Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
MICHELIN & Toyota Take WEC 2014 Win
This year, Audi Sport Team Joest and Toyota Racing aren’t the only favorites for the World Endurance Championship’s LM P1 title. They have effectively been joined by Porsche Motorsport whose 919 Hybrid also races on Michelin tyres. The new prototype proved competitive from the weekend’s very first free practice session and the car shared by Dumas/Jani/Lieb qualified third on the grid.
The exciting start to the race itself saw Toyota Racing emerge in front early on, but the N°2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro eventually took control after a duel that lasted half-an-hour. When a short shower of rain fell, however, the N°7 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid was quick to switch to rain tyres, while the Audi stayed out on slicks and was ultimately dislodged from the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, the N°8 Toyota had changed to the MICHELIN Hybrid tyre which helped it to move up to second place as the N°14 Porsche spent 16 minutes in its pits for repairs. After 1h15m of racing, the N°7 and N°8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrids topped the order, with the N°20 Porsche now on the provisional podium.
As the conditions dried, though, the MICHELIN Hybrid became the most judicious choice and the N°8 Toyota was able to overtake the N°7 sister car which was still on wets. After that, the order didn’t change until the finish which was came ahead of the scheduled duration because of torrential rain.
The MICHELIN Hybrid tyre decisive, but all the solutions used
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 N°2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro which was on slick tyres.