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25 Apr 2014 | Foreign News : U.K.
The superior performance of Michelin tyres was showcased at the first race of the 2014 World Endurance Championship - 6 Hours of Silverstone.
This year, Audi Sport Team Joest and Toyota Racing aren't the only favourites for the World Endurance Championship's LMP1 title. They have effectively been joined by Porsche Motorsport whose 919 Hybrid also races on Michelin tyres.
The exciting start to the race itself saw Toyota Racing emerge in front early on, but the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro eventually took control after a duel that lasted 30 minutes.
However, the Audi chose to stay out on slicks after a short shower of rain and was ultimately dislodged from the top of the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, the #8 Toyota changed to the Michelin Hybrid tyre which helped it to move up to second place as the #14 Porsche spent 16 minutes in its pits for repairs.
After 1h15m of racing, the #7 and #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrids topped the order, with the #20 Porsche now on the provisional podium.
As the conditions dried, though, the Michelin Hybrid became the most judicious choice and the #8 Toyota was able to overtake the #7 sister car which was still on 'wets'. After that, the order didn't change until the finish which came ahead of the scheduled duration because of torrential rain.
The superior performance of the Michelin Hybrid was showcased while the conditions were damp. There was a time difference of more than five seconds per lap between the two Toyotas (one on 'Hybrid' tyres and the other on wets) and the gap was as much as 20 seconds per lap compared with the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, which was on slick tyres.
Indeed, all the different types of tyres available for Silverstone were employed at one point during the race. "The weather conditions saw our full range of tyres come out at one time or another, from our 'low temperature' slick to our rain tyre, via the 'hybrid' slick," observed Jerome Mondain, Manager of Michelin's endurance racing programmes.