MICHELIN Extends Partnership with Australian GT Championship
MICHELIN Australia today launched a new trophy for each round – the Michelin Pole Position Award in an extension of its partnership with the Vodka O Australian GT Championship.
Starting at this weekends opening round of the 2011 Championship held as a part of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, the trophy will be presented to the driver who sets the fastest time during qualifying at each round of the series.
As with every round of the 2011 series, Michelin will provide tyres to the entire field of both GT Championship and GT Challenge class competitors in a vast array of magnificent machines. This year the field will include Porsche GT3 Cup S, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3, Aston Martin DBRS9, Ferrari 430 GT3, Dodge Viper GT3, Lotus Exige, and Ginetta G50 HC.
This weekend will see the Michelin Australia tyre team return to the track after a successful weekend at the Bathurst 12 hour endurance race in February. There the team fitted close to 1,000 tyres, and played a key role in the record breaking race including providing tyres to the Audi Team Joest that finished 1st and 2nd in the race.
The opening round of the Championship will this year be fought over two races; an hour long endurance race as the sun goes down on Friday evening and a 20 minute sprint race on Sunday morning.
Working with its partners Michelin is producing race tyres that combine superior performance, longer tread life and lower rolling resistance. It is continually seeking to improve the tyres it designs and produces. This is demonstrated by Michelins investment of over €500 million every year in research and development – more than any other tyre manufacture.
Motorsport is one of the toughest testing grounds for any motoring manufacturer and Michelin uses the sport to test its latest technology.
After being tested in the extreme conditions of a race track, innovations that increase tread life, ensure sustainable tyre performance, improve safety and enhance energy efficiency are then used to develop Michelin passenger car tyres.
Media contact: Jane Rowe +61 407 544 874
Vodka O Australian GT Championship Round 1 (Clipsal 500) Schedule:
Thursday March 17
9.35am - 9.55am P1
7.05pm – 7.50pm Q1
Friday March 18
7.15pm – 8.15pm Race 1 (60 minutes)
Sunday March 20
10.05am – 10.25pm Race 2 (20 minutes)
Vodka O Australian GT Championship Calendar:
Round 1: Clipsal 500 March 17/20
Round 2: Winton (V8s) May 20/22
Round 3: Eastern Creek May 28/29
Round 4: Townsville (V8s) July 8/10
Round 5: Phillip Island (GT) Sept 2/4
Round 6: Bathurst 1000 (V8s) Oct 6/9
Round 7: Sandown (V8s) Nov 18/20
THE MICHELIN GROUP – LANDMARK DATES
Michelin has been contributing its know-how and taste for innovation to the mobility for motorists worldwide for more than 100 years.
1889: Michelin et Cie founded
1891: The first patents for removable, repairable tyres registered
1895: Michelin introduces the Eclair – the first car to drive on pneumatic tyres
1898: Birth of the Michelin Man, otherwise known as Bibendum
1900: Publication of the first Michelin Guide
1910: Publication of the first 1:200,000 scale Michelin roadmap
1913: Michelin invents the removable steel wheel
1923: The first low-pressure touring tyre (2.5 bar)
1930: Michelin patents the first built-in tube tyre
1946: Invention of the radial ply tyre
1979: Michelin's radial technology wins the Formula 1 World Championship
1981: Introduction of the MICHELIN X Air, the world's first radial aviation tyre
1989: Introduction of '3615 Michelin', the first itinerary planning service to appear on France's Minitel system, a predecessor of today's internet
1992: Launch of the first low fuel consumption MICHELIN ENERGY™ tyre
1995: The USA's Space Shuttle lands on Michelin tyres
1998: The inaugural Challenge Bibendum Michelin–the first worldwide competition for clean cars – is organised
2000: Bibendum (Michelin Man) elected Best Ever Logo by an international panel of experts
2005: Michelin tyres are chosen for the new A-380 Airbus.
2007: Michelin launches the MICHELIN ENERGY™ Saver tyre which permits a fuel saving of almost 0.2 litres/100km, equivalent to a CO2 emissions saving of 4g/km
2010: Michelin launches MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport – the fastest ever series produced road tyre.
THE MICHELIN GROUP – KEY FIGURES
Production facilities: 70 factories in 18 countries
Number of employees: 109,000 worldwide
Technology Centres: More than 6,000 research staff working on three continents: North America, Europe and Asia
Annual R&D budget: More than €500 million
Annual production: Approximately 150 million tyres, plus more than 10 million maps and guides marketed in more than 170 countries.
Net sales (2010): €17.9 billion
A broad portfolio of brands to cover all the market's different segments: Michelin, BFGoodrich, Kleber, Uniroyal, Riken, Taurus, Kormoran, Warrior, Pneu Laurent, Recamic, Michelin Remix, Euromaster, TCI Tire Centers, TYREPLUS.