 millimetres but were capable of running at speeds of up to 300 km/h.
The date is set for June 2014 to see where this astonishing technical challenge will allow Michelin and Nissan to finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
For more information
>> Serge Grisin, Director 4 Wheels Racing Division, Michelin, explains the challenges behind the Nissan ZEOD RCl project during an interview:
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