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

Ogier claims fifth Rally Mexico win

The 2019 Rally Mexico saw Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) win the North American event for the fifth team to become the first driver to reach the score of 2,000 World Rally Championship points. Ott Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) and Elfyn Evans (Ford/Michelin) pocketed the silver and bronze medals, while Skoda/Michelin collected a one-two finish in WRC2.

Ogier dominated the 15th Rally Mexico to count towards the WRC, aided by the fact that – for once – he had less ‘road sweeping’ to do on Day 1 because he was third on the road. That helped him to post four fastest stage times and complete Friday’s action in front.

The next day, with the exception of a brief appearance of Toyota’s Kris Meeke at the top of the leaderboard, the Frenchman successfully defended his advantage and went on to take his fifth Rally Mexico victory which have been achieved in three different cars, but all on Michelin rubber. The Frenchman also collected the five Power Stage bonus points up for grabs in addition to chalking up Citroën’s eighth win on the event from 15 starts.

After the recent wintry Rally Sweden, crews faced a suffocating cocktail of dust and heat in Mexico, with ground temperatures peaking at almost 50°C in the mountains near Leon. The factory drivers essentially chose the medium-compound Michelin LTX Force M6 for the morning’s loops before switching to the harder LTX Force H4 for the afternoon runs.

There were several cases of damaged wheel rims due to the many stones that carpeted the stages, but Michelin’s tyres had the situation covered and no drivers were forced to stop and change a wheel mid-stage.

The gruelling conditions took their toll on many of the WRC runners in other ways, however, with Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin), Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin), Dani Sordo (Hyundai/Michelin) and Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota/Michelin) all in trouble on Day 1, while Esapekka Lappi (Citroën/Michelin) and Kris Meeke (Toyota/Michelin) lost ground on the second leg.

Tänak overcame the handicap of running first on the road on Friday to reach third place by Saturday evening, 2.2s short of Evans. Sunday’s action saw their battle turn in the Estonian’s favour, while Hyundai/Michelin’s Thierry Neuville finished just shy of the podium.

The top five was rounded out by Meeke, ahead of WRC2 victor and local hero Benito Guerra (Skoda/Michelin). Michelin secured a one-two finish in the category thanks to Bolivian Marco Bulacia who was also driving a Skoda Fabia R5.

The next round of the WRC will bring teams back to Europe for the Tour de Corse, France, on March 28-31.

Final positions – 2019 Rally Mexico

1. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin),

2. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin)

3. Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin)

4. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin)

5. Meeke/Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin)

6. Guerra/Zapata (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin)

7. Bulacia/Cretu (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin)

8. Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin)

9. Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin)

10. Trivino/Marti (Skoda Fabia R5)

Etc.

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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