Let Michelin Be Your Guide To One Of The World’s Greatest Races
Chances are you already know that Michelin makes some of the highest-performing tires on the market today; they’re fitted at the factory to an A-list of supercars, luxury cars, and performance SUVs. And you probably also know that Michelin has been providing discerning diners with the authoritative guide to the world’s finest restaurants for quite some time – 101 years this year, as a matter of fact. But did you ever wonder just how Michelin manages to perform at that level year after year, decade after decade, across the entire globe? This weekend, just north of Atlanta, Georgia, you can find out – and you can also experience some of the greatest racing action anywhere.
Competition is the crucible where Michelin forges the art and science of its tires, and endurance racing is the toughest test possible for the company’s newest technology. The lessons learned at 200 miles per hour, where even the smallest flaw can be serious, translate seamlessly into the latest innovations for roadgoing performance cars and SUVs. Most enthusiasts are intimately familiar with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, perhaps the most storied endurance race in history… but they might not be aware that there is an American equivalent to that race, held every fall at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta racetrack.
It’s called “Motul Petit Le Mans” and it’s just what it sounds like: a shorter, but no less intense, American take on the famous contest. Operated by IMSA – the American motorsports sanctioning body that oversees the fastest and most thrilling sports-car competition on this continent – it’s been held once a year since 1998. As is always the case, this weekend’s event will showcase a diverse group of race cars, ranging from Porsches and Ferraris that share much with the cars bearing those badges on the street to lightning-quick prototype racers operated by the world’s finest professional teams.
Motul Petit Le Mans differs from the French original in two important ways. The first is that it runs for just ten hours instead of twenty-four, meaning that you can see the whole race without becoming sleep-deprived or sacking out behind a tree somewhere in the Sarthe. The second is that IMSA provides the fans with a truly unequaled level of access to the race itself. There are no assigned seats. You can go anywhere from the famous 10A/10B chicane, where the brakes on the prototypes glow at night with thousand-degree heat, to the paddock where the cars are prepared and repaired. You can meet the drivers and examine the cars up close – or you can camp out from Wednesday to Sunday with your family, treating the race as the high-octane backdrop to a personal getaway.
Michelin is now the official tire of IMSA, but they’ve been involved with IMSA, and with Motul Petit Le Mans, since the very beginning, and they’ve created a few special opportunities for the fans and customers to get involved. The Michelin Fan Zone has free swag and all the information you could possibly want to select a tire for your car. The Tire Workshop gives motorsports fans a chance to see the actual tires used in the race as they are mounted and dismounted. A series of car corrals will feature Porsche, Corvette, and other marques.
What if your most cherished Michelin experience has more to do with dining than dashing around a racetrack? The Michelin Master Chef competition has all the drama, excitement, and competitive edge of a high-horsepower race – and it’s happening right before your eyes at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Observe a variety of challenging dishes created, and judged, in real time. Forget watching the culinary cookoffs on television! This is the real deal, with famous names, and you’ll be close enough to watch every garnish fall to the plate.
Motul Petit Le Mans is a bucket-list event for motorsports fans around the globe. Now, thanks to Michelin, it’s also a mandatory destination for the most sophisticated foodies in your family. And it’s not too late to score a ticket that will let you see it all up close and personal. Just click here and you’ll be ready for the experience of a lifetime!