24H du Mans

Toyota/Michelin tastes Le Mans glory at last!

Toyota will be partying hard tonight after winning the famous Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since its debut attempt at the world famous race in 1985. This time around, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and the team’s star recruit Fernando Alonso delivered the necessary speed and reliability in their N°8 TS050-Hybrid/Michelin to spearhead a one-two finish for the Japanese carmaker, ahead of the N°7 sister car (+2 laps). Porsche/Michelin celebrated no-nonsense wins in LM GTE Pro and Am, while G-Drive Racing was unassailable in LMP2 with the N°26 Oreca07. True to its ‘Winning performance to the line’ claim, Michelin secured its 21st straight Le Mans success.

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. 

24H du Mans

Michelin looking to add to two decades of unbeaten Le Mans success

Michelin has won the Le Mans 24 Hours every year since 1998, in association with Audi, Porsche, Peugeot, BMW and Bentley. This time around, the French firm is targeting a record 21st consecutive victory in France thanks to its latest-generation endurance racing tyres which combine performance with longevity. Its partners topped the timesheets in all four classes at the recent pre-race Test Day.

“This year, the pit stop regulations have changed and permit the changing of tyres while cars are being refuelled,” says Jérôme Mondain, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programme. “As a consequence, fitting new tyres will cost the teams less time, which will probably prompt them to fit fresh rubber more frequently during the race.

“At the same time, though, all the cars have a maximum tyre allocation for the 24 hours, so our partners will need to run double or triple stints at the very least. Our Le Mans tyres are capable of taking this in their stride, however, because they are designed for quintuple stinting in LM P1, quadruple stinting in LM P2 and triple stinting in LM GTE, with no fall-off in performance and with no detriment to safety. It will be down to each team to establish its own strategy.”

This year again, all the LM P1 cars are racing on Michelin tyres, including the eight new non-hybrid prototypes that are up against Toyota Gazoo Racing’s two TS050 Hybrid. “The tyres for the all-wheel drive hybrid and rear-wheel drive non-hybrid cars are different. The weight distribution of these cars is different, too. The rules compel us to provide all the non-hybrid teams with the same-spec tyres.”

In LM GTE Pro, where no fewer than six carmakers (Porsche, Ford, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin and BMW) will be chasing victory, all the teams have chosen Michelin tyres for the classic French race. Porsche and Ford are both fielding four cars in their bid to thwart Ferrari, Aston Martin and Corvette, while BMW is back with a brace of new M8s. All 13 cars in LM GTE Am have opted for Michelins, as well, including the Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin entries that stand out as the weekend’s favourites.

The competition promises to be particularly fierce in LM P2 where only a quarter of the field will be on Michelin tyres. “We are making our comeback at FIA WEC level in this class for which we have developed a new range of tyres designed to be both competitive and consistent.”

The recent Test Day on Sunday, June 3, gave teams their first chance of the year to find their marks around the famous 13.626km circuit. The best time of the day (3m19.066s) was the work of Fernando Alonso in the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid/Michelin, although the Spaniard was only 614-thousandths of a second clear of the N°3 non-hybrid Rebellion/Michelin, which points to an exciting battle for supremacy. Porsche/Michelin topped both the LM GTE Pro an LM GTE Am orders, while Michelin-equipped Oreca-Gibsons clocked the two quickest efforts in LM P2.

Next on the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours programme are the four Free Practice/Qualifying Practice sessions on Wednesday June 13 and Thursday June 14, while tennis star Rafael Nadal will flag the cars away for the start of the race itself at 3pm local time on Saturday, June 16.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin) on top again in Catalunya

The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Round 7 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship at Barcelona-Catalunya, was won by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin). The race produced the Majorcan’s second victory in a row for Ducati, ahead of the championship pace-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team/Michelin) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP/Michelin). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya - Racecard (EN)

All you need to know about the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya.Click on the photo to download our racecard.

FIA Formula E

Di Grassi takes the money in Zurich

The Zurich E-Prix – the first race to be held on Swiss soil since 1955 – was won by Formula E’s defending champion Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler/Michelin). Despite having to settle for 10th spot, the 2017/2018 championship’s pacesetter Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah) still tops the provisional points table ahead of the campaign’s last two races next month in New York.

FIA WRC

Neuville beats Ogier by seven-tenths of a second in Sardinia!

The provisional world championship pace-setter Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) came out on top of his hypnotising duel with five-time champ Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to win the 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna by seven-tenths of a second. Esapekka Lappi was third for Toyota/Michelin.

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