FIA WRC

Ogier claims fifth Portugal victory

A fifth Rally de Portugal victory for Sébastien Ogier has taken the Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin star’s personal tally to 40 world class wins and level with Markku Alèn as the event’s most successful driver. The Frenchman has also established a new record for the highest number of WRC points scored at this level. He was joined on Sunday’s podium by Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin rivals Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville claims Argentina win by 7/10ths of a second!

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin) won the 2017 Rally Argentina by the margin of just seven-tenths of a second to beat Welshman Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) after 357.59km of competitive action! Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) was third.

FIA WRC

A fourth Monte Carlo victory for Ogier on Michelin rubber!

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) claimed Rallye Monte-Carlo glory for the fourth year running to notch up their 37th world class victory on Michelin tyres. Their success makes them the world championship’s most successful crew on the French firm’s rubber.

The conditions proved particularly complex for the opening round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) as the series celebrated the start of a new era, with new-look, more powerful World Rally Cars, plus the returns of Toyota and Citroën to rallying’s blue ribband class.

The wintry mountain stages near Gap, France, and, on the final day, north of Nice, made tyre choice exceptionally difficult and Michelin’s partners used all four of the tyres available to them - Pilot Sport SS5 (super-soft), S5 (soft), Alpin and studded Alpin – at one point or another over the four days.

The outcome was basically settled on Saturday’s SS13 when early pace-setter Thierry Neuville from Belgium damaged the suspension of his Hyundai i20 Coupé/Michelin after clouting a concrete wall. Prior to that cruel incident, he had won five stages and was 51 seconds clear of second-placed Sébastien Ogier.

The latter, who was making his debut appearance in the brand-new Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin, had squandered some 40s after slipping into a ditch on SS3. He started the final day in front, however. Then, as snow swept over the infamous Col de Turini test, he kept his cool to clinch his fourth consecutive Monte win, and the first for his new employer M-Sport since 2012.

The British team even got two cars onto the podium in the Principality despite engine trouble for Ott Tanak throughout the last leg. The Estonian soon fell from overnight second to third, but a masterful performance on the snowy Power Stage kept him in the top three. Even so, his misfortune allowed Finn Jari-Matti Latvala to snap up second place to celebrate Toyota’s return to the WRC after an 18-year absence.

In WRC2, Skoda Motorsport and Michelin came first and second with Andreas Mikkelsen and Pontus Tidemand. Privateer Bryan Bouffier (Ford/Michelin) as third.

Sébastien Ogier has now won 37 WRC rounds with Michelin, a record that puts him clear of fellow Frenchman Sébastien Loeb (36) and Finn Tommi Mäkinen (23).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: a flawless weekend for Viñales at Le Mans

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) produced a grand-slam performance at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France, round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. The Spaniard added pole position and fastest race lap to his third win of the season. Second and third were local star Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). 

FIA Formula E

Paris ePrix: Buemi triumphs in French capital

Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) followed up his victory in Monaco last week with another at Saturday’s Paris ePrix, ahead of Lopez and Heidfeld. A mistake by rival Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) helped him to comfort his cushion at the top of the provisional Drivers’ standings.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: next stop Le Mans, France

Round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, and the second to take place on European soil, is this weekend’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France at Le Mans-Bugatti. 

FIA Formula E

Monaco ePrix: Buemi beats di Grassi in the Principality

Pole-winner Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) led from lights-out to the flag in Monaco to claim his fourth ePrix win of the 2016/2017 season. Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra Racing) were second and third.

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