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

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).

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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