PSCR: Michelin Sweeps Sebring
24 March 1998(SEBRING, FLA.) --- Michelin swept the top three positions in the GT-1 class at the Exxon Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday. The Panoz GTR-1 #4 driven by Andy Wallace and David Brabham led the way, followed by the Champion STP Porsche 911 with Andy Pilgrim, Thierry Boutsen and Bob Wollek at the wheel. Eric Bernard, Jamie Davies and Doc Bundy in the #5 Panoz GTR-1 completed the sweep of the podium in Professional Sports Car's season-opening event.
The trio finished second, third and fourth overall, behind one of the lighter, faster World Sports Cars. The #4 Panoz and the Champion Porsche led at different stages of the grueling event that was a real test for the Michelin's radial tires.
"The Michelin Pilots were perfect in the cool race conditions and gave the drivers the grip and handling they needed," said Donnie Wilson of Michelin Race Tire Development. "It was a tough weekend with so many different weather conditions during practice and qualifying, but the Michelin tires proved to have plenty of grip in all conditions."
Michelin claimed the GT1 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona last month when the Michelin Pilot-equipped Rohr Motorsports Porsche 911 GT1 captured the GT-1 class victory.
Michelin also began its association with the Barber Dodge Pro Series which dropped the green flag on its season at Sebring. Todd Snyder, starting his first professional open-wheel race in almost seven years, took the victory on Michelin Pilot Radials.
Barber Dodge is now recognized as the direct path to higher levels of open-wheel competition, in particular the CART Indy Lights championship, itself the Official Development Series of the CART FedEx Champ Car Series.
Introduced at Sebring, the new Panoz GT-RA, Road Atlanta Racing School's new spec GT car, will run exclusively on Michelin Pilot radials. The car is the only GT car used in a U.S. racing school. Michelin is the Official Tire of Road Atlanta. Michelin, which brought the world the radial tire more than 50 years ago, is the world's largest tire company. It has 22 plants in North America and produces tires for every type of vehicle, from bicycles to the space shuttle.