PSCR: Michelin and Panoz Return to Sebring Seeking to Repeat GT1 Triumph at the Famed Airport Circuit
18 September 1998(GREENVILLE, SC) --- Michelin, led by the Panoz GTR-1 of Andy Wallace and David Brabham, captured the top three positions in the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. Michelin and Panoz are returning to the legendary airport raceway seeking Michelin's 11th consecutive race victory in GT1 competition.
Two Michelin-equipped Visteon Panoz Motorsports GTR-1s will be competing in the three-hour contest this Saturday. The Panoz team for the SPORTS CAR-sanctioned event will be Andy Wallace and David Brabham the No 4 Panoz GTR-1. SPORTS CAR GT1 points leader, Eric Bernard and Raul Boesel will drive the No. 5 Panoz.
"The 12 Hours was a great victory for Michelin and Panoz but the chance to capture a second victory at Sebring in a single year would really be special," said Herb Johnson," Director of Motorsports, Michelin North America. "As our results show, Michelin tires have provided the Panoz team with the handling and reliability they need to dominate GT1 competition in 1998."
Michelin-equipped Panoz cars have captured seven of 10 GT1 races this year. Michelin-fitted cars have captured the other three races as well.
Michelin and Panoz are partnered for the entire 1998 North American GT racing season. They are running all Professional Sports Car races and competed in all five USRRC events, capturing the Team title. Michelin is also supporting the Champion Porsche, which carried Thierry Boutsen to the USRRC Driver's championship and gave Porsche the Manufacturer's title. Champion Porsche is also competing in select SPORTS CAR races.
Michelin began the season by claiming the GT1 class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Rohr Motorsports Porsche 911 GT1. At the 12 Hours of Sebring, the STP Champion Porsche 911 with Andy Pilgrim, Thierry Boutsen and Bob Wollek at the wheel, finished second and Eric Bernard, Jamie Davies and Doc Bundy, in a second Panoz GTR-1, completed the Michelin sweep of the podium behind Wallace and Brabham.
In addition to Sebring, Panoz also has victories at Las Vegas, Homestead, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio, Minneapolis and Mosport. Champion Porsche won at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen.
Michelin, which brought the world the radial tire more than 50 years ago, is the world's largest tire company. It has 22 plants in North America and produces tires for every type of vehicle, from bicycles to the space shuttle.
FLORIDA PERFECTION -- Michelin and Florida are a perfect combination 1998. The Michelin-equipped Rohr Porsche captured the GT1 class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February. In March the Panoz GTR-1 of David Brabham and Andy Wallace captured the GT1 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Wallace and Doc Bundy won in GT1 at Homestead Motorsports Complex in May. Two Michelin-equipped Panoz GTR-1s will try to make it four-for-four in Florida for Michelin, which is celebrating its 100th birthday in 1998.