The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix presented a challenge for man and machinery around the 2.04 mile road circuit. With an even playing field the teams and technical staff were presented with a massive challenge as they looked to get the edge over their rivals.
We spoke with Michelin to get their take on the Labor Day weekend. “Michelin prepared for Baltimore by reviewing the track layout, number of turns and sequence and track surfaces,” said John Love, Michelin ALMS PR officer. “We also reviewed simulations and both the weather history and forecasts. Our engineers also walked the track when it became available to teams on Thursday evening. As Michelin and our technical partner teams were pleased by our performance at Long Beach we used Long Beach tire specification as our primary approach.”
With a highly successful record on road circuits Michelin went in to the race positive.
“We were very pleased with the performance of our tires at Baltimore as evidenced by the Muscle Milk Aston Martin setting fastest lap of the race, and Corvette Racing recording the fastest GT lap. Although the track surfaces varied and some were freshly paved and pothers rather abrasive we did not encounter any tire related issues.”
“The biggest challenge at Baltimore was the same as at any new temporary circuit, the limited track time. Michelin has over one million miles of testing and competition at Le Mans in the past 14 years.”
Unfortunately for Michelin they would be unable to defend their LMP1 record after problems with the Muscle Milk Aston Martin. “Like everyone else, we started Friday afternoon at Baltimore with zero. Due to electrical issues, our sole LMP1 technical partner, the Muscle Milk Aston Martin, started the race with one mile of practice.”
Asked about what Michelin learnt from the inaugural running of the Balitmore Grand Prix the reply was: “The biggest thing that we learned at Baltimore was that the area has a tremendous number of fans. The crowd for Saturday's ALMS was truly massive.”