The 2011 World Rally Championship season welcomes back an old friend in the form of tyre supplier Michelin.

Michelin’s pedigree in World rallying speaks for itself, with no fewer than 38 titles comprising 20 Manufacturer’s crowns and 18 in the drivers category since the official inception of the WRC in 1979.

New regulations, new cars, new crew line-ups, in addition to new tyre competition all feature in the latest installment of the WRC that began last week in Sweden, and the latter is something Michelin relishes greatly.

Michelin’s philosophy is that open competition, such as the one of tyre supply to the WRC, not only helps to develop tyres to the highest standards, but also to keep costs to a minimum, and both aspects directly benefit the motorsport industry as well as consumers.

Prior to 2011, the last time Michelin featured in the WRC was in 2005, when Sébastien Loeb took his Michelin shod Citroën Xsara WRC to his second title in as many years.