Michelin pulls off a historic upset

Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Luke Pavlick
Can you really use the term historic when talking about a tire?
Some say "yes" some say "no". 

    If you look at the way in which a tire achieves such status you can make a valid argument for either answer. I think the issue is not, if a tire is 'historic' but, the circumstances which lead a given tire to be placed in a historic position.

   Goodyear is the 'SPEC' tire company for NASCAR, which is the most popular race series in the world right now. Does that make the Goodyear Racing Eagle historic or is it just good product placement?

You may have heard comments on the tires that were at the 2008 Brickyard 400 from the likes of Tony Stewart and other NASCAR drivers. Tires which basically turned the whole race into a pitstop competition which was eventually won by Jimmie Johnson.

    Not the kind of history I would want to be associated with but,it is said that "any press is good press". Anybody want to ask a Goodyear exec if that still holds true?










Much like Goodyear & NASCAR, Firestone is the spec tire for the Indy Racing League races.









while over at Formula 1 Bridgestone is the tire of choice









and Dunlop has won at 24 Hours of LeMans more than 30 times.

    This years classic 24 hour endurance race saw 41 of the 55 entries on Michelin tires. The Michelin shod entries completed 11944 laps which adds up to an astounding 101,153 miles.

   




All great marketing moves, which lead to equally great achievements but, in my opinion  not really 'historic'.

Here's something I believe could be considered 'historic' to a car guy like me.
   
    The Chevrolet Corvette has been THE American Sportscar since 1953. The automotive press has repeatedly called it an iconic car for the ages. Yes, times have changed, GM management has cycled through and designers have come and gone but, the Corvette has survived and some say even thrived regardless of the happenings around the world. Over the years 6 different generations have left the assembly plant.

    The one thing every Corvette has shared is the Goodyear tires which were installed at the factory. That's right for 56 years every Corvette built came with Goodyear performance tires. 

    In 2009 Chevrolet introduced the King of all Corvettes. the ZR1 which sports 600+ horsepower and can legitimately compete with any supercar in the world.
 
 
 
    True to it's heritage, The ZR1 delivers world class handling and performance but, there's something different about the newly crowned King. Unlike the 56 years of Corvettes that came before it, it doesn't have Goodyear Performance tires. 

    The engineers at, the french tire company, Michelin developed a tire which was so finely tuned and mated to the ZR1's suspension, chassis and dynamics they were able to gain the OE application with their new Pilot Sport PS2 ZP. The relationship between Goodyear and the Corvette was not strong enough to stop the advancement of a better performing product. 


The Pilot Sport PS2 ZP is the first non-Goodyear Corvette OE fitment ever!

    The tire is designed to combine world class traction, handling and cornering with an advanced tread rubber compound which is molded into an asymmetric tread design featuring Michelin’s Variable Contact Patch to keep more tread rubber on the road during a variety of maneuvers. The tread design features large outboard shoulder blocks and continuous intermediate and center ribs to provide a solid connection to the ground for control during cornering, braking and acceleration in dry conditions. According, to what I have read and what I have witnessed, it is the first runflat tire I have ever seen which can and does out-perform it's non-runflat counterpart.

    What can you do after a coup like that? The engineers from Michelin went back to the drawing board and re-engineered the Pilot Sport PS2 ZP and came up with specific versions for the C5 and C6 Chassis Corvettes. Since then, the tire has proven itself to be the top choice for Corvette owners who want the most out of their driving experience.
 
My name is Luke Pavlick ... I am a car guy
 
   

Comments on Michelin pulls off a historic upset

Thursday, January 7, 2010 by bill m.:
thanks for the article reference,Luke. bill virginia
Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Rick:
I have a 2005 Z51 C6 Coupe. I want run flat. There are a number of Michelin tires that fit. Which one would you recommend.
Saturday, November 20, 2010 by Luke:
Rick, When it comes to your tire selection it is really quite simple. If you want to enjoy all of the performance aspects your Vette and the Z51 handling package can deliver the Pilot Sport PS2 ZP is the correct choice. On the other hand, If you want to drive the car in any weather conditions while enjoying a comfortable, quiet cruise the Pilot Sport AS+ ZP is the right one. Thanks for reading my blog

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