FIA WRC

Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 

FIA WRC

First Germany triumph for Ford/Michelin

Ott Tanak collected the second win of his WRC career and earned Ford/M-Sport’s maiden ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory today in Germany. Third place behind Andreas Mikkelsen (Citroën/Michelin) enabled Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to recover the Drivers’ championship lead from Thierry Neuville. Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) is the 2017 WRC2 world champion.

FIA WRC

Finland’s Esapekka Lappi strikes first WRC gold!

The 2017 Rally Finland was won by homegrown rising star Esapekka Lappi (Toyota/Michelin). He finished clear of Briton Elfyn Evans (Ford) and compatriot Juho Hänninen to claim his first world class success. Toyota took its 45th WRC victory.

Unsettled for several years by non-Nordic rivals, Flying Finns were the dominant force on their home round of the 2017 WRC. Halfway into Leg 1 of the 65th ‘Jyväskylä Grand Prix’, four local drivers effectively monopolised the top four places for the first time since 2004!

That said, their bid was aided by the early misadventures of Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin), Hayden Paddon (Hyundai/Michelin) and Ott Tanak (Ford/Michelin).

A series of four straight stage wins saw Jari-Matti Latvala ease ahead of fellow Toyota/Michelin driver Lappi on Saturday morning but he was then betrayed by mechanical woes on the infamous Ouninpohja test (SS19). The event’s three-time victor nonetheless collected the weekend’s highest number of fastest times.

After recovering first place, Lappi, 26, controlled from in front to score his first ever WRC win on the same event where he made his championship debut in 2011. He completed the distance at an average speed of 127kph to make the 2017 Rally Finland the fastest round in WRC history. Lappi is the 15th Finn to win a WRC event despite driving a World Rally Car for only the fourth time.

A furious battle developed in his wake for the other podium steps between compatriots Hänninen (3rd, Toyota/Michelin) and Teemu Suninen (4th, Ford/Michelin), and Evans (2nd, Ford).

Suninen, who was contesting his second outing in a World Rally Car, cracked under pressure on the penultimate stage, leaving his fellow challengers split by less than a second at the start of the Power Stage. The Welshman went on to clinch silver, three-tenths clear of Hänninen who made it two Toyotas in the top three.

The Yaris WRC/Michelin, which was designed and developed close to Jyväskylä, was fastest on 18 of the 25 stages, while the Japanese make notched up its 20th WRC success on Michelin rubber.

Ireland’s Craig Breen (Citroën/Michelin) was fifth, ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin), the new Drivers’ standings leader, level on points with Ogier. The WRC2 contest was won by Jari Huttunen (Skoda/Michelin), the young protégé of ex-world champion Marcus Grönholm.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: off to Aragon

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, takes teams to Spain this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are provisionally level at the top of the Riders’ standings.  

FIA WEC

Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.

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