It’s a long story and a mutual fruitful collaboration that is continuing today with the signature of a new partnership contract for at least three seasons (2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021) between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the FIA WEC (FIA World Endurance Championship) and Michelin.
Photo Marius Hecker : from left to right : Gérard Neveu, Le Mans Endurance Management CEO (FIA WEC and ELMS), Pascal Couasnon, Michelin Motorsport Manager and Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
The adventure began in 1923 in the first Le Mans 24 Hours when a Cheanrd & Walcker won the race outright equipped with Michelin detachable tyres and rims. Since then the French manufacturer has multiplied its successes in the Sarthe, and this year Michelin scored its 20th consecutive victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, an unequalled result!
In 2012, when the FIA WEC was created Michelin was also involved right from the start.
The links between the ACO and Michelin are based on the common values that endurance extols: sporting competition, human adventure, team work, consistency, longevity, exceeding one’s limits, strategy, economy and above all research, innovation and technology transfer between racing and series production for the benefit of everyone.
Whether in the past, present or future these notions were, are and always will be cultivated by the ACO and Michelin in motor racing and also in the realm of automotive progress in general.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “The partnership uniting us with Michelin is a particularly precious one as it’s based on a common vision of motor sport. Tyres are an essential parameter in racing, strategy and safety for our entrants. Thanks to the variety of categories in our branch of motor sport that includes both prototypes and GTs, the richness of the information supplied by racing is a great help to the French manufacturer. For the ACO Michelin is a true technical partner and we’re delighted that we meet their professional demands.”
Gérard Neveu, Le Mans Endurance Management CEO (FIA WEC and ELMS): « Michelin has been a long and loyal partner to the WEC, and has contributed greatly to the success of the championship. It is not only a technical supplier, offering our competitors – both in prototypes and GTE – the consistency and performance they all seek in order to win world-class races, but also a key player in our paddocks in many other ways. It would be hard to imagine the WEC without Michelin, and we are delighted that the continuation of this partnership will allow us to move forward together in these very exciting times for the WEC.”
Pascal Cousanon, Michelin Motorsport Manager: “Michelin is delighted to continue its involvement at the topmost level in worldwide endurance racing alongside the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the organisation of the World Endurance Championship – FIA WEC. The Le Mans 24-Hours race is still the most demanding circuit event in the world and the FIA WEC is currently in a transformation phase that we want to be a part of. We believe in the pertinence of endurance as a vector of innovation. As a technical partner, Michelin will continue to make its contribution to the spectacle with its tyres as well as transferring technology to series production to help motorists everywhere.”