PARIS (Sept. 7, 2010) —Michelin has filed an application with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile to be considered as a tire supplier for the 2011 World Rally Championship.
Michelin's application comes in the wake of a rules change that will allow open competition among tire makers for next year's WRC season, returning to that status after three seasons under a single-supplier regulation. The FIA has until Sept. 15 to announce which tire makers are approved to take part.
The rules change also coincided with Pirelli Tyre S.p.A.'s appointment as the single supplier of tires for the FIA's international Formula 1 and GP2 series and Pirelli's subsequent decision to not participate in the WRC next year after three seasons as the spec tire supplier.
Michelin said its decision to apply was based on a number of features in the new regulation, including the opening of competition to several tire manufacturers, allowing the transfer of technologies from racing tires to street tires and integrating a more responsible vision of racing, in particular by reducing the number of tires used, beginning in 2012.
Michelin did not say whether it would compete with the Michelin or BFGoodrich brand. The French tire maker put all of its off-road racing ventures, including rally, under the BFG umbrella in 2006. Michelin has participated in the alternative Intercontinental Rally Championship for the past three years using the BFG brand.