FIA WRC

One-two joy for Toyota/Michelin in Turkey

The 2018 Rally Turkey saw Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRCs come first and second in the hands of winner Ott Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala. Hyundai/Michelin’s Hayden Paddon completed the season’s roughest fixture in third spot. Michelin runners also monopolised the WRC2 podium.

FIA WRC

Rally Turkey - Racecard

All you need to know about the Rally Turkey.Clic on the photo to download the racecard

FIA WRC

Sweden revenge for ice-cool Neuville

After cruelly missing out on last year’s Rally Sweden win, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin) bounced back this week to win the 66th running of the winter classic, ahead of Craig Breen (Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin) and team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen. World champion Sébastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) was penalised by his running order and could manage no better than 10th at the flag.

To have the best chances of winning the 2018 Rally Sweden, it was preferable not have scored a strong result on January’s Monte Carlo. Indeed, the top three finishers in the Principality – namely Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala – were forced to run first on the road on Friday’s stages through Norway’s Finnskogen region and they completed the event in 10th, 9th and 7th places respectively.

Friday morning’s tests were effectively covered in a fresh coating of snow and the first cars in the order tended to serve as snowploughs, losing something like a second per kilometre in the process to their rivals running further back.

The same drivers faced a similar handicap on Saturday and Sunday when the start order was the reverse of the previous evening’s leaderboard.

Running fifth on the road on Day 1, Neuville – who has tended to go well on this event since 2012 – managed to steal an early lead, aided by the incredible grip delivered by his studded Michelin X-Ice North tyres. On the same rally in 2017, the Belgian had a lead of 43.3s over four-time Rally Sweden winner Jari-Matti Latvala but threw away his chance with a mistake on the Karlstad super-special.

This time round, he kept a cool head and pulled further clear of his Hyundai team-mates Mikkelsen and Paddon, and Citroën’s chasing Breen and Ostberg thanks to three fastest times on Saturday, including on the Vargasen stage which includes the famous Colin’s Crest leap.

In addition to becoming the third non-Scandinavian driver to win Rally Sweden since 1950, Neuville has also gone clear at the top of the provisional world championship standings.

Spectators were treated to a great scrap for the other two steps of the podium, too, between Hyundai/Michelin’s Mikkelsen and Paddon, and Citroën/Michelin’s Breen and Ostberg. The silver medal ended up in the hands of Irishman Craig Breen who failed to crack under pressure from Norway’s Mikkelsen (3rd) to pick up the best WRC result of his career to date.

There was a last-day surprise in the battle for fourth when Esapekka Lappi (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) squeezed pas Ostberg and Paddon at the very end. Title contenders Jari-Matti Latvala and Ott Tanak ended up seventh and ninth.

It was a weekend to forget for M-Sport/Ford whose best-placed finisher was Finnish youngster Teemu Suninen (8th). Sébastien Ogier salvaged four Power Stage bonus points but had to settle for 10th, while Elfyn Evans was 11th after losing time on SS4. The only WRC driver who needed to take advantage of the ‘Rally2’ ruling on the high-speed fixture was Kris Meeke (Citroën) who was delayed by contact with a snowbank and turbo damage.

The WRC2 victor was Toyota Gazoo Racing protégé Takamoto Katsuta who caught local rivals Pontus Tidemand and Ole-Christian Veiby napping. It was the first major success for a Japanese driver since Toshihiro Arai’s victory in New Zealand in 2007.

The next round of the 2018 WRC will be Rally Mexico (March 8-11) where the nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb is due to make a comeback

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Dovizioso (Ducati Team / Michelin) takes home spoils at Misano

The GP Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Round 13 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship, saw Andrea Dovizioso claim his 11th premier class win. The Ducati Team / Michelin rider was joined on the podium by Marc Márquez (2nd, Repsol Honda Team / Michelin) and Cal Crutchlow (3rd, LCR Honda / Michelin).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini - Racecard

All you need to know about the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.Click on the photo to download the racecard.

FIA WEC

Rebellion/Michelin harvests Silverstone success

The disqualification of both Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids after the finish of the 2018 6 Hours of Silverstone handed victory to the N°3 Rebellion/Michelin of Beche/Laurent/Menezes. Rebellion’s N°1 car (Jani/Lotterer) was second, while Ferrari/Michelin took the LM GTE Pro prize with the N°51 488 GTE of Pier Guidi/Calado. 

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