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. 


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.


Maiden WRC glory for Ott Tanak!

After collecting the first world class top-three finish of his career in Sardinia, in 2012, Estonia’s Ott Tanak celebrated his first world championship victory on the same event today. The Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin driver was joined on the Italian podium by Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai).

Tanak, 29, has come frustratingly close to winning at WRC level in the past, with a score of three second places and four third places ahead of the trip to Sardinia. Today, however, he made it to the podium’s top step on the island’s rough, sun-baked dirt tracks to add a third victory to M-Sport’s 2017 tally.

The importance of road order on Rally Italia Sardegna’s loose stages is well documented and the Estonian didn’t have an easy start position on Friday, yet he still managed to reach the overnight halt in third place. That earned him a more favourable running order on Day 2 when he succeeded in maintaining pressure on Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville until the former crashed out and the latter was delayed by a problem with his brakes.

Now sitting in first place, Tanak then shrugged off Latvala’s late charge to claim this season’s seventh round by a margin of 12.3 seconds over the Finn and 1m7.7s over Neuville. He and navigator Martin Jarveoja are respectively the 56th and 62nd driver and co-driver to win a WRC even on Michelin rubber since 1973.

The Italian fixture saw another youngster make an international name for himself, namely Finland’s Esapekka Lappi (4th, Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) who posted the week’s highest number of stage wins (six from 19) on only his second appearance in a World Rally Car! Indeed, he and Latvala made it two Toyota Gazoo Racing-run cars in the top-five, while team-mate Hanninen had to settle for sixth spot after a late mechanical issue.

Badly handicapped by having to run first on the road on Day 1, Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) salvaged fifth overall and a harvest of three points on Sunday’s Power Stage enabled him to defend his lead in the provisional Drivers’ standings.

Despite the recruitment of Andreas Mikkelsen, Citroën Racing had a disastrous time on the Mediterranean island after Kris Meeke crashed out of the lead on SS5 and Craig Breen joined the list of Day 1 retirees (gearbox). The Norwegian’s debut for the French make concluded in eighth place, ahead of RC2 winner Eric Camilli (Ford Fiesta R5/Michelin) who came out on top in his thrilling duel with Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin)

Unfortunately, the Frenchman wasn’t a WRC2 runner in Italy, which means Kopecky notched up a 10th straight win in the category for Skoda Motorsport et Michelin.


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: 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: 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.  


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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