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).

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

Neuville claims Corsica win for Hyundai/Michelin

Thierry Neuville earned a handsome victory for Hyundai Motorsport in Corsica to become the fourth different winner of a WRC round from four starts this year. Michelin’s score on the Mediterranean island now stands at 25 outright victories with 11 different makes since the championship’s creation in 1973.

After coming close to taking the top prize in Monte Carlo and Sweden, Thierry Neuville kept his head in Corsica to claim his first win of 2017 in the new Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin.

After easing ahead following the retirement of early leader Kris Meeke (Citroën C3/Michelin), whose engine failed after SS6, the Belgian took advantage of the hydraulic problems that slowed world champion Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to pull out a big gap. He then went on to secure the second Tour de Corse win of his career after his success there in 2011 when the event wasn’t a round of the WRC. The inaugural Tour de Corse in 1956 was won by another Belgian, lady driver Gilberte Thirion.

After victories for Ogier/Ford in Monte Carlo, Latvala/Toyota in Sweden and Meeke/Citroën in Mexico, Neuville and Hyundai Motorsport are this season’s fourth different winners. The last time four different makes won the four opening rounds of the WRC was in 1986 (Lancia, Peugeot, Renault and Toyota), and the last time four different drivers did likewise was in 1998 (Sainz, Mäkinen, Burns and McRae).

Meanwhile, Michelin won the Tour de Corse as a WRC round for the 25th time, in association with an 11th different manufacturer partner and a 16th different model. Its first victory on the French isle was in 1973 with Alpine-Renault and Jean-Pierre Nicolas and it has won there since with Lancia, Porsche, Renault, Peugeot, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Citroën, Volkswagen and, now, Hyundai.

The late, thrilling battle for second and third spots opposed Sébastien Ogier, Dani Sordo, Jari-Matti Latvala and Craig Breen. Hyundai’s Spaniard came close to clinching the silver medal when Ogier lost time due to an electrical issue on Sunday morning, but Ford’s star fought back to retrieve second place on the Power Stage. The final test also saw Latvala (Toyota/Michelin) squeeze past Breen (Citroën/Michelin) to claim fourth by just one-tenth of a second!

Skoda Motorsport and Michelin continued their domination in WRC2 thanks this time to Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen who was joined on the podium by Finn Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) and Frenchman Yohan Rossel (Citroën/Michelin). Third was actually Stéphane Sarrazin (Skoda/Michelin), but he is not registered for the championship.

Next round: Rally Argentina (April 28-30).

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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