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. 

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

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.

If you thought the last-moment demise of the front-running Toyota which cruelly handed the 2016 win to Porsche was dramatic, well this year’s visit to the French circuit delivered just as much suspense. And, once again, it panned out in the Stuttgart firm’s favour after it seemed like a cascade of technical troubles amongst the front-runners was going to allow a LMP2 competitor to collect the 2017 spoils.

However, Jackie Chan DC Racing’s fleeting dream that it might win the day with its N°38 Oreca07-Gibson was scuppered by the gritty performance of the N°2 Porsche trio who fought back to snatch top spot for the German make after the N°1 sister car – which had led for some 12 hours – was eliminated by an engine issue shortly after midday Sunday.That incident left two LMP2 runners ahead, but thanks to the untiring efforts of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, Porsche/Michelin’s second car was there to save the day with one hour remaining after battling back from penultimate position at 6:30pm Saturday evening!

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The German machine was joined for the podium celebrations by the N°38 and N°35 LMP2 cars which benefited from the technical problems that swept aside three of the factory prototypes and left the N°8 Toyota relieved to cross the line in ninth spot in the hot weather.

Meanwhile, the 258,000 spectators were treated to yet another nail-biting finish in LM GTE Pro which saw all five makes –Chevrolet/Michelin, Aston Martin, Ferrari/Michelin, Ford/Michelin and Porsche/Michelin – challenge for class’s top honours until the dying moments. The win was only secured at the start of the ultimate lap by the N°97 Aston, while the N°67 Ford and the N°63 Corvette were second and third.

To complete the thrilling weekend, Michelin monopolised the LM GTE Am podium thanks to the crews of the N°84, N°55 and N°62 Ferraris who forced their opponents in the category to do all the chasing once the race had settled into a rhythm.

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). 

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. 

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).

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).

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