FIA WEC

Grand-slam glory for Michelin in Texas

The Lone Star Le Mans (Round 5 of the 2019/2020 FIA World Endurance Championship) at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, was won by the Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance-equipped Rebellion R13 of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato. Michelin cars also topped the order in LMP2 (N°22 Oreca07-Gibson), LMGTE Pro (N°95 Aston Martin) and LMGTE Am (N°90 Aston Martin).

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 WEC

Toyota/Michelin claim 1st and 2nd places in Bahrain

Toyota Gazoo Racing dominated the last FIA WEC race of the year to collect first and second places in Bahrain with the N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) and N°8 (Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley) Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids. The French tyre firm topped the order in the other three classes, too, with the N°22 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson (LMP2), N°95 Aston Martin (LMGTE Pro) and N°57 Porsche (LMGTE Am).

The outcome of the last world-class endurance race of the year was pretty much settled by a tangle involving the two prototypes that had qualified on the front row for the 8 Hours of Bahrain – namely the N°1 Rebellion/Michelin and N°5 Ginetta/Michelin. The N°8 Toyota/Michelin also lost time due to the incident, which gave the N°7 sister prototype of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez sufficient breathing space to take a comfortable win after completing 257 laps (1,390km).

The result was also Michelin’s 62nd FIA WEC success since the championship’s creation in 2012 and yet another illustration of the performance and consistency of the Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance. In spite of Sakhir International Circuit’s notoriously abrasive track and the added difficulty of sand on the surface, the French tyre firm’s partners successfully double-stinted in all four classes, even during the early phase of the race.

The N°8 Toyota/Michelin was second past the chequered flag, ahead of the N°1 Rebellion/Michelin (Senna/Menezes/Nato) which recovered from its misfortune at the start but had to spend three laps in the pits to repair a mechanical problem.

The N°5 and N°6 Ginetta/Michelins both disappeared at around the halfway mark, leaving fourth overall and victory in LMP2 to the N°22 Oreca07-Gibson/Michelin of Hanson/Di Resta/Albuquerque. While the United Autosports prototype led its class from start to finish, there was an interesting scrap in its wake for the other podium places between the Jota and Jackie Chan DC Racing cars and the N°26 Aurus/Michelin which was racing on Michelin rubber for the very first time.

The closest fight of the day opposed the N°92 Porsche/Michelin, N°95 Aston Martin/Michelin and N°51 Ferrari/Michelin for the top prize in LMGTE Pro. Aided by an offset pitstop strategy and a faultless run, victory ended up in the hands of Aston Martin’s Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim. The N°92 and N°91 Porsche 911 RSR/Michelins were slowed by technical trouble halfway into the race, which allowed the N°71 Ferrari (Rigon/Molina) and N°97 Aston Martin (Lynn/Martin) to clinch second and third places.

The LMGTE Am victory went to the N°57 Project 1 Porsche/Michelin of Keating/Ten Woorde/Bleekemolen who deserved their success after qualifying on pole and completing a triple stint early on with its ‘amateur’ driver Ben Keating behind the wheel. The N°98 Aston Martin and N°86 Gulf Racing Porsche made it another all-Michelin top-three in the class.

After the end-of-year festivities, FIA WEC action will resume with the Lone Star Le Mans on February 22 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, USA, which has replaced the initially-planned 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.

8 Hours of Bahrain – final positions:

1. Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota TS050 Hybrid N°7), 257 laps

2. Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (Toyota TS050 Hybrid N°8), +1 lap

3. Senna/Menezes/Nato (Rebellion-Gibson R13 N°1), +3 laps

4. Hanson/Albuquerque/Di Rasta (Oreca07-Gibson N°22), +8 laps

5. Gonzalez/Da Costa/Davidson (Oreca07-Gibson N°38), +8 laps

6. Tung/Aubry/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson N°37), +9 laps

7. Rusinov/Van Uitert/Vergne (Aurus-Gibson N°26), +9 laps

8. Laurent/Negrao/Ragues (Alpine A470 N°36), +9 laps

9. Van Eerd/Van der Garde/ De Vries (Oreca07-Gibson N°29), +10 laps

10. Lapierre/Borga/Coigny (Oreca07-Gibson N°42), +12 laps

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.

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

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