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.

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

Hyundai/Michelin’s Sordo wins the day in Sardinia

Dani Sordo’s 163rd world class start saw the 36-year old Spaniard claim the second WRC win of his career at the 2019 Rally Italia Sardegna, one of the championship’s most punishing tests of tyres. Ott Tänak led until a power-steering problem delayed him on the week’s final stage, which allowed Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) to clinch second and third places. Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda/Michelin) topped the WRC2 Pro order once again.

Round 8 of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship produced plenty of drama and surprises ahead of the summer recess.

Friday morning’s SS5, for example, saw the provisional championship leader Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) clout a rock and break his suspension and he suffered the same fate the following day. Despite these setbacks, the six-time champion battled on to salvage four points on the Power Stage.

Meanwhile, the rally’s final test brought Tänak’s fine performance to a cruel conclusion when he suffered power-steering gremlins. Up to that point, the Estonian had overcome the handicap of running amongst the first drivers on the road on Day 1 to stay on Sordo’s heels at the sharp end, before emerging in front on Saturday afternoon.

Going into the 14.06km Power Stage, his lead stood at 26.7 seconds and he appeared to be cruising to his fourth win of the season when the steering of his Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin decided otherwise…

Tänak completed the rally in fifth place, behind Elfyn Evans (Ford/Michelin) who was passed by Mikkelsen on the last stage.

Suninen turned out to be one of the stars of the week, helped by a favourable running order on Friday when he appeared in front thanks to a tally of three fastest times. He ended up second overall which is his best-ever result at WRC level to date.

The surprise winner of the 2019 Rally Italia Sardegna was Sordo who inherited his first victory since the 2013 Rallye Deutschland, and the first of his career on dirt.

WRC action will resume in Finland at the end of July after a short summer break with Tänak on top of the Drivers’ standings, four points clear of Ogier and seven points ahead of Thierry Neuville who had to settle for sixth spot in Italy.

Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky came first and second in the recently-homologated Michelin Latitude Cross-equipped Skoda Fabia R5 Evo which successfully survived its first taste of the Sardinian punishment.

2019 Rally Italia Sardegna – Final positions:

1. Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC), 3h22m27.2s

2. Suninen/Lethinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +13.7s

3. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +32.6s

4. Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +33.5s

5. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC), +1m30.1s

6. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +2m16.7s

7. Lappi/Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC), +2m56.9s

8. Meeke/Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC), +4m40.1s

9. Rovanperä/Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo), +8m24.6s (1st, WRC2 Pro)

10. Kopecky/Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo), +8m49.2s

Etc.

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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