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.

24H du Mans

H-7: Toyota still on target for Le Mans glory

The two Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050-Hybrids are running smoothly at the top of the order at Le Mans after 17 hours, with the N°8 car of Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima currently in front. The Japanese team has been running a quadruple stint strategy since the start. Porsche GT Team/Michelin’s N°92 and N°91 911 RSRs continue to set the pace in LM GTE Pro, and the German make leads the Am class, too. The N°26 G-Drive Oreca07 continues to stand out as the car to beat in LMP2.

 

Since our last interim report at 9pm Saturday, the situation at the top of the different classes has been relatively stable.

Indeed, the two Toyotas have figured at the top of the order throughout the night, with interest during the hours of darkness focusing notably on the attempt of the N°8 car to make up the two-minute deficit it suddenly found itself with as darkness started to sweep over the circuit.

The N°7 effectively emerged in front at around 9:30pm Saturday when its sister machine lost a chunk of time in a slow zone situation. The latter then fell further back when Buemi was forced to serve a one-minute stop-and-go penalty for speeding during a slow zone procedure.

When Alonso replaced the Swiss driver a little later, the gap between the two prototypes exceeded two minutes, but that clearly didn’t demoralise the Spaniard. Despite never having raced at Le Mans in the dark before, the ex-F1 champ produced an assertive quadruple stint that saw him bring the gap down to around 45 seconds. Nakajima then completed the job and, by 6:30am, the N°8 car was back in front.

And that is how it stands at the 17-hour mark, with the two prototypes split by 30 seconds.

The TS050 Hybrids are under no immediate threat, since their closest chaser – which is now the N°3 Rebellion following the overnight disappearance of the N°17 SMP Racing prototype (accident) – is 10 laps back. The N°1 Rebellion is fourth.

Fifth overall is the best-placed LMP2 prototype which is the N°26 G-Drive Racing car. Second in this class is the N°23 Panis Barthez Compétition Ligier/Michelin which has valiantly shrugged off pressure from the third-placed N°36 Alpine. The Alpine did hold second spot for a while following a great effort by Nicolas Lapierre during the night but it has since fallen almost two minutes back.

The two Porsche GT Team 911 RSRs have been going well and are clear at the top in LM GTE Pro. The N°92 car found itself with a nice little cushion earlier when the N°91 sister car was caught up in the wrong ‘train’ as the Safety Car was deployed for the first time on Saturday evening. The N°68 and N°69 Fords follow in third and fourth positions and haven’t allowed the German cars to ease up, while the N°63 Corvette is up to fifth thanks to the consistent work of its three drivers.

The Am class is also topped by Porsche/Michelin, and more specifically by the N°77 Dempsey-Proton car which is currently being chased by a pair of Ferraris.

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.

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 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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