24H du Mans

Toyota/Michelin tastes Le Mans glory at last!

Toyota will be partying hard tonight after winning the famous Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since its debut attempt at the world famous race in 1985. This time around, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and the team’s star recruit Fernando Alonso delivered the necessary speed and reliability in their N°8 TS050-Hybrid/Michelin to spearhead a one-two finish for the Japanese carmaker, ahead of the N°7 sister car (+2 laps). Porsche/Michelin celebrated no-nonsense wins in LM GTE Pro and Am, while G-Drive Racing was unassailable in LMP2 with the N°26 Oreca07. True to its ‘Winning performance to the line’ claim, Michelin secured its 21st straight Le Mans success.

24H du Mans

H-18: Everything going to plan for Toyota/Michelin

We’re a quarter of the way into the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours and, for the moment, nothing has spooked Toyota’s game plan. The Japanese make’s two cars are in first and second places after six hours, with the N°8 prototype of Alonso/Nakajima/Buemi setting the pace, shadowed closely by the N°7 sister car. Porsche/Michelin tops the LM GTE Pro and Am orders, while the G-Drive Racing Oreca07 is in command in LMP2. Both Toyotas have been quadruple stinting on their Michelin slicks.

24H du Mans

H-7: Toyota still on target for Le Mans glory

The two Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050-Hybrids are running smoothly at the top of the order at Le Mans after 17 hours, with the N°8 car of Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima currently in front. The Japanese team has been running a quadruple stint strategy since the start. Porsche GT Team/Michelin’s N°92 and N°91 911 RSRs continue to set the pace in LM GTE Pro, and the German make leads the Am class, too. The N°26 G-Drive Oreca07 continues to stand out as the car to beat in LMP2.

 

Since our last interim report at 9pm Saturday, the situation at the top of the different classes has been relatively stable.

Indeed, the two Toyotas have figured at the top of the order throughout the night, with interest during the hours of darkness focusing notably on the attempt of the N°8 car to make up the two-minute deficit it suddenly found itself with as darkness started to sweep over the circuit.

The N°7 effectively emerged in front at around 9:30pm Saturday when its sister machine lost a chunk of time in a slow zone situation. The latter then fell further back when Buemi was forced to serve a one-minute stop-and-go penalty for speeding during a slow zone procedure.

When Alonso replaced the Swiss driver a little later, the gap between the two prototypes exceeded two minutes, but that clearly didn’t demoralise the Spaniard. Despite never having raced at Le Mans in the dark before, the ex-F1 champ produced an assertive quadruple stint that saw him bring the gap down to around 45 seconds. Nakajima then completed the job and, by 6:30am, the N°8 car was back in front.

And that is how it stands at the 17-hour mark, with the two prototypes split by 30 seconds.

The TS050 Hybrids are under no immediate threat, since their closest chaser – which is now the N°3 Rebellion following the overnight disappearance of the N°17 SMP Racing prototype (accident) – is 10 laps back. The N°1 Rebellion is fourth.

Fifth overall is the best-placed LMP2 prototype which is the N°26 G-Drive Racing car. Second in this class is the N°23 Panis Barthez Compétition Ligier/Michelin which has valiantly shrugged off pressure from the third-placed N°36 Alpine. The Alpine did hold second spot for a while following a great effort by Nicolas Lapierre during the night but it has since fallen almost two minutes back.

The two Porsche GT Team 911 RSRs have been going well and are clear at the top in LM GTE Pro. The N°92 car found itself with a nice little cushion earlier when the N°91 sister car was caught up in the wrong ‘train’ as the Safety Car was deployed for the first time on Saturday evening. The N°68 and N°69 Fords follow in third and fourth positions and haven’t allowed the German cars to ease up, while the N°63 Corvette is up to fifth thanks to the consistent work of its three drivers.

The Am class is also topped by Porsche/Michelin, and more specifically by the N°77 Dempsey-Proton car which is currently being chased by a pair of Ferraris.

FIA WRC

One-two joy for Toyota/Michelin in Turkey

The 2018 Rally Turkey saw Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRCs come first and second in the hands of winner Ott Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala. Hyundai/Michelin’s Hayden Paddon completed the season’s roughest fixture in third spot. Michelin runners also monopolised the WRC2 podium.

FIA WRC

Rally Turkey - Racecard

All you need to know about the Rally Turkey.Clic on the photo to download the racecard

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Dovizioso (Ducati Team / Michelin) takes home spoils at Misano

The GP Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Round 13 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship, saw Andrea Dovizioso claim his 11th premier class win. The Ducati Team / Michelin rider was joined on the podium by Marc Márquez (2nd, Repsol Honda Team / Michelin) and Cal Crutchlow (3rd, LCR Honda / Michelin).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini - Racecard

All you need to know about the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.Click on the photo to download the racecard.

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