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

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville wins in Spain, while Tänak takes 2019 title* with Michelin

Despite claiming an assertive victory at the RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) failed to prevent second-placed Ott Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) from pocketing the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship Drivers’ crown* with one round to go. The Estonian – who earned Michelin’s 55th WRC title in the process – is the first non-Frenchman to win the coveted prize since 2003.

 

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Going into Spain’s round of the championship, Tänak enjoyed cushions of 28 and 41 points respectively over Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) and Neuville, which meant he could potentially sew up the title fight ahead of the campaign’s final clash in Australia.

Ogier’s chances were all but scuppered on the opening morning when the outgoing time champ was delayed by power-steering trouble, but Hyundai Motorsport had no intention of throwing in the towel. The Korean brand even monopolised the podium after Leg 1’s gravel stages which saw Michelin rubber help Sébastien Loeb, Neuville and Dani Sordo to finish in that order.

When the action switched to asphalt on Saturday, Neuville soon emerged in front, however, chased by Sordo, while four fastest times in a row took Tänak past Loeb into third spot.

The Estonian knew that second place would suffice to secure the title and Hyundai’s front-running pair did everything in their power to ward off the Toyota driver’s pressure on Sunday morning.

Running on hard-compound Michelin Pilot Sport H5 tyres, they succeeded in concluding the day’s first three stages in front, but Tänak pulled out all the stops on the 20.72-kilometre Power Stage (La Mussara) to post the best effort and ease past Sordo into second place by a margin of just four-tenths of a second!

In doing so, he clocked up Michelin’s 27th Drivers’ crown in world-class rallying and stemmed a long series that had seen French rivals Loeb (nine titles) and Ogier (six) reign supreme in the sport for 15 years.

In contrast to the woes it suffered in the battle for overall victory, Citroën Racing and Michelin dominated the WRC2 Pro and WRC2 battles to win with Norway’s Mads Ostberg and Frenchman Eric Camilli respectively.

The final round of the 2019 FIA WRC will take teams to Australia on November 14-17 when the battle between Hyundai and Toyota for the top Manufacturers’ prize will be settled.

(*) Subject to the publication of the official results by the FIA

2019 RallyRACC Catalunya Rally de España – final positions:

1. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), 3h7m39.6s

2. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC), +17.2s

3. Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +17.6s

4. Loeb/Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +53.9s

5. Latvala/Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC), +1m0.2s

6. Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1m14.2s

7. Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1m47.6s

8. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC), +4m20.5s

9. Ostberg/Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5), +8m24.6s (1st, WRC2 Pro)

10. Camilli/Veillas (Citroën C3 R5), +8m47.2s (1st, WRC2)

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.

24H du Mans

Sixty-two entries for last Le Mans to star hybrid LMP1 prototypes

Le Mans organiser ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has listed the 62 entries that have been invited to take part in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14. More than 50 cars will contest the race on Michelin rubber. The French firm is targeting its 23rd straight win in La Sarthe and its 29th in total. Hybrid LMP1 prototypes will appear for the last time.

FIA Formula E

Da Costa (DS Techeetah/Michelin) takes Marrakech laurels

Antonio Felix Da Costa steered his Michelin Pilot Sport-equipped DS E-Tense FE20 to victory in Marrakesh, home of Round 5 of the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Morocco, Africa’s number one nation in terms of renewable energy, has hosted Formula E action every year since 2016.

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