24H du Mans

A shower of records for Michelin at Le Mans

Scoring a 23rd consecutive victory at September’s Le Mans 24 Hours wasn’t the only new benchmark Michelin established in La Sarthe this year…

24H du Mans

Toyota and Michelin score Le Mans hat trick!

The partnership between Michelin and Toyota Gazoo Racing delivered a third consecutive triumph at Le Mans this weekend with the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid crewed by Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima. Thanks to the long-lasting performance of its Pilot Sport range, Michelin not only succeeded in completing a record-breaking quintuple stint with a Rebellion prototype on the same four tyres, but also achieved a grand-slam result at the great French race for the second year running, accompanying United Autosports to victory in LMP2 and Aston Martins to the top step of the podium in LMGTE Pro and Am. Michelin dedicates these successes to all the passionate and loyal endurance racing fans who were unfortunately unable to attend the 88th edition of this legendary race which was held behind closed doors for the first time due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

24H du Mans

A second straight 1-2 finish for Toyota/Michelin at Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a second one-two finish at Le Mans to earn a 22nd consecutive win for its partner Michelin in the famous French endurance race. Victory ended up in the hands of the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, ahead of the N°7 sister car, while winning drivers Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso wrapped up the 2018/2019 FIA WEC title. The top-three was rounded out by the N°11 BR1/Michelin. Michelin topped the order in LMP2, too, with Alpine (Lapierre/Negrao/Thiriet), as well as in LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am with Ferrari (Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra) and Ford (Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga) respectively. The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours provided Michelin with the ideal opportunity to showcase the long-lasting performance credentials of its Pilot Sport Endurance tyres.

Although Toyota appeared not to face any significant opposition this year, everyone knows that nothing can ever be taken for granted at Le Mans which hasn’t earned its reputation for being the world’s most punishing endurance race by accident!

The Japanese squad shrugged off any pressure there might have been, however, to post a near-perfect performance and finish with both of its TS050-Hybrids six laps clear of their closest threat, which ended up being the third-placed N°11 SMP Racing non-hybrid prototype.

The pole-winning N°7 car topped the leaderboard for the majority of the 24 hours, aided by a multi-stint strategy which saw Lopez complete 46 laps on the same set of Michelins Pilot Sport Endurance.

But the slightly faster pace of Conway, Kobayashi and the Argentine driver went unrewarded when the latter was forced to make an unscheduled stop to replace a tyre damaged by debris with less than an hour remaining. The move handed the win to the N°8 sister car of Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima who took the trophy for the second year running. The Toyota trio also harvested Michelin’s 22nd consecutive victory at Le Mans, and its 28th at Le Mans since the inaugural race in 1923!

The race provided plenty of evidence to support Michelin’s ‘long-lasting performance’ claim, including runs of more than 600km by Mike Conway and Fernando Alonso on the same set of Michelin tyres. The two-time F1 world champion even posted his second-fastest lap of the race (3m19.88s) on tyres that had already clocked up 558 kilometres!

Three decades after its win with Alpine-Renault in 1978, Michelin’s successful weekend continued with a satisfying victory in LMP2 thanks to the N°36 Alpine which switched back to its tyres for the last three rounds of the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship, a move that paid dividends not only this weekend at Le Mans but also in the WEC standings since the French outfit’s result has earned it this season’s LMP2 world title. The Signatech-run car was locked in a fierce fight with the N°26 G-Drive prototype for much of the early part of the race, but the latter fell back with a technical issue which allowed Lapierre/Negrao/Thiriet to push on to the class win by a margin of one lap.

As usual, the LM GTE Po class produced a thrilling scrap which, true to tradition, went down to the wire. With the exception of BMW/Michelin, all of the carmakers involved in the category (Aston Martin/Michelin, Corvette/Michelin, Porsche/Michelin, Ferrari/Michelin and Ford/Michelin) appeared in front at one moment or another, but the N°51 Ferrari of Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra survived late pushes by the N°91 (+49s) and N°93 (+1m7s) Porsches to clinch the victory, the Italian make’s first at Le Mans since 2014.

Porsche was also forced to settle for second place in LM GTE Am which was won by the N°85 Ford/Michelin of Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga. The Keating Motorsports-tended car appeared in front on Saturday evening and doggedly defended its advantage to the flag, despite serving a late ‘Stop&Go’ penalty which allowed the N°56 Porsche/Michelin (2nd, +45s) to close the gap significantly in the dying stages. Third in the class was the N°84 Ferrari/Michelin (+1m29s).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Qatar glory for Viñales as Michelin plays part in three new records

Sunday’s Barwa Grand Prix of Qatar saw Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) claim the first win of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship, ahead of Johann Zarco (2nd, Pramac Racing) and Francesco Bagnaia (3rd, Ducati Lenovo Team). The grip and consistency provided by the MICHELIN Power Slick made an active contribution to the excitement of the year’s opener which produced new track and race lap records, as well as a new top-speed benchmark.  

FIA WEC

New records for Michelin at Sebring

Michelin scooped the top prize at the 2021 12 Hours of Sebring (Florida, USA) which was won by the JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac-DPi-V.R of Frenchmen Loïc Duval, Tristan Vautier and Sébastien Bourdais. Sebring is one of motor racing’s toughest venues for tires and a great track therefore to prepare for the FIA World Endurance Championship which this year kicks off at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on May 1.

FIA WEC

Long-lasting performance in Asia too!

The Michelin Pilot Sport range of endurance racing tyres showcased its winning ability in the recent 2021 Asian Le Mans Series which was hosted by the United Arab Emirates. G-Drive Racing claimed the Teams’ and Drivers’ crowns to earn an invitation to contest this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Michelin to support European Rally Championship youngsters

Michelin has joined forces with Eurosport Events , promoter of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), to organise the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory for drivers aged under 28.

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