2019 Dakar: 18th straight win for KTM and Michelin

Three years after his maiden Dakar success, Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team/ Michelin) finished on top again to earn Michelin’s 36th victory on the cross-country classic, as well as KTM’s 18th on the trot in association with the French tyre firm. The Australian finished clear of his team-mate and last year’s victor Matthias Walkner, while Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Team/Michelin) made it an all-KTM/Michelin top three.  

Racing today… and yesterday for tomorrow’s mobility! Motorsport heritage, from the Lancia Aurelia to Formula E

The past and the future caught up with each other at last weekend’s Charade Heroes event (September 22-23) at Circuit de Charade* in the Auvergne Mountains near Clermont-Ferrand, France. Displays ranged from a Lancia Aurelia fitted with the first Michelin X radial tyres to a worthy successor of this industry-changing technology: the Michelin Pilot Sport which stars in the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship Both exemplify the important contribution motorsport can and does make to taking mobility forward. 

FIA World Council decisions

A number of key decisions were taken at the FIA World Council meeting that was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on December 5. Many of them referred to some of the global championships in which Michelin is active, namely the WEC, WRC and Formula E.

Concerning the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), approval was given for the regulations covering the new Hypercars that will race from 2020 to 2025. These new hybrid cars will be powered by an internal combustion engine (maximum: 520kW/707hp) and an electric MGU (200kW/272hp). A single tyre manufacturer will provide a range of three slicks and two wet-weather tyres.

For the 2019/2020 FIA WEC, tyre changes while refuelling is in progress (as seen in 2018/2019) will no longer be authorised. The two operations will need to be carried out separately again (which was the case from 1994 until 2017), which means tyres will play a key role in race strategies once again.

The 2019/2020 FIA WEC calendar was approved, with eight rounds lasting from four to 24 hours. The championship will kick off on September 1 at Silverstone and conclude with the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 2020. Sao Paulo is back on the schedule, Bahrain will be an eight-hour fixture and Shanghai will be shortened to four hours.

The FIA World Rally Championship will include a WRC2 Pro series from 2019. Manufacturers will be able to enter two R5 cars but will need to take part in at least seven rounds. Meanwhile, the duration of midday service breaks has been extended from 30 to 40 minutes. The provisional 14-event calendar that was released a few weeks ago has been approved.

With regard to Formula E (which is poised to resume with Round 1 of Season 5 in Saudi Arabia on December 15), details of the new Attack Mode were released. This function will provide cars with a temporary power boost from 200 to 225kW, but the duration of this boost and the number of times it can be activated will only be confirmed just before each race to prevent teams from dialling its use into their respective strategies.

24H du Mans

2019 LE MANS 24 HOURS - Long-lasting performance to the line, with Michelin…

This year, as always, Michelin’s mission at Le Mans is to provide the drivers of the 53 cars competing on its tyres with superior grip and long-lasting performance as it bids to extend the unbeaten spell it has enjoyed in the endurance racing classic since 1998. Meanwhile, Michelin is busy working on mobility for the future in association with the fuel cell-powered GreenGT prototype which will perform a parade lap of the French circuit. 

24H du Mans

Michelin’s first test of 2019 at Le Mans

The pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test day is the only opportunity teams get to test at the famous 13.626-kilometre track ahead of race-week itself. Unsurprisingly, Sunday’s order was dominated by the Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Danilo Petrucci earns maiden MotoGPTM victory at Mugello

Danilo Petrucci claimed the first premier-class win of his career at his home race on an Italian bike. The Ducati Team rider earned rapturous applause from the local fans when he was first across the line at Mugello, home of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship’s sixth round. Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Petrucci’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso were second and third. The performance of Michelin’s latest-generation MotoGPTM tyres contributed to the tumbling of several records.  

FIA WRC

Portugal glory for Toyota/Michelin

Twenty-five years after their last win together on the event as a WRC round*, Toyota and Michelin claimed the top prize at this year’s Rally de Portugal thanks to Ott Tänak. Second and third were Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). With half of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship completed, Ogier tops the Provisional Drivers’ standings, two and ten points clear of his Estonian and Belgian rivals respectively. The new Skoda Fabia R5 Evo/Michelin got its career of to a flying start with a one-two finish in WRC2 Pro thanks to Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky.

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