Despite competition from five other tire companies, Michelin-fitted teams have dominated American Le Mans Series (ALMS) competition since the series debuted in 1999, winning 63 of 66 races and dominating the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1998. In 2005 ALMS competition, Michelin teams claimed 30 of a possible 31 class wins.
In order to maintain it’s winning form in 2006, Michelin will have to adapt to new teams, new cars and new drivers. Michelin motorsports Technical Team Leader for ALMS, Karl Koenigstein, talks about the upcoming season:
Question: Why is Michelin the tire provider of choice in sportscar and endurance racing?
Question: Does Michelin dominate ALMS competition because it partners with the top teams, or do the top teams win because they partner with Michelin?
Question: Do you have any new teams or new cars for 2006?
In the GT classes, the Corvette C6-Rs are stronger than ever and Lexus, Ferrari and Porsche have chosen
Michelin for their new cars in the GT2 class. Question: What are the biggest differences teams typically find when they choose Michelin?
Question: What kind of technical challenges do you find in the ALMS?
Question: What are the technical challenges with the cars?
Question: How do the various tracks pose different challenges?
How do the race distances pose different challenges?
Question: From a tire-makers perspective, what is the difference between a spec-tire series like NASCAR or IRL and an “open” series like ALMS?
Question: Does Michelin pay it’s teams?