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

Neuville claims Corsica win for Hyundai/Michelin

Thierry Neuville earned a handsome victory for Hyundai Motorsport in Corsica to become the fourth different winner of a WRC round from four starts this year. Michelin’s score on the Mediterranean island now stands at 25 outright victories with 11 different makes since the championship’s creation in 1973.

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: a flawless weekend for Viñales at Le Mans

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) produced a grand-slam performance at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France, round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. The Spaniard added pole position and fastest race lap to his third win of the season. Second and third were local star Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). 

FIA Formula E

Paris ePrix: Buemi triumphs in French capital

Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) followed up his victory in Monaco last week with another at Saturday’s Paris ePrix, ahead of Lopez and Heidfeld. A mistake by rival Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) helped him to comfort his cushion at the top of the provisional Drivers’ standings.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: next stop Le Mans, France

Round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, and the second to take place on European soil, is this weekend’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France at Le Mans-Bugatti. 

FIA Formula E

Monaco ePrix: Buemi beats di Grassi in the Principality

Pole-winner Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) led from lights-out to the flag in Monaco to claim his fourth ePrix win of the 2016/2017 season. Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra Racing) were second and third.

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