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-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. 

24H du Mans

Michelin targeting a 20th straight win at Le Mans

Michelin, which has gone unbeaten in the world’s most famous endurance race since 1998, is hunting for a 20th consecutive victory this time round. It will be competing with partners in all four categories, including Porsche and Toyota in the blue ribband hybrid prototype class.

First run in 1923, the Le Mans 24 Hours has always stood out as an exceptional challenge not only for drivers, but also for their cars and tyres. Today, it has evolved into a complex and merciless 24-hour sprint that attracts around a quarter of a million spectators every year.

To stand a chance of winning at Le Mans, tyres need to be able to perform at top speeds in excess of 340kph. They must also be capable of covering more than 700km at average speeds of 220kph, while at the same time delivering safe, flawless consistency.

“Le Mans is actually a race that lasts 365 days, not just 24 hours,” stresses Jérôme Mondain, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes. “Even before the chequered flag has come down, our engineers are already analysing the data they have collected to improve our tyres for the following year. The prototypes they produce are tested in the autumn and signed off during the winter before being provided to our partner teams for the season’s opening rounds.”

In addition to being flat and extremely fast, the 13.629km Circuit de La Sarthe is practically unique in that 80 percent of it is made up of roads that are open to everyday traffic the rest of the year. Its surface is consequently inconsistent and offers differing levels of grip, especially following the recent resurfacing of the track’s permanent portion, aka Le Mans-Bugatti. Indeed, the complete track is only open for the official pre-race Test Day and the 24-hour showdown itself.

In the course of such a long race, and given the mixed bag of weather that is to be expected in this part of France in June, the teams need to be on their toes throughout. Experience is therefore a valuable ally when it comes to predicting temperature shifts and possible storms, for example. To cover as many scenarios as possible, Michelin provides its partners with a choice of three types of slick, as well as intermediate and rain tyres.

This year, Michelin is active in all four classes, including the blue ribband LM P1 hybrid prototype category in association with Porsche Team and Toyota Gazoo Racing. The German make has won the last two races, while its Japanese rival is eager to notch up its maiden success in the world-famous classic.

Michelin is also involved with four prestigious makes in LM GTE Pro – Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche and Ford – which invariably produces a close battle, while three prototypes will be competing on the French firm’s latest products in LM P2. In LM GTE Am, Michelin tyres remain a popular choice since no fewer than 10 cars will be racing on its tyres. Each one of these three classes features fierce competition between different tyre companies.

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours will get under way at 3pm local time on Saturday, June 17, but race week kicks off with technical scrutineering in the centre of Le Mans on Sunday, June 11. Practice sessions are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evening, while Friday afternoon’s city centre Drivers’ parade is always a big draw for fans. The programme of support races includes the Road to Le Mans for which Michelin is the exclusive tyre supplier to the LM P3 and GT3 teams.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin) on top again in Catalunya

The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Round 7 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship at Barcelona-Catalunya, was won by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin). The race produced the Majorcan’s second victory in a row for Ducati, ahead of the championship pace-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team/Michelin) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP/Michelin). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya - Racecard (EN)

All you need to know about the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.Click on the photo to download our racecard.

FIA Formula E

Di Grassi takes the money in Zurich

The Zurich E-Prix – the first race to be held on Swiss soil since 1955 – was won by Formula E’s defending champion Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin). Despite having to settle for 10th spot, the 2017/2018 championship’s pacesetter Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) still tops the provisional points table ahead of the campaign’s last two races next month in New York.

FIA WRC

Neuville beats Ogier by seven-tenths of a second in Sardinia!

The provisional world championship pace-setter Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) came out on top of his hypnotising duel with five-time champ Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to win the 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna by seven-tenths of a second. Esapekka Lappi was third for Toyota/Michelin.

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