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MICHELIN : LATITUDE CROSS H1 AND S1 - A Lunar test for MICHELIN's Gravel rally tires

04/24/2012 | 12:13pm US/Eastern

The fifth round of the 2012 World Rally Championship will take teams to the moon… or nearly! The rocky, lunar landscapes visited by the Philips Rally Argentina (1,770.92km) and the nature of its stages (notably the high-altitude El Condor test, SS16/18) make it an event apart in world class rallying. Although the southern hemisphere autumn temperatures tend to be mild, the atmosphere generated by the tens of thousands of spectators who line the route will be sure to provide a warm welcome, despite the dust kicked up by the competing cars.

Two factors make this round particularly tough for tires, namely the length of certain stages (up to 66km: SS14, Matadero/Ambul) and the numerous sharp stones concealed by the sandy surfaces.

Also, the total competitive distance of this year's event has been increased by one-third from 378.15km in 2011 to 502.73km this time round, and certain groups of stages will reach almost 100km in length.

Michelin's partners will have a choice of two types of tire for the 2012 Philips Rally Argentina:

  • An allocation of 40 hard-compound MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H1s (the officially-nominated tire),
  • An allocation of 10 soft-compound MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S1s.

In the course of the event, they will be able to use five tires per tire-change opportunity (seven), plus a further five for shakedown, which makes 40 tires in total.

Tire strategy during the 2012 Philips Rally Argentina will also extend to the number of 'spares' the crews choose to carry in their respective cars. The decision to carry one spare or two will influence both their ability to push (carrying just one spare tire represents a weight saving) and the amount of grip they will have (carrying two spares will enable them to benefit from two fresh tires at some point during the group of stages in question).

Michelin will have 1,300 tires for its partners at the 2012 Philips Rally Argentina:

  • 1,000 MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross H1s
  • 300 MICHELIN LATITUDE Cross S1s

As is the case on European events, Michelin will provide its partners with a comprehensive service thanks to the presence of seven fitters, one coordinator and one manager. Three technicians will be on hand to advise Michelin's partner teams and channel back information to the Technical Department. Serge GRISIN, the manager of Michelin Competition's four-wheel activities, will attend the event along with Jacques MORELLI, the manager of Michelin's rally programmes, in order to supervise operations from the rally's service park.

Media contact:
Alessandro BARLOZZI - alessandro.barlozzi@fr.michelin.com
Phone: +33 1 78 76 45 20 - Mobile: +33 6 42 23 55 93

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