24H du Mans

A second straight 1-2 finish for Toyota/Michelin at Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a second one-two finish at Le Mans to earn a 22nd consecutive win for its partner Michelin in the famous French endurance race. Victory ended up in the hands of the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, ahead of the N°7 sister car, while winning drivers Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso wrapped up the 2018/2019 FIA WEC title. The top-three was rounded out by the N°11 BR1/Michelin. Michelin topped the order in LMP2, too, with Alpine (Lapierre/Negrao/Thiriet), as well as in LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am with Ferrari (Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra) and Ford (Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga) respectively. The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours provided Michelin with the ideal opportunity to showcase the long-lasting performance credentials of its Pilot Sport Endurance tyres.

24H du Mans

2019 LE MANS 24 HOURS - Long-lasting performance to the line, with Michelin…

This year, as always, Michelin’s mission at Le Mans is to provide the drivers of the 53 cars competing on its tyres with superior grip and long-lasting performance as it bids to extend the unbeaten spell it has enjoyed in the endurance racing classic since 1998. Meanwhile, Michelin is busy working on mobility for the future in association with the fuel cell-powered GreenGT prototype which will perform a parade lap of the French circuit. 

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.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Motul Grand Prix of Japan - Racecard

Michelin is ready for the busiest 3-weeks of the MotoGP season as the championship begins a trio of races starting with Motul Grand Prix of Japan before heading to Australia and Malaysia. Download our racecard to to find out more about this round!Click on the photo to dowload the racecard.

Michelin’s first Formula 1 world titles

In 1979, Michelin demonstrated the superiority of its radial tyre technology by claiming the first of its titles in the Formula 1 World Championship. Forty years on, the French firm continues to see motorsport as a means to innovate and take its technologies forward, especially in competitions that place the accent on sustainable mobility and lasting performance. 

FIA WRC

Tänak wins in Wales

The 2019 Wales Rally GB – Round 12 of the FIA World Rally Championship – was won by Toyota/Michelin’s Ott Tänak, ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). The all-new Michelin Latitude Cross S70 helped Kalle Rovanperä to claim the WRC2 Pro spoils and clinch the class’s title.

FIA WEC

Seventh heaven for Toyota/Michelin at Fuji

Seven is a lucky number in Japan. It is also the number of times Toyota/Michelin has won its home round – the 6 Hours of Fuji – since the FIA World Endurance Championship’s creation in 2012. This year’s victory went to the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley, chased by the N°7 sister car of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez. Michelin came first in all four classes thanks to the N°29 Oreca07-Gibson in LMP2, and the N°95 and N°90 Aston Martins in LMGTE Pro and Am.

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24H du Mans

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Palmarès 2018