FIA WEC

Toyota/Michelin claims Spa 1-2

Toyota Gazoo Racing came first and second at the 2017 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with its N°8 (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) and N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi) Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids. There was one-two glory, too, for Ferrari/Michelin with its N°71 and N°51 488 GTEs in LM GTE Pro.

FIA WEC

6 Hours of Bahrain (WEC): Audi/Michelin bows out with 1-2 finish

Audi produced a one-two finish in Bahrain to mark its final prototype endurance racing appearance. The race was won by the N°8 R18 (Duval/Di Grassi/Jarvis) ahead of the N°7 sister car (Tréluyer/Lotterer/Fässler). Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb are the 2016 FIA WEC Drivers’ champions, while Ferrari/Michelin won the GT Manufacturers World Cup.

FIA WEC

Toyota/Michelin wins Silverstone WEC opener

Toyota Gazoo Racing and Michelin won Great Britain’s 6 Hours of Silverstone for the second time after their maiden victory there together in 2014. First past the flag was the N°8 TS050 Hybrid of Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima, which finished clear of the N°2 (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) and N°1 (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy) Porsches. Michelin won all three of the classes in which it was represented.

 

The sixth FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) kicked off on Easter Sunday with a field of 27 cars for the 2017 6 Hours of Silverstone.

The new Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids dominated qualifying to monopolise the grid’s front row, with the N°7 car (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) earning the Japanese firm’s first WEC pole position since the 2014 Fuji race.

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The two Toyotas got away to a strong start, chased by the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, but the N°7 prototype was soon delayed by a rear antiroll bar problem. At the halfway point, the N°8 Toyota led as rain swept over the Northamptonshire track.

On Lap 116, Pechito Lopez crashed badly in the N°7 car following a repeat antiroll bar issue. The ensuing safety car period bunched up the gaps at the sharp end and Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima’s 40-second advantage was wiped out.

With 47 minutes remaining, the N°8 Toyota made its final refuelling stop, imitated 20 minutes later by the N°2 Porsche which only needed a ‘splash ‘n dash’ and was consequently able to re-join in front.

The Japanese machine’s aerodynamic package was better suited to Silverstone, however, and Buemi lost no time catching the German car before reclaiming top spot with 12 minutes to go. The Swiss driver ended up crossing the line with a winning margin of 6.173s after 1,162 kilometres.

The LM GTE Pro victory went to the class’s pole-winning N°67 Ford GT/Michelin (Priaulx/Tincknell/Derani) which took the spoils ahead of the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin (Pier Giudi/Calado) and N°91 Porsche/Michelin (Lietz/Makowiecki). The N°66 Ford and the N°71 Ferrari made it an all-Michelin top five.

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In LM GTE Am, the Clearwater Racing-run N°61 Ferrari/Michelin (Mok/Sawa/Griffin) took the top prize, ahead of the N°98 Aston Martin, despite a collision between the cars a few corners before the finish. The LM P2 victor was China’s Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit (N°38 Oreca07-Gibson), ahead of the N°31 Vaillante-Rebellion and N°28 TDS Racing prototypes.

Next round: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (May 6).

MOTOGP™

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 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 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™

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. 

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