PARIS (April 4) — A French court has dismissed Michelin´s request to annul Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.'s deal with Federation International de l´Automobile to be an exclusive tire supplier for the World Rally Championship starting next year.
Michelin said it intends to appeal the decision, rendered by the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, with which Michelin had filed its suit in mid-March. Michelin is seeking to have the contract — which would make Pirelli the sole WRC tire supplier for the 2008-2010 seasons — annulled because of what it said were "irregularities in the tender process."
The FIA disclosed Feb. 27 it had selected Pirelli over Michelin, although it did not elaborate on its reasons for the decision. Michelin is supplying all the major WRC competitors this year with BFGoodrich-brand competition tires after Pirelli withdrew from the WRC circuit last year.
Michelin filed suit with the Tribunal de Grande Instance — literally the court of bankruptcy — which has jurisdiction in France over cases not specifically allotted to another court.