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

Tänak triumphs for Toyota/Michelin in Sweden

Rally Sweden – Round 2 of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship – was won by Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin), ahead of Esapekka Lappi (Citroën/Michelin) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin). The new Michelin X-Ice North NA01 dominated the WRC2 Pro and WRC2 orders with Mads Ostberg (Citroën) and Ole-Christian Veiby (Volkswagen) respectively.

Despite a cold start to February in Sweden’s Värmland and Norway’s Finnskogen regions, the 2019 Rally Sweden was marked by a distinct shortage of wintry conditions after a thaw set in to melt the snow and transform the stages into a mushy mix of mud, dirt, water and ice, especially on the second passes.

The conditions were consequently complex not only for the crews but also for their Michelin X-Ice North tyres, each one of which is equipped with 384 studs designed to bite into frozen ground. Instead, their mission this time was had to eke out the necessary grip to allow the cars to travel at speeds of up to 120kph in the slushy cocktail.

The weather played into the hands of the crews running in the middle of the order on the opening day’s stages in Norway which saw Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) celebrate his recent 25th birthday by leading at the end of Leg 1, for the first time in his burgeoning career. The day was also marked by errors by Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) and Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota/Michelin).

The next day, Suninen was soon hauled in by Tänak whose flying form on Rally Sweden classics Rämmen, Hagfors and Vargasen allowed him to build up a lead of almost a minute by Saturday evening. The Estonian went on to claim his maiden win on the event and earn Toyota Gazoo Racing’s second victory in Torsby in three years.

Spectators were also kept entertained by a splendid battle for the podium’s other steps involving Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin), Lappi, Neuville and Elfyn Evans (Ford/Michelin). At the start of the final day, this quartet was covered by less than 15 seconds, and the first two were exactly level!

Second and third places ended up in the hands of Lappi (+53.7s) and Neuville (+56.7s), with Mikkelsen (4th) and Evans (5th) rounding out the top five. Kris Meeke was sixth for Toyota/Michelin, closely tailed by Sébastien Loeb (Hyundai/Michelin) who was competing in Sweden for the first time since 2013.

Michelin bounced back from its Rally Sweden defeat last year in RC2 to monopolise the class’s podium this time around and top the WRC2 Pro and WRC2 classes with Mads Ostberg (Citroën C3 R5) and Ole-Christian Veiby (VW Polo R5) on the new Michelin X-Ice North NA01 (new casing, different studding arrangement).

The tyre even won a stage outright when Finn Jari Huttunen topped the order on SS8 (8.93km) in his Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin!

The WRC’s next round will take teams to Mexico on March 8-10.

2019 Rally Sweden – final positions:

  1. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota/Michelin), 2h47m30.0s
  2. Lappi/Ferm (Citroën/Michelin), +53.7s
  3. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai/Michelin), +56.7s
  4. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai/Michelin), +1m5.4s
  5. Evans/Martin (Ford/Michelin), +1m8.2s
  6. Meeke/Marshall (Toyota/Michelin), +1m38.8s
  7. Loeb/Elena (Hyundai/Michelin), +1m49.7s
  8. Tidemand/Floene (Ford/Michelin), +3m37.7s
  9. Veiby/Andersson (VW/Michelin, 1st WRC2), +6m34.0s
  10. Tuohino/Markkula (Ford/Michelin), +8m21.4s
  11. 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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