FIA WRC

Citroën and Michelin: a winning combination in the WRC

Citroën has announced its intention to curtail its involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship. Together, the French car firm and Michelin have harvested five Manufacturers’ titles, four Drivers’ crowns, 58 world-class wins and 150 podium finishes.

FIA WRC

Rally Australia cancellation hands WRC crown to Hyundai, with Michelin*

Raging fires in New South Wales have forced Rally Australia’s organisers to cancel the curtain-closing round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. Their decision has handed this season’s Manufacturers’ title to Hyundai which has earned Michelin’s 56th WRC crown in the process. 

FIA WRC

Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) claims second straight Rally Finland win

Ott Tänak secured the 10th win of his world championship career with victory in Finland, ahead of local stars Esapekka Lappi (Citroën/Michelin) and Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota/Michelin). The Estonian’s title rivals Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) were fifth and sixth. Skoda/Michelin’s Kalle Rovanperä won his home round of the WRC2 Pro championship.

Rally Finland, the fastest round of the season, has long accustomed us to nail-biting battles at average speeds of around 130kph on the country’s famous forest dirt roads. The classification after SS8 (Urria) illustrated the ferocity of this year’s scrap when Latvala appeared at the top of the order chased by Kris Meeke (Toyota/Michelin), Lappi and Tänak who were equal second, a mere six-tenths of a second adrift. Meanwhile, four of the stages contested up to that point had been won by a margin of just one-tenth!

To have the confidence required to tackle Rally Finland’s notorious blind corners and jumps at speeds in excess of 170kph, the drivers must obviously have total faith in their co-driver, car and tyres, and, once again, both the Michelin LTX Force and Latitude Cross provided them with the necessary grip and steering precision. This time around, the overcast conditions and mild temperatures ranging from 10 to 15°C prompted Michelin’s WRC and WRC2 partners to favour the softer of the two options available to them.

After the fiercely fought opening day, the order opened up a little on Saturday morning when Meeke and Latvala clipped the same rock on SS14. The Briton was forced to retire, but the Finn was able to continue, albeit out of contention for a fourth victory on home soil.

Leg 2 was subsequently dominated by Tänak who pushed home the benefit of a favourable running order to pull gradually clear of Lappi and lay the foundations for his 10th WRC success after posting his 200th stage win (his 170th on Michelin tyres) on the last morning.

The rally also produced a thrilling fight for fourth place which was ultimately pocketed by Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin), ahead of Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). Craig Breen slowed to hand sixth place to his Hyundai/Michelin team-mate Thierry Neuville at the end of the event, while Teemu Suninen was eighth for M-Sport Ford WRT/Michelin.

Rovanperä (Skoda/Michelin) dominated the WRC2 Pro scrap to beat Eric Camilli who was driving the new Ford Fiesta R5 Evo/Michelin. Pierre-Louis Loubet led the WRC2 class until his off on Saturday evening which handed the top prize to Russia’s Nikolay Gryazin (Skoda/Michelin).

The championship returns to asphalt next with Rallye Deutschland on August 22-25.

2019 Rally Finland – final positions:
1. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC), 2h30m40.3s
2. Lappi/Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC),+25.6s
3. Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC), +33.2s
4. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC),+53.4s
5. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC), +56.1s
6. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC),+1m32.4s
7. Breen/Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC),+1m38.2s
8. Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC),+2m33.8s
9. Rovanperä/Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) (1st, WRC2 Pro),+7m54.1s
10. Gryazin/Fedorov (Skoda Fabia R5) (1st, WRC2),+10m28.7s
Etc.

FIA WEC

Twenty-nine champions for FIA endurance racing Hall of Fame

After creating Halls of Fame for its Formula 1 and Rally World Championships, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has now added an endurance racing section at its Paris headquarters. Twenty-nine champions were inducted at a special ceremony on Monday evening (December 2). It was organised in association with Michelin, a long-time major player in the discipline.

FIA Formula E

Formula E: Britons rule at 2019/2020 curtain raiser in Saudi Arabia

Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin) and Alexander Sims (BMW I Andretti Motorsport) took the two wins at the opening meeting of the 2019/2020 Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Michelin has been the official tyre supplier to the FIA’s all-electric racing series since its creation in 2014.

MOTOGP™

MotoE: Ferrari claims inaugural Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup

Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s first champion. The weekend’s two races were won by pole-winner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Márquez wraps up 2019 with home success

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana was won by Spaniard Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha Petronas SRT) was second, while Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made it three different bikemakers on the podium. All three riders chose the same tyre combination for the 19th and last round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship.  

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