24H du Mans

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24H du Mans

Sixty-two entries for last Le Mans to star hybrid LMP1 prototypes

Le Mans organiser ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has listed the 62 entries that have been invited to take part in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14. More than 50 cars will contest the race on Michelin rubber. The French firm is targeting its 23rd straight win in La Sarthe and its 29th in total. Hybrid LMP1 prototypes will appear for the last time.

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2020 put back 98 days

Initially scheduled for the weekend of June 13-14, this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed until mid-September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 1968 race was also held in September and saw Michelin provide new radial tyres for its partner Alpine.

The severity of coronavirus epidemic has forced the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) to postpone the last round of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship until September 19-20. In a precedent, the 1968 Le Mans 24 Hours was held the same month owing to the wave of protests that rocked France in May that year.

The race produced a third straight win for the Ford GT40 (Rodriguez/Bianchi) which, for the first time, was sporting the iconic colours of Gulf. Having competed at Le Mans since 1951, Porsche was rewarded with its first-ever pole position in La Sarthe thanks to Jo Siffert (Porsche 908). The German make ended up second and third with the 907 of Steinemann/Spoerry and Neerpash/Stommelen’s 908.

One of the most prominently reported stories that year was the feat of Henri Pescarolo who stayed at the wheel of his Matra during the night despite suffering a windscreen-wiper failure in pouring rain.

lm-68-le-depart

Meanwhile, Michelin arrived at Le Mans with a brand new range of radial tyres for the four Alpine A220s entered by Société des Automobiles Alpine and Ecurie Savin-Calberson. The hastily-completed cars were powered by a new Gordini-tuned three-litre V8.

Three of them failed to reach the finish following the retirements of Grandsire/Larrousse (Lap 59), Guichet/Jabouille (Lap 185) and Bianchi/Depailler (fire, Lap 257). However, the Alpine A220/Michelin of André de Cortanze/Jean Vinatier took the chequered flag in eighth place overall and third in the P3.0 class after covering 4,000 kilometres (297 laps).

The French car’s top-10 result was a fitting reward for the staff at Michelin Compétition who had put significant effort into developing its new radial slicks in time. The department’s resolve and innovative instincts paid further dividends a decade later when the company’s radial technology famously triumphed at Le Mans with Alpine in 1978!

FIA WRC

Michelin wins WRC’s 600th round with Tänak and Hyundai

Reigning world champion Ott Tänak steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC to victory on home soil at Rally Estonia on Sunday. Irishman Craig Breen made it a one-two finish for Hyundai, while Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) rounded out the weekend’s all-Michelin top-three.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Oliveira wins bike racing’s 900th GP!

A dramatic last lap at Austria’s Red Bull Ring saw Miguel Oliveira clinch the first MotoGPTM win of his career, plus that of his team Red Bull KTM Tech 3. The Portuguese rider was joined on the podium of the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria (Round 6 of the 2020 MotoGPTM World Championship) by Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Racing). Premier class motorcycle racing’s 900th clash produced Michelin’s 438th grand prix victory, while Oliveira is the fourth different rider to have won a race this season and the 53rd to have taken the spoils on Michelin rubber. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Ducati extends unbeaten Red Bull Ring record

The myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich – which was interrupted due to a spectacular crash involving Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – was won by Andrea Dovizioso. The Ducati Team rider was joined on the podium of the 2020 MotoGPTM World Championship’s fifth round by Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). The top-three finishers at Austria’s Red Bull Ring all ran different tyre pairings to provide further evidence of the MICHELIN Power Slick’s versatility.  

FIA WEC

Toyota and Michelin finish 1st and 2nd at Spa-Francorchamps

The 2020 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps saw the two Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids come first and second in Belgium in the hands of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (N°7) and Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (N°8). Showery weather made getting tyre strategies spot-on particularly vital but also highlighted the quality of the range provided by Michelin for the return of FIA WEC action.

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