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

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.

FIA WRC

Rally Mexico produces the 2017 WRC’s third winner!

Following in the slipstream of Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala, who took the spoils in Monte Carlo and Sweden respectively, Kris Meeke clinched the top prize in Mexico on Sunday at the wheel of his Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin. Ogier (Ford/Michelin) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) joined the Briton on the podium.

After Ogier’s Rallye Monte-Carlo triumph in the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin, Jari-Matti Latvala notched up the Michelin-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC’s maiden WRC success in Sweden. Rally Mexico saw Britons Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle claim the season’s first gravel fixture in the new Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin to earn the French firm’s 97th world class victory. The season’s first three rounds have now been won by three different drivers representing three different makes.

Rally Mexico kicked off on Thursday evening with a spectacular super-special around Mexico City’s Plaza de Zocalo where the opening scenes of the last James Bond movie were shot. Unfortunately, the convoy of trucks commissioned to haul the rally cars back to the rally’s base in Leon was delayed by traffic congestion and the organisers were compelled to cancel Friday morning’s two stages.

Friday afternoon saw Citroën’s Kris Meeke take advantage of his late running order to post the best time on the weekend’s longest test (El Chocolate, SS4/54.9km) and pull out an early lead. After that, the Briton produced a perfectly-paced run to clinch the fourth WRC win of his career, despite a scary moment on the Power Stage.

Handicapped by having to run second on the road on Friday and Saturday, the event’s three-time victor Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin, +138s) bagged second place on Sunday afternoon, ahead of the Power Stage winner Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin). Ott Tanak (Ford/Michelin) and Hayden Paddon (Hyundai/Michelin) were third and fourth. The three Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC drivers suffered from a fuel filter problem on Friday evening and Dani Sordo was notably delayed.

Unusually, Rally Mexico was marked by stormy weather and relatively cold temperatures. As a result, Michelin’s partners tended to favour the new, soft-compound LTX Force S5 which is more consistent and resistant to wear than its predecessor and consequently bettered suited to the powerful, latest-generation World Rally Cars. It was the preferred choice for the morning loops and was used in association with the harder LTX Force H4 on the afternoon stages.

The WRC2 class produced a thrilling scrap between Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) and Eric Camilli (Ford/Michelin) who started the final leg split by just two seconds. The win ended up in the hands of the young Swede who celebrated Skoda Motorsport’s third victory from three rounds.

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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