Nürburgring 24 Hours: Porsche and Michelin, a powerful combination
It’s over 50 years since Porsche and Michelin first started working together. But for the past 10 years or so, its business relationship has become a very close partnership covering many aspects. Our presence at the Nürburgring 24 hours gave us the opportunity to understand how this partnership materialises during a race.
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This endurance race is probably one of the most difficult in the world; tyres must withstand high stresses and more than anywhere else, tyre quality is decisive. High kerbs, a particularly bumpy track, unique bends with concrete blocks like the Caracciola Karussell, this circuit's specific layout is fraught with difficulties. Not only decisive, it is also a highly instructive test for research and development teams who are looking at further developments to road and race tyres.
The Carrera Cup
Alongside the endurance race, another round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland was held on the Nürburgring circuit. For this championship, Michelin provided different teams with a range of eco-friendly tyres. These tyres, characterised by the absence of aromatic oils, were developed in partnership with Porsche engineers.
Characteristics of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (type 997)
> Front axle: Tyres - 24/64-18 fitted on three piece BBS centre lock aluminium rims 9,5J x 18 ET 37
> Rear axle: Tyres - 27/68-18 fitted on three piece BBS centre lock aluminium rims 12J x 18 ET 30
Michelin support during the race:
Basically, the relatively short format of the race requires Michelin’s presence for the technical and logistical support.
An endurance race format is much more demanding with regards managing consumables. Indeed, cars lapping at an infernal pace for 24 hours subjects wear parts to incredibly high stresses.
Tyres are first in line playing a decisive role in a team’s competitiveness and the strategy combined with the various qualities of rubber then takes on its full meaning.
Unlike the Carrera Cup, the different vehicle categories taking part at the 24 Hours have greater freedom when choosing tyres, not only in terms of the manufacturer but also the tyre quality. This dimension not only makes the race more complex but ensures a genuine competitiveness between participating tyre manufacturers (Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop, Falken, Hankook, Yokohama…).
Michelin support during the race:
The Michelin team is fully committed to its partner teams. The tyre manufacturer provides not only a logistic management (transport, fitting), but also real technical support to optimise performance (advice on tyre choice, pressure, etc). This partnership goes beyond the duration of the race with top teams, where real work is performed upstream to select tyres in line with the vehicle, its design, its axles etc. But also downstream thanks to the experience acquired during the race which is used to further develop solutions and refine the tyre/vehicle equation.
- Nürburgring 24 Hours: The race
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