By Alex Kapadia
Michelin will be supplying tyres for the 2011 World Rally Championship after its bid was accepted by the FIA.
With Pirelli pulling out of the WRC, the French tyres manufacturer is expected to be used by Citroen, Ford and Mini as it enters the world of top-flight rallying.
Michelin announced: “The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile [FIA] has accepted Michelin’s application to supply tyres for the World Rally Championship beginning in 2011. Michelin’s application was prompted by the FIA’s decision to open the championship to more than one tyre manufacturer and by the likelihood of a rule change.
“Racing offers Michelin’s teams the opportunity to validate their technological innovations in the most extreme conditions of use. These innovations will then be transferred to street tyres, thereby helping to improve the performance balance and lower the environmental impact of Michelin’s products. Motorsports also provide a powerful incentive for Michelin to further its mission of ensuring sustainable mobility.
“That’s why Michelin supports the FIA in its commitment to integrating a more responsible vision of rallying by reducing the number of tyres used in races, beginning in 2012. This is in line with an environmental approach that Michelin has been pursuing since 1992, when it introduced its first fuel-efficient tyre.”
There was speculation that a Chinese tyre firm had also registered its intention to supply tyres for the WRC.