One-two glory for Toyota/Michelin in Fuji downpour

In a repeat scenario of 2013, this year’s 6 Hours of Fuji – round seven of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship – was marked by torrential rain. The appalling weather didn’t prevent the N°8 and N°7 Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids from monopolising the top two positions, however, while the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin came up trumps in LM GTE Pro.


Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.


Toyota/Michelin claims Spa 1-2

Toyota Gazoo Racing came first and second at the 2017 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with its N°8 (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) and N°7 (Conway/Kobayashi) Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids. There was one-two glory, too, for Ferrari/Michelin with its N°71 and N°51 488 GTEs in LM GTE Pro.

The N°8 and N°7 Toyota TS050 Hybrids couldn’t have wished for a better rehearsal for June’s Le Mans 24 Hours than their victory today over the Michelin-shod N°2 (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) and N°1 (Lotterer/Jani/Tandy) Porsche 919 Hybrids at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Running with high-downforce aero packages, the Japanese prototypes dominated round two of the 2017 FIA WEC which took place in relatively mild weather in front of 61,000 spectators. The N°8 car pulled clear of its N°7 sister machine when the latter chose to refuel just before a Full Course Yellow period (FCY) during the fourth hour.

With 1½ hours to go, Brendon Hartley put the N°2 Porsche in front thanks to the team’s management of the FCY period. Its chances were scuppered, however, when it collided with the N°36 Alpine which was being driven at the time by ex-Porsche star Romain Dumas!

The N°8 Toyota recovered top spot with Sébastien Buemi, despite a light shower and a spirited fightback by Kamui Kobayashi in the N°7 car. The two prototypes were split by less than two seconds as they passed the flag after 1,211km of racing.

Toyota Gazoo Racing was running a third car for the very first time and Lapierre/Sarrazin/Kunimoto (N°9) ended up fifth, behind the pole-winning N°1 Porsche, after a ‘straight-on’ at the very first turn.

Before today’s result, Toyota/Michelin’s most recent one-two FIA WEC finish dated back to Shanghai in 2014.

The LM GTE Pro class produced a thrilling scrap between the Michelin-equipped N°71 (Bird/Rigon) and N°51 (Calado/Pier Guidi) Ferrari 488 GTEs which secured first and second places after pulling clear of the N°66 and N°67 Ford GTs early on. Neither the Porsche 911 RSRs nor the Aston Martin Vantages were involved in the battle for first place.

The LMP2 fight was won by the N°26 G-Drive Racing prototype (Rusinov/Thiriet/Lynn) after a splendid fight with the N°31 Vaillante-Rebellion (Canal/Prost/Senna) which lost ground near the end. Third place went to the Silverstone-winning N°38 Oreca-Gibson.

The LM GTE Am spoils went to the N°98 Aston Martin of Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana who dominated throughout to beat the N°77 Porsche (2nd) and N°61 Ferrari (3rd).

The next public appearance for the FIA WEC teams will be early June’s official test for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours.


Michelin named official MotoGP tyre supplier until 2023

Dorna Sports has confirmed that Michelin will continue to be the official supplier of tyres to the MotoGPTM World Championship for five additional seasons over and above the existing arrangement. The contract’s extension until 2023 was announced today at this weekend’s MICHELIN® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in the presence of Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. 


Sébastien Ogier and M-Sport WRT seal 2017 WRC crowns!

Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and British outfit M-Sport wrapped up world class rallying’s 2017 titles* today after this weekend’s Wales Rally GB which was won by homegrown star Elfyn Evans. 


MotoGP: Dovizioso takes Malaysia win!

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) collected his sixth success of the year with victory at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, Round 17 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) came second to notch up Ducati’s first one-two finish of the season, while Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was third. Fourth place for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) means the fight for the 2017 crown will be decided in Valence. 


MotoGP: Marquez to wrap up title in Malaysia?

The 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship concludes its autumn long-haul tour with the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (Round 17 of 18). Marc Marquez travels to Sepang with a 33-point cushion at the top of the provisional standings and could well collect his fourth premier class crown this weekend. 

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