The performance of the new Michelin tyre developed in partnership with Porsche motorsport was tested this weekend. Phillip Island is well known as one of the toughest tracks on tyres in Australia, but the Michelin tyres fitted to the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia 911 GT3 Cup cars proved more than capable.
The format of this round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia required teams to conduct a driver change at the half way point of each one hour races. The strong performance of the Michelin tyres meant the majority of the field chose not to change their tyres in either race.
After a chaotic race one that saw the top three Championship contenders get caught up in accidents, it was Michelin Ambassador Craig Baird and his co-driver Max Twigg who kept out of trouble. The pair claimed the race win, the first win for Baird of the season.
“Max and the team did a great job today. Our Michelin tyres were performing strongly in the first stint so we chose not to change them in the pitstop. This saved us valuable time. Once everyone had pitted we were third with good car speed which allowed us to take the win.
There was no drop off in performance of the tyres. Even after an hours racing we were lapping at the same speed as we were at the start,” said Baird.
Race two was another thrilling race with the Championship contenders fighting back through the field. It was Nick Percat who claimed the win from Stephen Grove. Grove and his co-driver for the weekend Scott McLaughlin also took out the outright round victory.
“Not changing our tyres during either one hour race turned out to be the perfect strategy; it meant we could come in, do a driver change, and push as soon as we got back out on track. When Scott jumped in for the final stint he pushed hard to close the gap to the front guys and worked his way up into second place. He was still able to set some of his quickest laps of the weekend through to the end of the race. The performance of the Michelin tyres was strong and consistent throughout the whole weekend,” said Grove.
The Michelin Cup N2 tyre has been designed to match the demands of the German manufacturer in terms of durability and performance.
This weekend clearly demonstrates that challenge has been met.
The eventful Pro-Am round delivered some new podium finishers, however Warren Luff remains in the lead of the Championship. Steven Richards held onto second place, while the biggest mover of the round was Craig Baird, who jumped to third in the Championship
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia – outright points after Round 3:
1 Warren Luff – 426
2 Steven Richards – 372
3 Craig Baird – 329
4 Nick Foster – 294
5 Sam Power – 290