24H du Mans

Le Mans: 1-2 Le Mans glory for Toyota/Michelin!

The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin clinch its 22nd straight win in the French endurance classic, this time in association with Toyota Gazoo Racing which, like last year, claimed the top two places with its N°8 and N°7 prototypes. Michelin came away from the Circuit de la Sarthe with victory in the other three classes, too, including LMP2 which was won by the N°36 Alpine. The N°51 Ferrari/Michelin topped the order in LM GTE Pro which was as fiercely fought as ever, while the N°85 Ford/Michelin took the top prize in LM GTE Am. The race provided plenty of evidence to support Michelin’s ‘long-lasting performance’ claim, including a quadruple stint by the second-placed car in which Lopez completed 626 kilometres (46 laps) on the same four Michelin 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

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Danilo Petrucci earns maiden MotoGPTM victory at Mugello

Danilo Petrucci claimed the first premier-class win of his career at his home race on an Italian bike. The Ducati Team rider earned rapturous applause from the local fans when he was first across the line at Mugello, home of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship’s sixth round. Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Petrucci’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso were second and third. The performance of Michelin’s latest-generation MotoGPTM tyres contributed to the tumbling of several records.  

FIA WRC

Portugal glory for Toyota/Michelin

Twenty-five years after their last win together on the event as a WRC round*, Toyota and Michelin claimed the top prize at this year’s Rally de Portugal thanks to Ott Tänak. Second and third were Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). With half of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship completed, Ogier tops the Provisional Drivers’ standings, two and ten points clear of his Estonian and Belgian rivals respectively. The new Skoda Fabia R5 Evo/Michelin got its career of to a flying start with a one-two finish in WRC2 Pro thanks to Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley - Racecard

All you need to know about the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley, 6th round of the MotoGP championship. Click on the photo to download the racecard.

FIA WRC

FIA WRC - Vodafone Rally de Portugal - Racecard

All you need to know abou the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, 7th round of World Rally Championship (WRC).Click on the photo to download the racecard.

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