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

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.

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).

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.

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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