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.


Toyota/Michelin claims Spa 1-2

Toyota Gazoo Racing came first and second at the 2017 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with its N°8 (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) and N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi) Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids. There was one-two glory, too, for Ferrari/Michelin with its N°71 and N°51 488 GTEs in LM GTE Pro.


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).

Tonight’s conditions were appreciably cooler than the sweltering heat that marked Wednesday’s practice, but that alone can’t explain away the breath-taking lap produced by Kamui Kobayashi early in Q2. The Japanese driver’s effort was greeted by gasps of amazement as he clocked the best-ever qualifying lap around the current 13.629km version of Circuit de La Sarthe (3m14.791s), and the fastest lap in Le Mans history (average speed: 251.88kph)!

Porsche didn’t respond, which means the Japanese make will monopolise the front row on Saturday afternoon’s grid, since the N°8 Toyota emerged from an engine change to bag second spot.

The two German prototypes will share the start’s second row.

The Le Mans qualifying record books will need to be rewritten after this week’s qualifying practice in the other classes, as well.

The N°26 G-Drive Racing car (Rusinov/Thiriet/Lynn) shaved seven seconds off the previous LMP2 best to head a field of nine Oreca chassis.

Four cars – covered by just 0.24s – ended up beating the existing LM GTE Pro record, with the category’s ‘pole’ going to the N°97 Aston Martin (Turner/Adam/Serra). However, the British team was prevented from taking the honours in the Am class by the late record-breaking time posted by the N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin (Larbre Compétition, Rees/Brandela/Philippon).

Next on the programme is a so-called rest day on Friday, featuring the immensely popular Drivers’ Parade in Le Mans city centre. The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours is then scheduled to start at 3pm CET on Saturday, flagged away by a mystery starter whose identity is being kept secret.

24H du Mans

The life of a Michelin tyre down racing’s most famous straight

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans is one of the longest straights in motorsport. This 5.5km run actually uses a main road that leads out of the French city to Tours and has been split into three parts by two chicanes since 1990. Tyres are subjected to considerable lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces along this celebrated portion of asphalt.

24H du Mans

Michelin targeting a 20th straight win at Le Mans

Michelin, which has gone unbeaten in the world’s most famous endurance race since 1998, is hunting for a 20th consecutive victory this time round. It will be competing with partners in all four categories, including Porsche and Toyota in the blue ribband hybrid prototype class.

FIA Formula E

Berlin ePrix: Rosenqvist on form in Berlin

Sweden’s Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing) left Berlin with the weekend’s highest points haul thanks to his victory in Saturday’s race. Sunday’s victor was the championship’s provisional leader Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams).


MotoGP: Dovizioso makes it two on the trot in Catalonia

After taking the top prize at Mugello, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was first over the line again at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Monster to claim Round 7 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa were second and third. 

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