From the race track to your street car
Brothers Édouard and André founded Michelin well over a century ago in Clermont-Ferrand, France where the company’s headquarters are still located. The company mascot, Bibendum, a.k.a. the Michelin Man, is approaching his 120th birthday and remains one of the oldest trademarks in the world.
Michelin has come a long way from repairing and making bicycle tires. Today, Michelin is among the largest tire manufacturers in the world with several brands under its umbrella. It is also involved in all kinds of motorsports throughout the world.
Michelin tires have been used on everything from NASA’s space shuttle to the Nissan Deltawing prototype and everything in between. It is the official tire supplier to the Porsche GT3 Supercup, Carrera Cup and GT3 Cup Challenge series worldwide.
And if they’re good enough for Porsche, they’re good enough for the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, right? Exactly! Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb won the slippery Rallye Monte-Carlo in January driving on a set of Michelin tires. His former teammate Sébastien Ogier took second place in his debut in the all-new VW Polo R WRC car on Michelins.
Besides being one of the WRC’s two official “tyre” suppliers in 2013, you’ll find Michelin engineers in many American Le Mans Series team pits before, during and long after the race, analyzing telemetry data, crunching numbers and listening to feedback from drivers and crewmen.
It’s the same story in Europe where Michelin is heavily involved in the World Endurance Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Nürburgring 24.
Of course, Michelin is also a mainstay of moto, from trials and motocross all the way up to Enduro and rally raid. In fact, it was an all-KTM/Michelin top five at this year’s Dakar Rally with Frenchman Cyril Despres leading the way and claiming his fifth Dakar victory.
All of this is undertaken so that Michelin can make better tires for you and I, for the road and the race track, on road or off. The company is crazy about cars and motorsports; if there ever was a tire company with obsessive compulsive disorder, Michelin is it.
To read the complete article on the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, please visit the PRN IGNITION website. To get the entire Spring ’13 issue of PRN IGNITION, visit your local newsstand and get it on Zinio!