FIA WRC

Sixth WRC title for Ogier and Toyota’s fourth, all with Michelin

The 2018 Rally Australia saw Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claim their sixth Drivers’ world title and their second with Ford/Michelin. Jari-Matti Latvala earned Toyota Gazoo Racing’s 50th world class victory to make sure of the Manufacturers’ crown with Michelin.  

FIA WRC

Rally Australia - Racecard

All you ever wanted to know about the Rally Australia, the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Who will crowned World Champion?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

FIA Formula E

BMW/Michelin claims maiden Formula E success

Round 1 of the 2018/2019 Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, was won by Antonio Felix da Costa. The Portuguese BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver was joined on the podium by Jean-Eric Vergne (DS Techeetah/Michelin) and Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Mahindra Racing/Michelin).

FIA Formula E

ABB Formula E - Ad Diriyah ePrix - Racecard

All you need to kown about the Ad Diriyah ePrix with our racecard.Clic on the photo to download it. 

FIA World Council decisions

A number of key decisions were taken at the FIA World Council meeting that was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on December 5. Many of them referred to some of the global championships in which Michelin is active, namely the WEC, WRC and Formula E.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team/Michelin) triumphs in Valencia

After claiming the season’s opener in Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso concluded the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship with victory in Valencia. The Italian was unfazed when the race was red flagged due to heavy rain and he went on to finish clear of Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR/Michelin) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing/Michelin).   

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