FIA WRC

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. 

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. 

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville claims Argentina win by 7/10ths of a second!

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin) won the 2017 Rally Argentina by the margin of just seven-tenths of a second to beat Welshman Elfyn Evans (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) after 357.59km of competitive action! Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin) was third.

After the 2011 Rally Jordan and the 2007 Rally New Zealand, which were decided by a mere two-tenths and three-tenths of a second respectively, the outcome of this weekend’s competition in Argentina was the third-smallest winning margin in World Rally Championship history, as Thierry Neuville stole a last-gasp victory from Elfyn Evans.

Evans dominated the opening day in South America with a score of six stage wins to pull out a cushion of almost a minute over his chasers by Friday evening. By close-of-play Saturday, however, Hyundai’s Belgian star had closed the gap to 11.5s after a sunny day of action in the Cordoba region’s Traslasierras mountains.

Neuville continued his charge on the final morning’s legendary El Condor and Mina Clavero stages to shave the difference down dramatically to six-tenths of a second as crews lined up for the ultimate test.

With exactly 5.70km of the 16.32-kilometre Power Stage completed, the Welshman was clocked with a lead of 3.1s. He then clipped one of the run’s many bridge parapets, however, and that allowed Neuville to clinch the win by seven-tenths of a second, the equivalent of 13.40 metres!

It is the Belgian’s second straight WRC success after the recent Tour de Corse and earns Michelin a record-breaking 86th consecutive world class rally win.

Estonia’s Ott Tanak (Ford/Michelin) ended up third, ahead of Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) who made it three M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta RS WRCs in the final top four. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota/Michelin) was fifth.

True to its reputation as one of the championship’s most punishing rounds, the 2017 Rally Argentina turned out to be a rally of attrition. Last year’s victor Hayden Paddon (6th, Hyundai/Michelin, accident, SS1), Dani Sordo (8th, Hyundai/Michelin, damaged steering arm) and Citroën C3 WRC/Michelin drivers Kris Meeke and Craig Breen (both on SS4) all suffered early delays.

Meeke re-started on Day 2 thanks to the Rally2 ruling but crashed again on SS14, which is where Mads Ostberg (Ford/Michelin) hit a wall while challenging for a top-three placing. Not including the ‘Rally2’ runners, there were only 16 cars still running after the first four stages! Eighteen competitors were classified, however.

Skoda/Michelin topped the WRC2 standings for the eighth time in a row thanks to Swede Pontus Tidemand who took the class’s trophy in Villa Carlos Paz for the third straight year.

Next round: Rally Portugal, Porto, Portugal (May 18- 21).

MOTOGP™

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. 

FIA WEC

Toyota wins as Porsche/Michelin seals 2017 WEC crown

Victory for the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin at the 6 Hours of Shanghai in the hands of Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima did not prevent Porsche Team from securing a third straight FIA WEC title. The German squad’s Timo Bernard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber claimed the 2017 Drivers’ crown. 

MOTOGP™

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™

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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