Fourteen new qualifying and race lap records were set in 2017 as Michelin returned as the championship’s sole tyre supplier. At Thruxton in May Mike Bushell became the first driver in UK Clio Cup history to win a race at an average speed of more than 100mph…
Now Michelin predicts more records could tumble in 2018 as it brings in its latest tyre – the Pilot Sport GT S9M.
Michelin’s North Europe Motorsport Manager Tim Hoare commented: “We’ve spent 2017 developing this tyre specifically for Clio Cup competition worldwide in 2018.
“In fact this marks the biggest evolution in terms of tyre technology and performance in Clio Cup for around six years and, on average, we anticipate an improvement of two tenths of a second per lap.”
He also explained: “The constant evolution in materials and construction has allowed us to use the latest generation of high-tech slick rubber compounds while maintaining the excellent levels of durability we saw in 2017 and without affecting the teams’ set-ups on the cars. A like for like feel was part of the design brief to maintain the integrity of the existing data and set-up information.
“After the astonishing gains in speed made by the UK Clio Cup on our tyres in 2017 we’re very excited about what might be in store in 2018 – not just for the drivers but also the huge numbers of fans who come through the gates to see the action and the many thousands of viewers watching the races live on ITV.”
Notably the S9M will be the first tyre Michelin has produced outside of its ‘Corporate Elite Range’ (used in World Rally, World Endurance, MotoGP and Formula E) to incorporate a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip to allow traceability using a radio scanner instead of bar-codes.
The 2018 UK Clio Cup season starts at Brands Hatch (Indy) on the weekend of Sat 7/Sun 8 April. Prior to that is the championship’s pre-season Media Day – at Silverstone on Thursday 15 March. Media wishing to attend should contact the championship’s Media Officer Carl McKellar: Tel +44 (0)7786 138905 or Email email@example.com