FIA WEC

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.

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. 

FIA WEC

6 Hours of Bahrain (WEC): titles to settle and farewells to bid

The last round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship will settle the LM P1 Drivers’ championship, as well as all this season’s GT titles. It will also be Audi’s swansong appearance in prototype racing.

The 2016 6 Hours of Bahrain will be Audi’s 186th and last prototype endurance race. To date, the German make has notched up no fewer than 106 victories in the discipline, all with Michelin. The race’s entry for the Sakhir fixture features two Audi R18s, for Tréluyer/Fässler/Lotterer (N°7) and Duval/di Grassi/Jarvis (N°8).

They will face opposition from Porsche which has already secured the Manufacturers’ crown. Only the Drivers’ title has yet to be settled between the trio in command of the N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid/Michelin (Dumas/Lieb/Jani, who have led since the season’s curtain raiser at Silverstone) and the crew of the N°6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin (Sarrazin/Conway/Kobayashi). The gap stands at 17 points and the Japanese team boasts two previous Bahrain wins.

Both Porsche Team and Toyota Gazoo Racing will be able to count on the assistance of their second cars (N°1 Porsche/Michelin, Hartley/Webber/Bernhard / N°5 Toyota/Michelin, Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima) when they finalise their respective race strategies for Saturday.

All the LM GTE trophies remain to be attributed, too. In the chase for this year’s GT Drivers’ honours, Marco Sorensen and Nicky Thiim (Aston Martin) are 12 points clear of Rigon and Bird (Ferrari/Michelin), with Ford/Michelin’s Pla/Mücke a further nine points short. In the Manufacturers’ battle, Ferrari leads by 10 points over Aston Martin whose N°95 car tops the Teams’ classification, two points ahead of the N°67 Ford/Michelin. In LM GTE Am, the N°83 Ferrari/Michelin of Perrodo/Collard/Aguas needs a single point to secure the top prize.

The season’s final clash will start at 4pm local time and finish after sunset. Sakhir (5.412km) is a unique circuit and an ‘extreme’ challenge – a little like Sebring – with high temperatures and low grip due to sand blown onto the track. It is also hard on the brakes, which can have a knock-on effect on tyres. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: a flawless weekend for Viñales at Le Mans

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) produced a grand-slam performance at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France, round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. The Spaniard added pole position and fastest race lap to his third win of the season. Second and third were local star Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). 

FIA WRC

Ogier claims fifth Portugal victory

A fifth Rally de Portugal victory for Sébastien Ogier has taken the Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin star’s personal tally to 40 world class wins and level with Markku Alèn as the event’s most successful driver. The Frenchman has also established a new record for the highest number of WRC points scored at this level. He was joined on Sunday’s podium by Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin rivals Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo.

FIA Formula E

Paris ePrix: Buemi triumphs in French capital

Sébastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) followed up his victory in Monaco last week with another at Saturday’s Paris ePrix, ahead of Lopez and Heidfeld. A mistake by rival Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) helped him to comfort his cushion at the top of the provisional Drivers’ standings.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: next stop Le Mans, France

Round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, and the second to take place on European soil, is this weekend’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France at Le Mans-Bugatti. 

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