Michelin celebrate in Clermont-Ferrand 13 Dec 2006
Michelin commemorated their 2006 title success on Tuesday at Clermont-Ferrand, the French city that houses the tyre companys headquarters. The star attraction, a demonstration run by Renaults Heikki Kovalainen, was the last scheduled appearance of a Formula One car on Michelin tyres.
Kovalainen completed five return runs along the citys main thoroughfare, Avenue Julien, which had been specially closed for the street demonstration. A crowd of over 15,000 spectators gathered in the French city to watch the R25 in action.
"It was really good fun to drive on the streets of Clermont-Ferrand, enthused Kovalainen. My first job was to note where all the bumps on the 'track' were. Then, on my final run, I shifted up into fourth gear and reached about 230 km/h (140mph). Fortunately, my tyres had enough grip!"
The Finns demonstration was the culmination of two days of celebrations, which included a variety of displays organised by Michelin and the Clermont-Ferrand authorities. Michelin employees attended an evening reception on Monday and were surprised by a performance by Renault technicians, who tweaked the R25s engine to play the French national anthem.