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.


New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  


One-two success for Porsche/Michelin at the Nürburgring

Following in the wake of its recent triumph at Le Mans, Porsche Team dominated Round 4 of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to claim one-two glory with its N°2 and N°1 cars at the Nürburgring, Germany. The LM GTE Pro battle was won by the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin, ahead of the two Michelin-equipped Porsche 911 RSRs.

The early part of the all-dry race was led by the pole-winning N°7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin in the hands of Kamui Kobayashi, although the N°8 sister car (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) was struck by a fuel pump issue during the formation lap. Five laps were needed for repairs but the second Japanese car managed to fight its way back to fourth by the halfway point, which was the best result it could hope for.

Meanwhile, José-Maria Lopez (N°7 Toyota) was passed at the start of the second hour by Porsche’s Brendon Hartley and Neel Jani whose Porsche 919 Hybrids were sporting their 2017-spec high-downforce guise for the first time. The two drivers quickly opened up a useful gap, running in close formation around half-a-minute clear of the Toyota.

With some 15 minutes to go, the N°2 car (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) appeared ahead of the N°1 prototype of (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy) after the last round of pit stops. It went on to cross the line with a cushion of 1.606s after 204 laps (1,050km). The N°7 and N°8 Toyotas were third and fourth at the flag.

The LM GTE Pro class produced another thriller between Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari and Ford. Three hours into the race, the N°92 Porsche 919 RSR/Michelin - which had topped qualifying for the very first time – was in command, 1.2s clear of the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin. The Italian machine eased ahead during Hour 4, however, and went on to scoop the spoils, chased by the N°91 and N°92 factory Porsches.

The opening hours of the LM GTE Am scrap were dominated by the N°77 Porsche and N°98 Aston Martin before the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Ried/Cairoli/Dienst clinched the win. Third was the N°54 Ferrari/Michelin (Flohr/Castelacci/Molina) which successfully squeezed Aston Martin out of the top three in the dying moments.

LMP2 saw Jackie Chan Racing take another class victory with the N°38 Oreca (Tung/Jarvis/Laurent), with the N°31 Vaillante and N°36 Alpine also reaching the podium.

The European leg of the 2017 FIA WEC is now over and teams will meet next in North America for the 6 Hours of Mexico on September 1-3.


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. 


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. 


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.  

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