The technical side of the event
Bravo to Sebastien Loeb
and Daniel Elena for their sixth win of the season and their fifth in a row. Thanks to them, the Michelin Z BTO tyre has now also won five consecutive rallies and has gone unbeaten since its launch in New Zealand! Sébastien
Loeb equals the record of five consecutive wins in a season held since 1992 by Didier Auriol (Lancia-Michelin).Grand Slam
The Michelin Z BTO for hard ground has won all three of the season's hot and rough encounters (Cyprus, Turkey, Greece), as well as successes in New Zealand and Sardinia, two 'moderately rough' rounds. Since the Monte Carlo Rally, Michelin tyres have been fastest over 84 of the 140 stages (69 thanks to Loeb) contested to dateAll-Michelin podiums
Congratulations to Gardemeister for his superb performance this weekend with a Ford Focus WRC, the car which won in Greece on Michelin tyres in 2003. And congratulations also to Mikko Hirvonen who was delighted with the Michelin Z BTO tyre and who was so competitive with his privately-entered Ford Focus.Thank you, Carlos
After his two temping runs in Turkey and Acropolis, the 'ambassador' of world class rallying has marked his definitive retirement from the sport with the 97th podium finish of his career. "Carlos is a privileged witness of the sport's evolution. We should invite him to express his vision – which would forcibly be objective – of rallying in the future," suggests Aimé Chatard, Michelin Competition's Rallies Manager. SS7 & SS10
As predicted, the group of stages run on Friday proved to be the hardest wearing of the weekend. In this loop, the Elatia test (SS4 and 7) was decisive, and it was effectively after the second pass through this stage that Sebastien Loeb
– running on the hard compound, wide version Michelin Z BTO – took the lead for good. The Stromi stage (SS10) was also very punishing for tyres because of its relatively high speeds which led to the expected big impacts which risked totally pinching the covers.A single 'flat'
The weekend saw Sebastien Loeb
pick up just one 'flat', which was effectively in SS10, but his ATS mousse worked perfectly and he still posted the fastest time. On rough rallies, drivers tend to get seven punctures on average. The ATS system was inaugurated on the 1987 Acropolis Rally.Next week
Competitive in its Z9 (medium compound), Z9+ (hard compound) and wide forms, the Michelin Z BTO still has some big challenges ahead of it. In Argentina, the soft compound Z8 version could well come out if its rains, while for Finland, Citroën and Michelin begin testing next week to evaluate latest evolutions of the Michelin Z BTO designed for high speed gravel. Braking & Traction Optimisation
To celebrate its fifth success in a row, it's perhaps time to lift the veil off the mysterious appellation of Michelin's new BTO tyre: Braking & Traction Optimisation. These three letters also coincide with the initials of the forenames of the three members of the group responsible for its design: Bertrand, Thierry and Olivier.
Press release Michelin Competition