FIA WRC

Rally Australia cancellation hands WRC crown to Hyundai, with Michelin*

Raging fires in New South Wales have forced Rally Australia’s organisers to cancel the curtain-closing round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. Their decision has handed this season’s Manufacturers’ title to Hyundai which has earned Michelin’s 56th WRC crown in the process. 

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville wins in Spain, while Tänak takes 2019 title* with Michelin

Despite claiming an assertive victory at the RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) failed to prevent second-placed Ott Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) from pocketing the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship Drivers’ crown* with one round to go. The Estonian – who earned Michelin’s 55th WRC title in the process – is the first non-Frenchman to win the coveted prize since 2003.  

FIA WRC

Citroën and Michelin: a winning combination in the WRC

Citroën has announced its intention to curtail its involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship. Together, the French car firm and Michelin have harvested five Manufacturers’ titles, four Drivers’ crowns, 58 world-class wins and 150 podium finishes.

Citroën and Michelin were partners in topflight rallying well before the creation of the WRC in 1973. Indeed, in the 1950s, the French firms gleaned success in the sport with the ID and DS.

The pairing’s first world championship podium was notched up by Portugal’s Francisco Romaozinho who obtained a top-three finish driving a DS21 on his home event – the Rali Internacional TAP – in 1973.

The brand’s programme with the BX4TC in the 1980s failed to make an impact, but Citroën and Michelin returned to the series in resounding fashion when Philippe Bugalski took a surprising win in Catalonia in 1999, beating the powerful four-wheel drive contenders of the day in his two-wheel drive Xsara Kit-Car. The result was the fruit of a long technical collaboration between Citroën and Michelin in several national championships.

Three years later, again with Michelin, Citroën contested a programme of selected WRC rounds that saw young Sébastien Loeb take his debut win in Germany. The French team upgraded to a full assault in 2003 with a star-studded line-up comprising Loeb, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae. The year’s opening clash – the Rallye Monte-Carlo – produced a landmark one-two-three finish for the Citroën Xsara WRC/Michelin.

From 2003 until 2005, Citroën and Michelin practically ruled the WRC roost, claiming three straight Manufacturers’ crowns, two Drivers’ titles with Loeb and 22 outright wins, including a record-breaking 11 in 2005 alone. The same year saw it post the championship’s longest ever unbeaten run (six events), while Loeb, Citroën and Michelin were fastest on all 12 stages in Corsica!

To prepare for its return with the C4 WRC in 2007, Citroën took a year off in 2006, but that didn’t prevent Loeb from dominating the series in a privately-run Citroën Xsara WRC competing on Michelin Group tyres.

Citroën and Michelin joined forces at WRC level once more in 2011, the season that marked the Clermont-Ferrand-based tyre company’s return to the championship. The two partners hit the ground running to secure back-to-back Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles in 2011 and 2012 before Loeb’s ‘retirement’ from the series.

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Citroën had another spell away to prepare for a comeback with the current Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin in 2017. The programme proved less successful, however, although reigning world champion monde Sébastien Ogier succeeded in earning the French make’s 100th WRC victory on this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo on Michelin rubber.

FIA WEC

Twenty-nine champions for FIA endurance racing Hall of Fame

After creating Halls of Fame for its Formula 1 and Rally World Championships, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has now added an endurance racing section at its Paris headquarters. Twenty-nine champions were inducted at a special ceremony on Monday evening (December 2). It was organised in association with Michelin, a long-time major player in the discipline.

FIA Formula E

Formula E: Britons rule at 2019/2020 curtain raiser in Saudi Arabia

Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin) and Alexander Sims (BMW I Andretti Motorsport) took the two wins at the opening meeting of the 2019/2020 Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Michelin has been the official tyre supplier to the FIA’s all-electric racing series since its creation in 2014.

MOTOGP™

MotoE: Ferrari claims inaugural Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup

Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s first champion. The weekend’s two races were won by pole-winner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Márquez wraps up 2019 with home success

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana was won by Spaniard Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha Petronas SRT) was second, while Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made it three different bikemakers on the podium. All three riders chose the same tyre combination for the 19th and last round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship.  

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