FIA WEC

Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.

FIA WEC

New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  

FIA WEC

Le Mans 2017: Toyota/Michelin grabs history-making pole!

The final evening of Le Mans qualifying turned out to be a landmark occasion with drivers setting new qualifying records up and down the classes. Toyota/Michelin’s Kamui Kobayashi (N°7 TS050-Hybrid, Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) stunned his rivals early on with a 3m14.791. That not only took the wind out of Porsche’s sails but also goes down as the fastest ever lap in Le Mans history. There were record performances, too, in LMP2 (N°26 Oreca), LM GTE Pro (N°97 Aston Martin) and LM GTE Am (N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin).

Tonight’s conditions were appreciably cooler than the sweltering heat that marked Wednesday’s practice, but that alone can’t explain away the breath-taking lap produced by Kamui Kobayashi early in Q2. The Japanese driver’s effort was greeted by gasps of amazement as he clocked the best-ever qualifying lap around the current 13.629km version of Circuit de La Sarthe (3m14.791s), and the fastest lap in Le Mans history (average speed: 251.88kph)!

Porsche didn’t respond, which means the Japanese make will monopolise the front row on Saturday afternoon’s grid, since the N°8 Toyota emerged from an engine change to bag second spot.

The two German prototypes will share the start’s second row.

The Le Mans qualifying record books will need to be rewritten after this week’s qualifying practice in the other classes, as well.

The N°26 G-Drive Racing car (Rusinov/Thiriet/Lynn) shaved seven seconds off the previous LMP2 best to head a field of nine Oreca chassis.

Four cars – covered by just 0.24s – ended up beating the existing LM GTE Pro record, with the category’s ‘pole’ going to the N°97 Aston Martin (Turner/Adam/Serra). However, the British team was prevented from taking the honours in the Am class by the late record-breaking time posted by the N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin (Larbre Compétition, Rees/Brandela/Philippon).

Next on the programme is a so-called rest day on Friday, featuring the immensely popular Drivers’ Parade in Le Mans city centre. The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours is then scheduled to start at 3pm CET on Saturday, flagged away by a mystery starter whose identity is being kept secret.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 

FIA WRC

Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: off to Aragon

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, takes teams to Spain this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are provisionally level at the top of the Riders’ standings.  

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