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. 

FIA WRC

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.

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville claims Argentina win by 7/10ths of a second!

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin) won the 2017 Rally Argentina by the margin of just seven-tenths of a second to beat Welshman Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) after 357.59km of competitive action! Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) was third.

After the 2011 Rally Jordan and the 2007 Rally New Zealand, which were decided by a mere two-tenths and three-tenths of a second respectively, the outcome of this weekend’s competition in Argentina was the third-smallest winning margin in World Rally Championship history, as Thierry Neuville stole a last-gasp victory from Elfyn Evans.

Evans dominated the opening day in South America with a score of six stage wins to pull out a cushion of almost a minute over his chasers by Friday evening. By close-of-play Saturday, however, Hyundai’s Belgian star had closed the gap to 11.5s after a sunny day of action in the Cordoba region’s Traslasierras mountains.

Neuville continued his charge on the final morning’s legendary El Condor and Mina Clavero stages to shave the difference down dramatically to six-tenths of a second as crews lined up for the ultimate test.

With exactly 5.70km of the 16.32-kilometre Power Stage completed, the Welshman was clocked with a lead of 3.1s. He then clipped one of the run’s many bridge parapets, however, and that allowed Neuville to clinch the win by seven-tenths of a second, the equivalent of 13.40 metres!

It is the Belgian’s second straight WRC success after the recent Tour de Corse and earns Michelin a record-breaking 86th consecutive world class rally win.

Estonia’s Ott Tanak (Ford/Michelin) ended up third, ahead of Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) who made it three M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRCs in the final top four. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota/Michelin) was fifth.

True to its reputation as one of the championship’s most punishing rounds, the 2017 Rally Argentina turned out to be a rally of attrition. Last year’s victor Hayden Paddon (6th, Hyundai/Michelin, accident, SS1), Dani Sordo (8th, Hyundai/Michelin, damaged steering arm) and Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin drivers Kris Meeke and Craig Breen (both on SS4) all suffered early delays.

Meeke re-started on Day 2 thanks to the Rally2 ruling but crashed again on SS14, which is where Mads Ostberg (Ford/Michelin) hit a wall while challenging for a top-three placing. Not including the ‘Rally2’ runners, there were only 16 cars still running after the first four stages! Eighteen competitors were classified, however.

Skoda/Michelin topped the WRC2 standings for the eighth time in a row thanks to Swede Pontus Tidemand who took the class’s trophy in Villa Carlos Paz for the third straight year.

Next round: Rally Portugal, Porto, Portugal (May 18- 21).

FIA WEC

One-two glory for Toyota/Michelin in Fuji downpour

In a repeat scenario of 2013, this year’s 6 Hours of Fuji – round seven of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship – was marked by torrential rain. The appalling weather didn’t prevent the N°8 and N°7 Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids from monopolising the top two positions, however, while the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin came up trumps in LM GTE Pro.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Dovizioso triumphs in Motegi rain

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) overcame heavy rain to win Round 15 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship at Motegi, Japan. The Italian clinched the victory last time around to beat Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and close the gap to 11 points in the title chase. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was third.

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 15), 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™

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). 

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