Michelin is considering to bid for becoming the tyre supplier for V8 Supercar racing series. According to the company’s Australia-Asia region Boss Tony Menard, though, Michelin will only bid if the racing series will change some category regulations to fit within Michelin’s DNA. Currently, Dunlop is the control tyre supplier for the series and has held the tyre contract since 2002. Dunlop’s contract expires in 2017.
At an event held by Michelin group recently, Menard said that Michelin does not believe in heavy reliance on different tyre compounds to spice up racing. He said that Pirelli’s involvement in Formula 1 is the perfect contrasting examples of how a category can work for a tyre brand.
“We are not against entertainment, we are against using the tyre as the single source of entertainment. I think the tyre could contribute (to the show), but only when it is not going against our DNA. I am always using the 10 laps (between tyre changes) in Formula 1 as an example. I am spending hours explaining to my team how to sell and value the additional mileage we are selling (in road tyres).”
“Michelin is always the most expensive tyre for the consumers because we are delivering more performance and more mileage so you have a better return on investment. My message is not credible if you are watching TV and it is showing you the exact opposite of that. At Le Mans, saying these guys can run four stints with the same set of tyres – that is more than 736kms – at more than 225kph average speed. When tyres are able to face the night temperature at Le Mans and then the afternoon sun – your are talking 20 degrees difference. In WRC, it is the same – when we faced the situation a couple of years ago with not that many competitors in front of us in rally, we ask for a change in regulation to reduce the amount of tyres used in a season by 20 percent. We will also work to reduce tyre use in MotoGP in 2016,” he added.
It is interesting to see Michelin’s refreshing attitude to get back into the top motorsport series like Formula 1, MotoGP and V8 Supercars.