FIA WRC

Rally Mexico Win #6 for Ogier

Sébastien Ogier steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC to victory this weekend to earn his sixth success in Mexico. However, Round 3 of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was brought to an early close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FIA WRC

FIA WRC - 2020 Rally Guanajuato Mexico - Racecard

The Rally Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and a big challenge for the Michelin tyres! Get our racecard to find out more about the 3rd round of the 2020

FIA WRC

Portugal glory for Toyota/Michelin

Twenty-five years after their last win together on the event as a WRC round*, Toyota and Michelin claimed the top prize at this year’s Rally de Portugal thanks to Ott Tänak. Second and third were Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). With half of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship completed, Ogier tops the Provisional Drivers’ standings, two and ten points clear of his Estonian and Belgian rivals respectively. The new Skoda Fabia R5 Evo/Michelin got its career of to a flying start with a one-two finish in WRC2 Pro thanks to Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky.

After Juha Kankkunen’s domination of the 1994 Rally de Portugal in a Michelin FB-equipped Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD, Ott Tänak followed in the Finn’s footsteps this weekend by taking an assertive victory on the same event in a Toyota Yaris WRC competing on Michelin LTX Force tyres to provide a further illustration of the French brand’s ‘long-lasting performance’ pledge.

As ground temperatures soared to as high as 45°C, the seventh round of the 2019 FIA WRC turned out to be a closely-fought affair and the provisional top-four – comprising Tänak, Meeke, Neuville and Ogier – was split by just 21 seconds going into the final day.

Tänak overcame the handicap of running second on the road on Day 1 to appear in front at close-of-play Friday, before going on to collect his third win of the campaign, and his second in a row after Chile.

Former Portugal victors Kris Meeke (Toyota/Michelin) and Thierry Neuville battled hard for second spot which fell into the Belgian’s lap when the Ulsterman span on the penultimate test and crashed out for good on the Power Stage.

Runner-up honours for Neuville saved Hyundai Motorsport’s otherwise hapless week which saw both Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo lose time on SS3, at which point the Spaniard was in the lead.

Ogier lost ground on the opening leg when he was first in the start order but recovered to bag third overall, ahead of Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) who gained a place following the retirement of fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi (Citroën/Michelin) on Sunday morning. Elfyn Evans (Ford/Michelin) rounded out the top five despite dropping several minutes early on with an electrical problem.

The brand new Michelin Latitude Cross-equipped Skoda Fabia R5 Evo marked its WRC debut with a one-two finish in WRC2 Pro in the hands of factory drivers Rovanperä and Kopecky. Frenchman Pierre-Louis Loubet (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin) won the WRC2 class.

The 2019 FIA WRC’s next stop is Rally Italia Sardegna (June 14-16), one of the roughest rounds of the season.

* Toyota and Michelin won the Rally de Portugal in 1996 (Madeira) and 2002 (Auriol), but the event did not count towards the WRC those years.

2019 Rally de Portugal – final positions:

1, Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC), 3h20m22.8s

2, Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +15.9s

3, Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC), +57.1s

4, Suninen/Salminen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +2m41.5s

5, Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +7m8.3s

6, Rovanperä/Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) (1st, WRC2 Pro), +10m34.2s

7, Kopecky/Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo), +11m41.9s

8, Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC), +13m6.7s

Etc.

MOTOGP™

Michelin on the virtual racing front

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.

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.

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.

FIA Formula E

Da Costa (DS Techeetah/Michelin) takes Marrakech laurels

Antonio Felix Da Costa steered his Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped DS E-Tense FE20 to victory in Marrakesh, home of Round 5 of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Morocco, Africa’s number one nation in terms of renewable energy, has hosted Formula E action every year since 2016.

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