FIA WEC

Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.

FIA WEC

New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  

FIA WEC

6 Hours of Shanghai (WEC): the title chases come to a head

The 6 Hours of Shanghai, penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, could see Porsche and Michelin wrap up this year’s titles in the WEC’s premier class.

Porsche Team enjoys a 59-point lead in the Manufacturers’ table and could make sure of its second straight crown in China where the Michelin-equipped Porsche 919 Hybrids were dominant last season. There will be two cars this time around, for Bernhard/Webber/Hartley (N°1) and Drivers’ championship leaders Dumas/Jani/Lieb (N°2).

Audi, which recently announced its withdrawal from the WEC at the end of the year, will be keen on scoring its 108th prototype victory with its tyre partner Michelin since 2000. The make will be represented by two crews, namely Duval/Di Grassi/Jarvis (N°8 Audi R18/Michelin) and Lotterer/Tréluyer/Fässler (N°7).

Toyota Gazoo Racing will be looking to build on its recent victory on home soil at Fuji. Sarrazin/Conway/Kobayashi (N°6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin) are currently second in the Drivers’ standings, while their Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (N°5) will be hoping for a switch in their recent fortunes.

The fight for the LM GTE Pro titles is equally close, with Ferrari/Michelin three points clear of Aston Martin. Ford/Michelin is still in the running, too. AF Corse, which has never won at Shanghai, will have Michelin-equipped Ferrari 488s for Bruni/Calado (N°51) and Rigon/Bird (N°71).

The Italian outfit also tops the LM GTE Am Endurance Trophy with its N°83 Ferrari/Michelin and could secure the title this weekend. The N°98 Aston Martin/Michelin is on a run of three straight victories, however. In LM P2, Signatech-Alpine could wrap up the Teams’ and Drivers’ crowns in Shanghai, as well, with its N°36 prototype and Menezes/Lapierre/Richelmi.

Shanghai International Circuit (5.451km), which has hosted the FIA WEC since 2012, features two long straights, several fast curves and three particularly tight turns (1, 6 and 14). Engineers consequently look essentially for good top speed and stability under braking. Finding the ideal aero balance can be complex and tyre choices are dependent on the chosen settings. There can be significant rear tyre wear because of the frequent hard acceleration from low speed, and the front-left covers also face a hard time.

Free practice will start on Friday, November 4, followed by qualifying early Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s race will start at 11am local time and a field of 32 cars is expected.

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 14), 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. 

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. 

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). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: off to Aragon

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, takes teams to Spain this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are provisionally level at the top of the Riders’ standings.  

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