A TRACK LIKE ONE OTHER
WRITHING THROUGH hilly country less than 10 minutes away from Clermont-Ferrand, Circuit de Charade is enough to give even seasoned racing drivers the shivers.
Opened in 1958, the highly technical track even hosted the French Grand Prix for four years in the late 1960s and early ’70s. It was modernised in 1989, effectively cut in half, and is now home to heritage motorsport events, driver training and, most crucially, tyre testing.
There’s a special link between Michelin and Charade. The track is close to Michelin’s HQ in Clermont-Gerrande, and its gruelling cambers and tight corners make for a strenuous tyre test facility. Jerome Haslin, a test driver for Michelin, says: ‘Michelin doesn’t own the Circuit de Charade, it’s owned by the region. But we do have a special relationship with the track.
‘It’s handy having Charade on our doorstep and we use it for endurance testing our sports tyres. It’s like a mini Nordschleife, with good elevations, a decent spread of technical complexity and some faster sections – it’s perfect for developing our performance tyres like the Michelin Pilot range. If they can cope at Charade, they can cope anywhere.’
Just like our 2018 Sports Car Giant Test rivals.