The FIA World Endurance Championship reaches its conclusion in Bahrain for six hours around the Sakhir circuit.
The circuit, built in 2004 and designed by German architect Herman Tilke, features a series of short straights separated by slow turns. The layout results in a punishing circuit for tyres because of the repeated heavy braking and hard re-acceleration, but also due to the slippery surface, caused by the layer of sand that even the adhesive coating sprayed on to the track is unable to hold in place.
The task of Michelin‘s Technical Team Advisors is further complicated by the huge difference in temperatures between night and day time running. The race is due to start at 3pm local time, with the weather likely to be very hot, with track temperatures of up to 40°C, gradually cooling as the evening progresses.
The ability of Michelin’s tyres to stay competitive throughout the race will be key to finalising strategies, with victory likely to come down to who chooses the right tyres at the right time.
“This year, the 6 Hours of Bahrain is probably the most complex round of the season for Michelin,” said the manager of Michelin’s endurance racing activities, Jerome Mondain. “Our LMGTE team and driver partners will be chasing the class‟s 2013 world titles on Saturday, November 30, in difficult, changing conditions, and tyres promise to play a key role in the final outcome,” he notes. “The other highlight of the trip to the Middle East will be the battle between Audi Sport Team Joest and Toyota Motorsport GmbH. The designs of these two cars are very different and call for specific tyre strategies. That said, we have every confidence in the ability of Michelin‟s range of endurance racing tyres to deliver the levels of grip, consistency and durability demanded by our partners to provide yet another first class show.”