FIA WEC

Le Mans 2017: Toyota/Michelin grabs history-making pole!

The final evening of Le Mans qualifying turned out to be a landmark occasion with drivers setting new qualifying records up and down the classes. Toyota/Michelin’s Kamui Kobayashi (N°7 TS050-Hybrid, Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) stunned his rivals early on with a 3m14.791. That not only took the wind out of Porsche’s sails but also goes down as the fastest ever lap in Le Mans history. There were record performances, too, in LMP2 (N°26 Oreca), LM GTE Pro (N°97 Aston Martin) and LM GTE Am (N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin).

FIA WEC

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota/Michelin dominates Test Day

The top three places at Sunday’s official pre-Le Mans Test Day were monopolised by Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin prototypes. Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi (N°7 Toyota) bettered the 2016 pole-winning time, while Michelin runners also dominated the LM GTE Pro class with Corvette and Porsche.

FIA WEC

6 Hours of Shanghai (WEC): victory and title honours for Porsche/Michelin

The 2016 6 Hours of Shanghai saw the N°1 Porsche/Michelin (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) take the spoils ahead of the N°6 and N°5 Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids of Sarrazin/Conway/Kobayashi and Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima respectively. Porsche Team won the Team’s crown for the second season running. The Drivers’ title will be settled in Bahrain.

 

 

With the exception of Turn 1, where Brendon Hartley was momentarily passed by Sébastien Buemi, the N°1 Porsche 919 Hybrid/Michelin dominated in China to collect its fourth win of 2016. The result took the German make’s score to six victories so far to clinch the Teams’ endurance world title.

Toyota Gazoo Racing put its two cars onto the podium to prolong the Drivers’ crown suspense until the finale in Bahrain. Indeed, the battle between the N°2 Porsche of provisional championship leaders Dumas/Jani/Lieb (4th) and the Japanese prototypes was a highlight of the afternoon. Toyota eventually stole the advantage by keeping both its machines on the same tyres after their final refuelling stops.

Audi Sport Team Joest, which will curtail its FIA WEC activities at the end of the year, had a troubled time in China. Its two R18s ended up fifth (N°8) and sixth (N°7) after a mid-race collision. It was the first time since the season’s curtain-raiser at Silverstone that neither machine finished has inside the top three.

In LM P2, fourth place for the N°36 Signatech-Alpine (Lapierre/Menezes/Richelmi) sufficed to sew up the class’s Teams’ and Drivers’ endurance trophies. The day’s winner was the N°26 Oreca05-Nissan (G-Drive, Steven/Rusinov/Brundle), ahead of the N°30 and N°43 Ligier-Nissans.

There was another Ford/Michelin one-two in LM GTE Pro with the N°67 (Priaulx/Tincknell) and N°66 (Mücke/Pla) cars after their domination of qualifying. Third was the N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin which increased the Italian make’s lead over Aston Martin in the GT Manufacturers’ championship.

The N°98 Aston Martin Vantage/Michelin (Lamy/Dalla Lana/Lauda) picked up its fifth LM GTE Am victory of the year (its third in a row). Despite tangling on the last lap, the N°78 Porsche/Michelin (KCMG) and N°83 Ferrari/Michelin (AF Corse) joined in the podium celebrations. The LM GTE Am titles will be decided in Bahrain.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Rossi returns to winning ways at Assen

Sunday’s Motul Assen TT, round eight of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, was won by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Second and third were fellow Italian Danilo Petrucci (Octo Prama Racing) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). 

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2017: Michelin’s 20th Le Mans consecutive victory in numbers

Michelin won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the 20th straight year and for the third year in a row in association with Porsche after posting the fastest ever lap of the French circuit with Toyota. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Assen’s ‘Cathedral of Speed’ for the Dutch GP

Assen is the only circuit to have been visited by the MotoGPTM World Championship every season since 1949. The Motul TT Assen is round eight of the 2017 calendar. 

24H du Mans

Porsche LMP Team hands Michelin its 20th straight Le Mans win!

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin extend its uninterrupted winning record in La Sarthe to 20 outright victories since 1998. It was assisted in its quest by the dogged determination of the N°2 Porsche crew (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) who fought back from an early technical issue to scoop the coveted trophy with an hour to go. Along with the N°8 Toyota, which finished back in ninth spot, the German machine was one of only two LMP1-H prototypes to reach the flag after disaster struck the class’s other three factory entries. Michelin’s successful weekend was compounded by a one-two-three finish in LM GTE Am in association with Ferrari, plus a double podium in LM GTE Pro.

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