The main environmental quality of a product is its ability to last
WEBWIRE – Friday, June 9, 2023
This year, we are celebrating the centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the most prestigious and challenging endurance race in the world. It is an event in which Michelin has been involved since its inception. After securing victories alongside Alpine-Renault and Peugeot in the 1970s and early 1990s, Michelin has been involved in this twice-around-the-clock classic every year for the past quarterof- a-century. It has produced some of our most memorable triumphs in motorsport thanks to the talent of our staff and the taste for innovation that has been a hallmark of our participation since the inaugural race in 1923. For Michelin, motorsport is by its very nature an accelerator of technological progress and, over the past 100 years, Le Mans in particular has served as a fertile proving ground for ideas that have enabled our company to hone and refine our tyres with mobility and the environment the ultimate beneficiaries.
By winning the very first edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, on May 27, 1923, Michelin established an unbreakable bond with motor racing. It was as a direct result of its involvement in that inaugural race that we were able to demonstrate the viability of the removable car tyre. This invention, which proved to be robust, durable, convenient and practical for race teams, revolutionised the world of
Over the course of our longstanding involvement with Le Mans, Michelin has secured its place in the history books by repeatedly showcasing its superiority when it comes to longlasting performance most notably during the 1950s and 1960s, and then without fail since 1998, the year that sparked our current, ongoing run of 25 consecutive victories.
Whether new or part-worn, Michelin tyres continue to enable drivers to push hard and with complete confidence from the first kilometre of the race to the last. Long before the environment and sustainable materials became the prevailing issues they are today, Michelin has long been firmly committed to a policy of reducing energy consumption without adversely impacting upon performance.
The sporting direction that Groupe Michelin has pursued over the years in terms of research and development has consistently led to the emergence of tyres with unrivalled durability, be they destined for motorsport or everyday road cars. Beyond the economic benefits in allowing drivers to cover longer distances before having to replace their tyres this approach stands out as the perfect response to the environmental challenges we all face today.
Past, present and future: 100 years of Michelin innovations at the Le Mans 24 Hours
With time, racing tyres have evolved at the same pace as the cars they equip. Successive new technologies whether mechanical or aerodynamic have presented Michelin with as many fresh challenges. The biggest developments from turbo engines to diesel cars, hybrid systems and even disc brakes made from different materials have provided Michelin with repeated opportunities to showcase its ability to adapt and innovate. Increasingly higher poweroutputs, downforce loads and torque levels, while at the same time reducing energy consumption, have posed the biggest challenges, inspiring the French manufacturer to dig deep and consistently push the limits in its unrelenting quest for longer-lasting performance. As the brand prepares to tackle the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, here are some of the key moments of Michelins success story there since 1923…