First Germany triumph for Ford/Michelin

Ott Tanak collected the second win of his WRC career and earned Ford/M-Sport’s maiden ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory today in Germany. Third place behind Andreas Mikkelsen (Citroën/Michelin) enabled Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to recover the Drivers’ championship lead from Thierry Neuville. Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) is the 2017 WRC2 world champion.


Finland’s Esapekka Lappi strikes first WRC gold!

The 2017 Rally Finland was won by homegrown rising star Esapekka Lappi (Toyota/Michelin). He finished clear of Briton Elfyn Evans (Ford) and compatriot Juho Hänninen to claim his first world class success. Toyota took its 45th WRC victory.


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. 

A perfectly paced victory on Round 11 of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship will clearly have done Kris Meeke’s recently jaded confidence a world of good.

Leg 1 saw the Ulsterman put his recent difficult run behind him to bag provisional third at the end of the mixed-surface event’s day of gravel action.

The leader at this point, however, was none other than Andrea Mikkelsen. Hyundai/Michelin’s new signing led second-placed Ogier by 1.4 seconds at Friday evening’s service where teams were allocated an extra 30 minutes to convert their respective cars from gravel to asphalt trim for the remainder of the weekend.

Sébastien Ogier had been widely expected to take control at this point, but it was Meeke who stole the show instead. A surefooted display on the sealed-surface part of the event took him almost half-a-minute clear at the finish where he was understandably relieved to be back on the top step of the podium after a win-less spell that dated back to March’s Rally Mexico.

After the switch to asphalt, Mikkelsen failed to match his earlier pace and fell back several places, while Ogier – hard-pressed by Sordo (Hyundai/Michelin) and Tanak – admitted that he believed Meeke was uncatchable as his thoughts turned maximising his title chances with a strong points finish.

His hopes of securing a fifth straight Drivers’ crown were boosted when chief rival Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) was delayed by a hydraulic issue and an accident on a road section on Saturday. The Belgian was then forced out for good after suffering further suspension damage on Sunday morning.

Ogier sits 37 points clear at the top of the provisional standings and his closest threat is now his own team-mate Ott Tanak whose third place in Catalunya has more or less handed the 2017 Manufacturers’ crown to M-Sport WRT/Michelin. The British outfit is only four points short of sealing the outcome and essentially needs to get both its cars to finish at the next round (Wales Rally GB) to claim its first title since 2007.

Juho Hanninen salvaged fourth place after a poor weekend for Toyota which lost Latvala on Friday (engine), then Lappi (accident) on the last day. Hyundai’s Dani Sordo was typically quick on home soil but an ‘off’ on Sunday dropped him to 15th at the flag, although he did recover to post the best time on the weekend’s Power Stage.

There was yet another all-Michelin top three in the WRC2 battle which was won this time by Teemu Suninen (Ford), ahead of Jan Kopecky (Skoda) and Mexico’s Benito Guerra (Skoda).


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. 


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: 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.  


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.

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