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.


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.


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.

After their Rallye Monte-Carlo success in January, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) claimed their second WRC classic of the season by winning the 50th-anniversay Rally de Portugal. The four-time world champions’ fifth victory on this event since 2010 has taken them equal with the record set by Finn Markku Alèn some 30 years ago!

The Frenchman beat another record this weekend by increasing his total WRC points score (since the 2008 Rally Mexico) to 1,645, which is 20 better than the 1,625 points notched up by Sébastien Loeb in the course of his career.

Ogier put in a perfectly-paced run in Portugal, despite being penalised by so-called ‘road-sweeping’ duty due to the fact that he was first on the road early on. The M-Sport driver completed Friday’s action in third place, just five seconds short of the overnight leader, and he then emerged in front after Saturday’s SS12 (37.55km) when team-mate Ott Tanak made a small mistake. Running on a combination of hard- and soft-compound Michelin LTX Force tyres, he successfully warded off a late challenge from Thierry Neuville to claim the fastest Rally de Portugal in WRC history (average speed: 94.33kph).

With an entry of 14 new-generation World Rally Cars for the championship’s sixth encounter, there was always a good chance that the Portuguese round would see some fierce fighting and it effectively produced nine different stage winners and six different leaders. Towards the end of Day 1, the top 10 were blanketed by less than 20 seconds, but the eventful seventh stage (Ponte de Lima) caused havoc when Hayden Paddon’s Hyundai/Michelin was halted by an electronics issue, Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) rolled and Kris Meeke (Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin) was eliminated by suspension damage...

Estonia’s Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) completed Friday in front but fell to fifth when he clipped a bank on the following day’s SS12. He eventually managed to recover fourth spot after passing Craig Breen, Citroën’s best-placed finisher in Portugal.

The WRC2 battle saw the Michelin Latitude Cross S80- and H90-shod Skoda Fabia R5 secure yet another win, this time thanks to Pontus Tidemand (Fabia R5). Finn Teemu Suninen (Ford Michelin) ended up second.

Tidemand and Suninen had been closely matched for much of the event and, coincidentally, both had to stop to change a wheel on SS15. However, the Swede made the switch more quickly to pull out a slight advantage which turned into the win when the class’s long-time leader Andreas Mikkelsen crashed his similar car on the final test.

Next round: Rally Italia Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy (June 8-11).


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: 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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