The Porsche team secured the first and second position at the 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring. The Porsche team used Michelin-supplied endurance tyres for the race. Michelin supplied a total of 2,400 tyres to its 23 partners taking part in the competition. However, the tyres supplied were not identical since each team wanted different characteristics in their tyres, therefore Michelin supplied bespoke tyres to each team. Porsche 919 Hybrid (No. 17) driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley clinched the first position, whereas car No. 18 drivers had to bear three stop-and-go penalties for excessive fuel consumption and yet took the second place from Audi Sport.
Michelin provided high temperature tyres to its partners as track temperature rose to 37 degrees due to the sunny weather on Sunday. During the last quarter of the race, Car no. 18, driven by Jani at that time, was able to snatch the second position from Audi due to Porsche’s tyre strategy. On lap 143, the second and third position cars went into the pits for fuel and tyre change which took more than a minute. Jani decided not to make a tyre change but only fuel refill when he did a pit stop of only 36 seconds. After the pit stop, Audi No. 7 was seven seconds ahead and No. 8 was just three second behind Jani, the trio engaged in a thrilling battle with just 3 hours remaining.
After 175 laps, Porsche 919 (No. 18) managed to maintain a three second lead over the Audi team. At the finish line, the first two cars were Porsche’s and the next two were Audi’s. Michelin said that reliability and longevity of their tyres ensured the exciting race.
“It is the second time this year that tyre strategy has played a decisive role in the outcome of a round of the FIA World Endurance Championship,” said, Jérôme Mondain, Manager of Michelin’s World Endurance Championship programme. “In May, Audi Sport banked on the longevity of its Michelin tyres to run double stints at Spa-Francorchamps before Porsche decided to use the same tactic. That played a big part in the victory of the No. 17 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in Belgium. Today, it was Porsche who made the most of its tyres to win the inaugural 6 Hours of Nürburgring. We are particularly pleased with this move because it highlighted the reliability of our tyres around what is a highly-demanding track which has a tendency to cause the cars to understeer.”