FIA WRC

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).

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.

FIA WRC

Ogier claims fifth Portugal victory

A fifth Rally de Portugal victory for Sébastien Ogier has taken the Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin star’s personal tally to 40 world class wins and level with Markku Alèn as the event’s most successful driver. The Frenchman has also established a new record for the highest number of WRC points scored at this level. He was joined on Sunday’s podium by Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin rivals Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

After their Rallye Monte-Carlo success in January, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) claimed their second WRC classic of the season by winning the 50th-anniversay Rally de Portugal. The four-time world champions’ fifth victory on this event since 2010 has taken them equal with the record set by Finn Markku Alèn some 30 years ago!

The Frenchman beat another record this weekend by increasing his total WRC points score (since the 2008 Rally Mexico) to 1,645, which is 20 better than the 1,625 points notched up by Sébastien Loeb in the course of his career.

Ogier put in a perfectly-paced run in Portugal, despite being penalised by so-called ‘road-sweeping’ duty due to the fact that he was first on the road early on. The M-Sport driver completed Friday’s action in third place, just five seconds short of the overnight leader, and he then emerged in front after Saturday’s SS12 (37.55km) when team-mate Ott Tanak made a small mistake. Running on a combination of hard- and soft-compound Michelin LTX Force tyres, he successfully warded off a late challenge from Thierry Neuville to claim the fastest Rally de Portugal in WRC history (average speed: 94.33kph).

With an entry of 14 new-generation World Rally Cars for the championship’s sixth encounter, there was always a good chance that the Portuguese round would see some fierce fighting and it effectively produced nine different stage winners and six different leaders. Towards the end of Day 1, the top 10 were blanketed by less than 20 seconds, but the eventful seventh stage (Ponte de Lima) caused havoc when Hayden Paddon’s Hyundai/Michelin was halted by an electronics issue, Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) rolled and Kris Meeke (Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin) was eliminated by suspension damage...

Estonia’s Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) completed Friday in front but fell to fifth when he clipped a bank on the following day’s SS12. He eventually managed to recover fourth spot after passing Craig Breen, Citroën’s best-placed finisher in Portugal.

The WRC2 battle saw the Michelin Latitude Cross S80- and H90-shod Skoda Fabia R5 secure yet another win, this time thanks to Pontus Tidemand (Fabia R5). Finn Teemu Suninen (Ford Michelin) ended up second.

Tidemand and Suninen had been closely matched for much of the event and, coincidentally, both had to stop to change a wheel on SS15. However, the Swede made the switch more quickly to pull out a slight advantage which turned into the win when the class’s long-time leader Andreas Mikkelsen crashed his similar car on the final test.

Next round: Rally Italia Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy (June 8-11).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Rossi returns to winning ways at Assen

Sunday’s Motul Assen TT, round eight of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, was won by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Second and third were fellow Italian Danilo Petrucci (Octo Prama Racing) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). 

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. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Assen’s ‘Cathedral of Speed’ for the Dutch GP

Assen is the only circuit to have been visited by the MotoGPTM World Championship every season since 1949. The Motul TT Assen is round eight of the 2017 calendar. 

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.

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