Michelin Delivers

16,000+ tires at Sebring. [Photo by Jack Webster]

16,000+ tires at Sebring. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

Just imagine that you are the tire supplier for the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship and you need to supply the tires for the entire starting grid of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Even though it has only rained once in the last 20 editions of the world-famous endurance contest, you have to come prepared for all conditions with enough wet weather tires for everybody.

And, just for grins, imagine that in addition to the IMSA circus (which not only includes the WeatherTech cars, but also the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series and the IMSA Prototype Challenge series), the FIA-WEC is going to race on the same track on the same weekend and you are going to supply the tires to most of the cars in that series as well.

No need to imagine it – that is exactly what happened at Sebring the third week of March when the first “Super Sebring” was held.

Michelin supplied over 16,000 tires, supported over 137 race cars and their teams for what turned out to be the greatest and largest motorsports event ever supported by the French tire manufacturer.

Of those 16,000+ tires, almost 6000 of them were rain tires and quite a few of them ended up being used over the course of the event, as the rains did arrive at Sebring this year.

A total of 55 Michelin engineers, 42 tire mounting specialists plus FIA-WEC specific support staff from France worked endlessly in the 24,000-square foot structure set up to support the event.

Just to make a comparison of how large “Super Sebring” really was, at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Michelin only needed to supply 8,000 tires.

Of course, Michelin has a storied history at the famous Florida endurance track, having won the Twelve Hours for fifteen consecutive victories, from 1999 through 2013. They added to that total this year – with overall victories in both the Twelve Hours and the WEC race.

We visited the Michelin tent several times over the race event and were very impressed by how organized the Michelin techs were as they worked tirelessly to get their job done.

Based on results and what we witnessed, we can say: job well done.

Hope to see a combined effort again next year for Super Sebring II.

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