FIA WEC

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.

FIA WEC

New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  

FIA WEC

Toyota/Michelin wins Silverstone WEC opener

Toyota Gazoo Racing and Michelin won Great Britain’s 6 Hours of Silverstone for the second time after their maiden victory there together in 2014. First past the flag was the N°8 TS050 Hybrid of Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima, which finished clear of the N°2 (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) and N°1 (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy) Porsches. Michelin won all three of the classes in which it was represented.

 

The sixth FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) kicked off on Easter Sunday with a field of 27 cars for the 2017 6 Hours of Silverstone.

The new Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids dominated qualifying to monopolise the grid’s front row, with the N°7 car (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) earning the Japanese firm’s first WEC pole position since the 2014 Fuji race.

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The two Toyotas got away to a strong start, chased by the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, but the N°7 prototype was soon delayed by a rear antiroll bar problem. At the halfway point, the N°8 Toyota led as rain swept over the Northamptonshire track.

On Lap 116, Pechito Lopez crashed badly in the N°7 car following a repeat antiroll bar issue. The ensuing safety car period bunched up the gaps at the sharp end and Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima’s 40-second advantage was wiped out.

With 47 minutes remaining, the N°8 Toyota made its final refuelling stop, imitated 20 minutes later by the N°2 Porsche which only needed a ‘splash ‘n dash’ and was consequently able to re-join in front.

The Japanese machine’s aerodynamic package was better suited to Silverstone, however, and Buemi lost no time catching the German car before reclaiming top spot with 12 minutes to go. The Swiss driver ended up crossing the line with a winning margin of 6.173s after 1,162 kilometres.

The LM GTE Pro victory went to the class’s pole-winning N°67 Ford GT/Michelin (Priaulx/Tincknell/Derani) which took the spoils ahead of the N°51 Ferrari/Michelin (Pier Giudi/Calado) and N°91 Porsche/Michelin (Lietz/Makowiecki). The N°66 Ford and the N°71 Ferrari made it an all-Michelin top five.

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In LM GTE Am, the Clearwater Racing-run N°61 Ferrari/Michelin (Mok/Sawa/Griffin) took the top prize, ahead of the N°98 Aston Martin, despite a collision between the cars a few corners before the finish. The LM P2 victor was China’s Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit (N°38 Oreca07-Gibson), ahead of the N°31 Vaillante-Rebellion and N°28 TDS Racing prototypes.

Next round: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (May 6).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 

FIA WRC

Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: off to Aragon

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, takes teams to Spain this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are provisionally level at the top of the Riders’ standings.  

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