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.

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

H-7: Toyota still on target for Le Mans glory

The two Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050-Hybrids are running smoothly at the top of the order at Le Mans after 17 hours, with the N°8 car of Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima currently in front. The Japanese team has been running a quadruple stint strategy since the start. Porsche GT Team/Michelin’s N°92 and N°91 911 RSRs continue to set the pace in LM GTE Pro, and the German make leads the Am class, too. The N°26 G-Drive Oreca07 continues to stand out as the car to beat in LMP2.

 

Since our last interim report at 9pm Saturday, the situation at the top of the different classes has been relatively stable.

Indeed, the two Toyotas have figured at the top of the order throughout the night, with interest during the hours of darkness focusing notably on the attempt of the N°8 car to make up the two-minute deficit it suddenly found itself with as darkness started to sweep over the circuit.

The N°7 effectively emerged in front at around 9:30pm Saturday when its sister machine lost a chunk of time in a slow zone situation. The latter then fell further back when Buemi was forced to serve a one-minute stop-and-go penalty for speeding during a slow zone procedure.

When Alonso replaced the Swiss driver a little later, the gap between the two prototypes exceeded two minutes, but that clearly didn’t demoralise the Spaniard. Despite never having raced at Le Mans in the dark before, the ex-F1 champ produced an assertive quadruple stint that saw him bring the gap down to around 45 seconds. Nakajima then completed the job and, by 6:30am, the N°8 car was back in front.

And that is how it stands at the 17-hour mark, with the two prototypes split by 30 seconds.

The TS050 Hybrids are under no immediate threat, since their closest chaser – which is now the N°3 Rebellion following the overnight disappearance of the N°17 SMP Racing prototype (accident) – is 10 laps back. The N°1 Rebellion is fourth.

Fifth overall is the best-placed LMP2 prototype which is the N°26 G-Drive Racing car. Second in this class is the N°23 Panis Barthez Compétition Ligier/Michelin which has valiantly shrugged off pressure from the third-placed N°36 Alpine. The Alpine did hold second spot for a while following a great effort by Nicolas Lapierre during the night but it has since fallen almost two minutes back.

The two Porsche GT Team 911 RSRs have been going well and are clear at the top in LM GTE Pro. The N°92 car found itself with a nice little cushion earlier when the N°91 sister car was caught up in the wrong ‘train’ as the Safety Car was deployed for the first time on Saturday evening. The N°68 and N°69 Fords follow in third and fourth positions and haven’t allowed the German cars to ease up, while the N°63 Corvette is up to fifth thanks to the consistent work of its three drivers.

The Am class is also topped by Porsche/Michelin, and more specifically by the N°77 Dempsey-Proton car which is currently being chased by a pair of Ferraris.

FIA Formula E

Vergne scores second straight Formula E crown!

DS Techeetah/Michelin’s Jean-Eric Vergne emerged from the 2019 New York City E-Prix as the first driver in Formula E history to claim the title twice. The Frenchman successfully defended his 2017/2018 crown after the weekend’s doubleheader meeting in New York City, USA, which produced wins for Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams/Michelin) and Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin). DS Techeetah/Michelin is Season 5’s Teams’ champion.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marquez in control at the Sachsenring

Since the start of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has failed to go two consecutive races without winning. This weekend, true to form, the Spaniard bounced back from his Netherlands defeat to score an assertive victory at Germany’s Sachsenring where he was joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland - Racecard

All you need to know about the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, 9th round of the MotoGP championshipClic on the photo to download the racecard.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Viñales and Yamaha hit top form at Assen

The Motul TT Assen –round eight of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales, ahead of Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Every one of the six Michelin tyre specifications available for the race was used, with three different specs making it onto the podium to provide a further illustration of the French products’ performance and versatility.

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