A1GP: Michelin named as next season’s tyre supplier

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarFriday, July 25th, 2008

 
 

Michelin is the tyre manufacturer chosen to supply A1GP during the forthcoming season, according to the series organisers.

It will replace the American tyre manufacturer Cooper, which supplied the series for the first three years of its existence under its Avon brand.

The French company, which recently withdrew from Formula One after that competition was restricted to a single supplier, is set to build a relationship with A1GP through a further three-year deal.

It will thus be providing tyres for a car famous for its successful partnership with rival Bridgestone – the manufacturer that shod Michael Schumacher’s championship-winning F2004, the car on which the new A1GP racer is based.

However, A1GP says that Michelin has been involved from the outset of development and, since the new car had its first run in Fiorano in late May, it has been using the manufacturer’s tyres to clock up more than 4,000 kilometres on tracks in Italy and Spain.

It confirms that testing with experienced Ferrari pilots on board has led to extremely positive feedback: “The tyre design stems from Formula One technologies seeking to offer both optimal performance and safety to the driver.

“Full rubber serration tests were performed on various tracks including Fiorano, Imola, Jerez and Mugello resulting in the best possible compromise between grip, endurance and wear.

“Michelin will be present in the paddock to guarantee high-quality service throughout the season. The use of this high-technology product by all A1GP teams shall be supervised under the watchful and expert eye of a skilled Michelin technician.”

John Wickham, A1GP’s general manager for technical and operational matters, is enthusiastic about the deal, saying: “We are very pleased to be working with Michelin for the next three seasons. Michelin has a vast amount of experience in motorsport and will enhance the competitive nature of our series.”

Frédéric Henry-Biabaud, Michelin Group motorsport director, added: “Michelin is extremely honoured to be associated with the fast-growing A1GP series and is looking forward to playing a part in the championship’s expansion.

“The championship organiser has decided to produce a new Powered by Ferrari single-seater and Michelin was active in this car’s development from the outset. This close collaboration underpins Michelin’s image as a truly dependable technical partner.”

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