24H du Mans

Le Mans 2017: Michelin’s 20th Le Mans consecutive victory in numbers

Michelin won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the 20th straight year and for the third year in a row in association with Porsche after posting the fastest ever lap of the French circuit with Toyota. 

24H du Mans

The life of a Michelin tyre down racing’s most famous straight

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans is one of the longest straights in motorsport. This 5.5km run actually uses a main road that leads out of the French city to Tours and has been split into three parts by two chicanes since 1990. Tyres are subjected to considerable lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces along this celebrated portion of asphalt.

24H du Mans

Porsche LMP Team hands Michelin its 20th straight Le Mans win!

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin extend its uninterrupted winning record in La Sarthe to 20 outright victories since 1998. It was assisted in its quest by the dogged determination of the N°2 Porsche crew (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) who fought back from an early technical issue to scoop the coveted trophy with an hour to go. Along with the N°8 Toyota, which finished back in ninth spot, the German machine was one of only two LMP1-H prototypes to reach the flag after disaster struck the class’s other three factory entries. Michelin’s successful weekend was compounded by a one-two-three finish in LM GTE Am in association with Ferrari, plus a double podium in LM GTE Pro.

If you thought the last-moment demise of the front-running Toyota which cruelly handed the 2016 win to Porsche was dramatic, well this year’s visit to the French circuit delivered just as much suspense. And, once again, it panned out in the Stuttgart firm’s favour after it seemed like a cascade of technical troubles amongst the front-runners was going to allow a LMP2 competitor to collect the 2017 spoils.

However, Jackie Chan DC Racing’s fleeting dream that it might win the day with its N°38 Oreca07-Gibson was scuppered by the gritty performance of the N°2 Porsche trio who fought back to snatch top spot for the German make after the N°1 sister car – which had led for some 12 hours – was eliminated by an engine issue shortly after midday Sunday.That incident left two LMP2 runners ahead, but thanks to the untiring efforts of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, Porsche/Michelin’s second car was there to save the day with one hour remaining after battling back from penultimate position at 6:30pm Saturday evening!

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The German machine was joined for the podium celebrations by the N°38 and N°35 LMP2 cars which benefited from the technical problems that swept aside three of the factory prototypes and left the N°8 Toyota relieved to cross the line in ninth spot in the hot weather.

Meanwhile, the 258,000 spectators were treated to yet another nail-biting finish in LM GTE Pro which saw all five makes –Chevrolet/Michelin, Aston Martin, Ferrari/Michelin, Ford/Michelin and Porsche/Michelin – challenge for class’s top honours until the dying moments. The win was only secured at the start of the ultimate lap by the N°97 Aston, while the N°67 Ford and the N°63 Corvette were second and third.

To complete the thrilling weekend, Michelin monopolised the LM GTE Am podium thanks to the crews of the N°84, N°55 and N°62 Ferraris who forced their opponents in the category to do all the chasing once the race had settled into a rhythm.

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. 

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. 

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.  

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