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

Sweden glory for Toyota/Michelin

Toyota followed up its Rallye Monte Carlo podium finish in January with outright victory in Sweden today to celebrate its return to the FIA World Rally Championship. Jari-Matti Latvala topped the final order ahead of Ford M-Sport/Michelin’s Ott Tanak and Sébastien Ogier, while Skoda/Michelin ended up on top again in WRC2.

Ahead of the 2017 Rally Sweden, Toyota’s most recent WRC win had been Rally China, in 1999, but today saw the Japanese firm open a new winning chapter in its history on what was only the second world class appearance of the Yaris WRC/Michelin.

Success for Latvala took the Finn’s personal score to 17 world class victories and his fourth in Sweden since 2008. He was joined on Sunday’s podium by Ford M-Sport’s Ott Tanak and Sébastien Ogier who put him under significant pressure towards the end.

For Ogier, it was always going to be a tough struggle because of his unfavourable start order on Friday and Saturday, while Tanak’s bid took a blow due to an early gearbox issue, although he managed to power his way onto Friday evening’s provisional podium with three consecutive stage wins.

As in Monaco, the outcome was pretty much settled on the last stage of Day 2 when the early pace-setter Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin) damaged his car on the Karlstad super-special while leading by the handsome margin of 43 seconds.

It was another difficult outing for Citroën-Total Abu Dhabi who saw Kris Meeke spend several minutes stuck in a snow bank after figuring inside the top five. His team-mate Craig Breen (C3 WRC/Michelin) reached the finish in fifth spot.

Skoda Motorsport and Michelin dominated in WRC2 again, this time with local star Pontus Tidemand who left Finn Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) and Norway’s Ole-Christian Veiby (Skoda/Michelin) to battle for second and third places.

The weather was ideal all weekend, with negative temperatures and icy/snowy conditions in Norway’s Finnskog and Sweden’s Värmland regions.

Thanks to the outstanding grip delivered by his studded Michelin X-Ice North 3 tyres, Tanak established a new average speed record for a WRC stage after covering SS9 (31.60km) at an average of 137.8kph (previous record: 136.9kph/Poland/2014).

Latvala won one of the fastest ever Rally Swedens at an average speed of 115,4kph.

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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