FIA WRC

Hyundai/Michelin’s Sordo wins the day in Sardinia

Dani Sordo’s 163rd world class start saw the 36-year old Spaniard claim the second WRC win of his career at the 2019 Rally Italia Sardegna, one of the championship’s most punishing tests of tyres. Ott Tänak led until a power-steering problem delayed him on the week’s final stage, which allowed Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) to clinch second and third places. Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda/Michelin) topped the WRC2 Pro order once again.

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.

FIA WRC

Loeb, Citroën and Michelin return to their winning ways!

More than five years after his most recent WRC success, Sébastien Loeb (Citroën/Michelin) notched up the 79th world class win of his career this weekend in Spain. The Frenchman was chased over the line by Sébastien Ogier, who has recovered the championship lead, and the latter’s Ford/Michelin team-mate Elfyn Evans. The Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles will be settled in Australia.

 

 

Poor weather made tyre choice difficult in Catalonia where no fewer than five options were available for the year’s only mixed-surface fixture, namely the soft- and hard-compound Michelin Pilot Sport S6 and H5 – plus a full wet option (FW3) – for asphalt, and the hard and medium Michelin LTX Force H4 and M6 for gravel.

Thanks to his and Citroën Racing’s experience, Loeb made a judicious choice for Sunday morning’s partially damp conditions by opting for the Pilot Sport H5. The nine-time world champion subsequently eased into the lead thanks to two straight fastest times and, despite a spin on the rally’s penultimate test (SS17), went on to claim his ninth RallyRACC Catalunya victory. At the age of 44 years, eight months and two days, he is the third-oldest driver to win a WRC round, on the same event where he kicked off his world championship career aged 19. It was also Citroën’s first success since Espana 2017.

Loeb finished just 2.9 seconds clear of Ogier who didn’t get all his tyre calls right in Spain but who is back at the top of the Drivers’ standings, three points clear of Thierry Neuville. The Hyundai/Michelin driver ended up fourth after being passed on the last test by Evans who made it two M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRCs on the podium. The British squad is now only 25 and 13 points behind Toyota Gazoo Racing and Hyundai Motorsport in the Manufacturers’ table.

The Toyota Yaris WRCs failed to reap the reward for their speed. Ott Tänak led after Day 1 on dirt and extended his lead in Saturday morning’s rain but then lost a minute and fell to eighth when he was forced to change a damaged wheel on SS10. The Estonian fought back to sixth at the finish and collected five Power Stage points to stay in the chase for the Drivers’ crown, albeit 23 points short of Ogier.

The Japanese make’s Jari-Matti Latvala led on Saturday afternoon but a front-left scrape on Sunday’s SS17 dropped him to eighth overall, behind team-mates Tänak and Esapekka Lappi. Dani Sordo (Hyundai/Michelin) also figured briefly in front on home soil but ended up fifth.

Michelin partners monopolised the WRC2 podium thanks to Skoda Fabia R5 runners Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky, the class’s 2018 champion. Petter Solberg, who was making his first WRC appearance since 2012, was third in the new VW Polo GTi R5/Michelin.

With three drivers and three makes still in contention for the main titles, the season’s final round will take teams to Australia on November 15-18.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marquez on his momentum, as Quartararo claims maiden MotoGP podium!

The 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship pace-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) extended his lead in the provisional standings by winning the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya at Barcelona-Catalunya. French youngster Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), 20, collected his first podium finish, ahead of Mission Winnow Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. 

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

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.

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