Director of competition-customer at Michelin since the beginning of 2017, Greig Coull is travelling a lot. After the Le Mans 24 Hours two weeks ago, he was also at the Nürburgring 24 Hours last weekend. This motorsport lover discovers the other side of the coin, whether it is on four or two wheels. Between two trips, Greig gave us an interview to give us an initial assessment of the Ultimate Cup Series, at mid-season, in which Michelin is one of the partners.
After three rounds and as the championship resumes this weekend at Mugello, what do you think?
« We were pleasantly surprised by the dynamism and reactivity of Vincent Vigier and his team. Greig Coull told us. « The championship was initiated in November, everything had to be completed and set up in just a few months. The first round at Estoril was impressive for the quality of the welcome, the alignment of the trucks and the facilities reminded me of the Avenue des Champs Elysées, not forgetting the sporting organisation of the events. »
Are you confident about the future?
« We can see that relations between the Ultimate Cup Series and the ACO are good and the organiser has the desire and will to continue in this way, which is a good sign for the future. We have always said that LMP3 should be a stepping stone to the top of the endurance pyramid and we hope that CN will be an additional step. »
Are the tyres used in the Ultimate Cup the same as those used in the higher championships such as the Michelin Le Mans Cup and the ELMS?
« They are the same. The challenge for our development team was to find a product that satisfies amateurs, newcomers and semi-professionals alike under all possible conditions. We have a technician to assist the teams and help them find the most suitable setup for the conditions and driving styles. As in other championships and in line with our value proposition, we never send tyres out into the wild. There is both the product and the service. »
Have you been obliged to develop new products to allow the arrival of the Ligier JS P4?
« These are recent tyres and we did not have to develop the product for these cars in the immediate future. We would like to go further with Ligier in the development of their model and provide all our experience and know-how. I always have to find a compromise between investment and commercial return. That is my role and it is something we take into account when we try to develop something. »
After having proven its value in WEC in particular, RFID technology is gradually being deployed in other championships, particularly in the Ultimate Cup Series. This system allows to the organizer to guarantee fairness but also to open possibilities as for the data provided to the spectators. Between 800 and 1200 tyres are dispatched on site depending on the plateaux and weather forecasts.