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

Maiden WRC glory for Ott Tanak!

After collecting the first world class top-three finish of his career in Sardinia, in 2012, Estonia’s Ott Tanak celebrated his first world championship victory on the same event today. The Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin driver was joined on the Italian podium by Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai).

Tanak, 29, has come frustratingly close to winning at WRC level in the past, with a score of three second places and four third places ahead of the trip to Sardinia. Today, however, he made it to the podium’s top step on the island’s rough, sun-baked dirt tracks to add a third victory to M-Sport’s 2017 tally.

The importance of road order on Rally Italia Sardegna’s loose stages is well documented and the Estonian didn’t have an easy start position on Friday, yet he still managed to reach the overnight halt in third place. That earned him a more favourable running order on Day 2 when he succeeded in maintaining pressure on Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville until the former crashed out and the latter was delayed by a problem with his brakes.

Now sitting in first place, Tanak then shrugged off Latvala’s late charge to claim this season’s seventh round by a margin of 12.3 seconds over the Finn and 1m7.7s over Neuville. He and navigator Martin Jarveoja are respectively the 56th and 62nd driver and co-driver to win a WRC even on Michelin rubber since 1973.

The Italian fixture saw another youngster make an international name for himself, namely Finland’s Esapekka Lappi (4th, Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) who posted the week’s highest number of stage wins (six from 19) on only his second appearance in a World Rally Car! Indeed, he and Latvala made it two Toyota Gazoo Racing-run cars in the top-five, while team-mate Hanninen had to settle for sixth spot after a late mechanical issue.

Badly handicapped by having to run first on the road on Day 1, Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) salvaged fifth overall and a harvest of three points on Sunday’s Power Stage enabled him to defend his lead in the provisional Drivers’ standings.

Despite the recruitment of Andreas Mikkelsen, Citroën Racing had a disastrous time on the Mediterranean island after Kris Meeke crashed out of the lead on SS5 and Craig Breen joined the list of Day 1 retirees (gearbox). The Norwegian’s debut for the French make concluded in eighth place, ahead of RC2 winner Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta R5/Michelin) who came out on top in his thrilling duel with Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin)

Unfortunately, the Frenchman wasn’t a WRC2 runner in Italy, which means Kopecky notched up a 10th straight win in the category for Skoda Motorsport et Michelin.

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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