24H du Mans

A second straight 1-2 finish for Toyota/Michelin at Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a second one-two finish at Le Mans to earn a 22nd consecutive win for its partner Michelin in the famous French endurance race. Victory ended up in the hands of the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, ahead of the N°7 sister car, while winning drivers Buemi, Nakajima and Alonso wrapped up the 2018/2019 FIA WEC title. The top-three was rounded out by the N°11 BR1/Michelin. Michelin topped the order in LMP2, too, with Alpine (Lapierre/Negrao/Thiriet), as well as in LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am with Ferrari (Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra) and Ford (Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga) respectively. The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours provided Michelin with the ideal opportunity to showcase the long-lasting performance credentials of its Pilot Sport Endurance tyres.

24H du Mans

Michelin’s first test of 2019 at Le Mans

The pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test day is the only opportunity teams get to test at the famous 13.626-kilometre track ahead of race-week itself. Unsurprisingly, Sunday’s order was dominated by the Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

24H du Mans

2019 LE MANS 24 HOURS - Long-lasting performance to the line, with Michelin…

This year, as always, Michelin’s mission at Le Mans is to provide the drivers of the 53 cars competing on its tyres with superior grip and long-lasting performance as it bids to extend the unbeaten spell it has enjoyed in the endurance racing classic since 1998. Meanwhile, Michelin is busy working on mobility for the future in association with the fuel cell-powered GreenGT prototype which will perform a parade lap of the French circuit.

 

Given how much of a sprint race Le Mans has become, with the drivers, mechanics and tyres all needing to perform impeccably from the rolling start to the chequered flag, no matter what the conditions, the race could justifiably be renamed the 86,400 Seconds of Le Mans!

Michelin’s unbeaten run at Le Mans dates back to 1998 and, this year, it is targeting its 22nd straight win,as well as its 80th podium finish and 100th class win since the race was first held in 1923. It’s an ambitious objective for the French tyre firm which is providing tyres for 53 of the 62 cars entered for the 2019 race which will get under way at 3pm on Saturday, June 15, in front of more than 250,000 spectators.

It is no accident that 85 percent of the field has chosen to compete on Michelin rubber in light of the reputation Michelin’s Pilot Sport endurance racing tyres have forged for long-lasting performance, not to mention the expertise of Michelin Motorsport’s engineers and technicians and the experience they have of Le Mans.

Due to the regulations, this is probably the first time that Michelin is contesting Le Mans with the same-spec tyres two years in a row. “Le Mans features twice on the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance calendar, and the regulations state that no changes may be made to tyres in the course of the season,” explains Jérôme Mondain, manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes. “That said, the tyres we have for Le Mans this year have already provided eloquent evidence of their potential and longevity.”

When it comes to longevity, the brand effectively has an enviable record. At last year’s Le Mans, for example, it established a new record in the prototype class when former F1 champion Jenson Button completed 55 laps (750km) at an average speed of 220kph on a single set of Michelins. That’s equivalent to going the distance of more than two F1 grands prix on the same four tyres!

As in 2018, changing tyres during routine stops will not cost teams time since the job can be done while refuelling is in progress. Even so, thanks to the longevity of their Pilot Sport tyres, Michelin’s partners will still be able to perform double-, triple, quadruple- or even quintuple-stints if circumstances dictate, depending on their car’s characteristics, their race strategy and the weather. From 2020, tyre changes will again cost valuable minutes, however, since they will only be authorised once refuelling has been completed.

All the LMP1 teams at Le Mans in 2019 are racing on Michelin tyres, including the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids – which will be looking to repeat their one-two finish of last June – plus the six increasingly competitive non-hybrid cars. Michelin is also supplying the 34 cars (representing six prestigious makes) entered in LM GTE Pro and Am. In LMP2, Michelin is once more working with Alpine, with whom it won the race outright in 1978. In this fiercely-fought class, Michelin tyres have been chosen by the majority of the teams.

The 2019 Le Mans programme also features the Road to Le Mans support race and Michelin is providing the tyres for all 50 entrants whose dream is to one day step up to the real thing. There will be a glimpse of the future, too, when the fuel-cell-powered Green GT performs a parade lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe. Indeed, the Le Mans organisers plan to add a class for fuel-cell prototypes from 2024.

Click on the photo to download the Le Mans 24 Hours racecard

FIA Formula E

Vergne scores second straight Formula E crown!

DS Techeetah/Michelin’s Jean-Eric Vergne emerged from the 2019 New York City E-Prix as the first driver in Formula E history to claim the title twice. The Frenchman successfully defended his 2017/2018 crown after the weekend’s doubleheader meeting in New York City, USA, which produced wins for Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams/Michelin) and Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin). DS Techeetah/Michelin is Season 5’s Teams’ champion.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marquez in control at the Sachsenring

Since the start of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has failed to go two consecutive races without winning. This weekend, true to form, the Spaniard bounced back from his Netherlands defeat to score an assertive victory at Germany’s Sachsenring where he was joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland - Racecard

All you need to know about the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, 9th round of the MotoGP championshipClic on the photo to download the racecard.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Viñales and Yamaha hit top form at Assen

The Motul TT Assen –round eight of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales, ahead of Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Every one of the six Michelin tyre specifications available for the race was used, with three different specs making it onto the podium to provide a further illustration of the French products’ performance and versatility.

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