Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 


First Germany triumph for Ford/Michelin

Ott Tanak collected the second win of his WRC career and earned Ford/M-Sport’s maiden ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory today in Germany. Third place behind Andreas Mikkelsen (Citroën/Michelin) enabled Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to recover the Drivers’ championship lead from Thierry Neuville. Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) is the 2017 WRC2 world champion.


Ogier claims fifth Portugal victory

A fifth Rally de Portugal victory for Sébastien Ogier has taken the Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin star’s personal tally to 40 world class wins and level with Markku Alèn as the event’s most successful driver. The Frenchman has also established a new record for the highest number of WRC points scored at this level. He was joined on Sunday’s podium by Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin rivals Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

After their Rallye Monte-Carlo success in January, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) claimed their second WRC classic of the season by winning the 50th-anniversay Rally de Portugal. The four-time world champions’ fifth victory on this event since 2010 has taken them equal with the record set by Finn Markku Alèn some 30 years ago!

The Frenchman beat another record this weekend by increasing his total WRC points score (since the 2008 Rally Mexico) to 1,645, which is 20 better than the 1,625 points notched up by Sébastien Loeb in the course of his career.

Ogier put in a perfectly-paced run in Portugal, despite being penalised by so-called ‘road-sweeping’ duty due to the fact that he was first on the road early on. The M-Sport driver completed Friday’s action in third place, just five seconds short of the overnight leader, and he then emerged in front after Saturday’s SS12 (37.55km) when team-mate Ott Tanak made a small mistake. Running on a combination of hard- and soft-compound Michelin LTX Force tyres, he successfully warded off a late challenge from Thierry Neuville to claim the fastest Rally de Portugal in WRC history (average speed: 94.33kph).

With an entry of 14 new-generation World Rally Cars for the championship’s sixth encounter, there was always a good chance that the Portuguese round would see some fierce fighting and it effectively produced nine different stage winners and six different leaders. Towards the end of Day 1, the top 10 were blanketed by less than 20 seconds, but the eventful seventh stage (Ponte de Lima) caused havoc when Hayden Paddon’s Hyundai/Michelin was halted by an electronics issue, Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) rolled and Kris Meeke (Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin) was eliminated by suspension damage...

Estonia’s Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) completed Friday in front but fell to fifth when he clipped a bank on the following day’s SS12. He eventually managed to recover fourth spot after passing Craig Breen, Citroën’s best-placed finisher in Portugal.

The WRC2 battle saw the Michelin Latitude Cross S80- and H90-shod Skoda Fabia R5 secure yet another win, this time thanks to Pontus Tidemand (Fabia R5). Finn Teemu Suninen (Ford Michelin) ended up second.

Tidemand and Suninen had been closely matched for much of the event and, coincidentally, both had to stop to change a wheel on SS15. However, the Swede made the switch more quickly to pull out a slight advantage which turned into the win when the class’s long-time leader Andreas Mikkelsen crashed his similar car on the final test.

Next round: Rally Italia Sardegna, Sardinia, Italy (June 8-11).


MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 


MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 


MotoGP: off to Aragon

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, takes teams to Spain this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are provisionally level at the top of the Riders’ standings.  


Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.

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