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 WRC

Michelin scores 30th Rally Sweden triumph!

The 2020 Rally Sweden was won by Elfyn Evans driving a Michelin X-Ice North 3-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC. This year’s event was shortened due to a lack of snow, but Michelin’s studded WRC snow tyre delivered outstanding grip despite the unfamiliar conditions to combine the brand’s 30th Swedish victory with class wins in WRC2, WRC3 and RC4 which are all also open to competition between tyre firms.

Sweden is the World Rally Championship round that Michelin has won the most often, ahead of two other classics, Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Finland.

This time around, Michelin came out on top after a shortened itinerary through Sweden’s Värmland and Norway’s Finnskogen regions to take the top prize with Evans who clocked an average speed in excess of 120kph.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Welsh recruit was in dominating form all week, going fastest on five of the nine high-speed stages actually contested to become the 58th driver to win a world-class rally on Michelin rubber since 1973.

Reigning world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai/Michelin) bounced back from his frightening Monte-Carlo smash to come second, while third place went to Finnish youngster Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) who scored his maiden WRC podium finish just under four seconds clear of six-time champ Sébastien Ogier (Toyota/Michelin).

Designed to bite into ice, the WRC stars’ Michelin X-Ice North 3 tyres had to contend with predominantly gravel conditions, never an easy mission because of the damage this can cause to studs. But the combined expertise of Michelin Motorsport’s specialists and Swedish specialist Däckproffsen which is tasked with inserting the studs into the tread blocks meant that the 384 metal tips sported by each Michelin Rally Sweden tyre were able to deal with the punishment superbly and contribute to the quality of the entertainment by delivering great grip and longevity.

“This season’s unfamiliar situation forced the organisers to cancel 10 of the 19 scheduled stages, but we are very pleased with the way our tyres rose to the occasion,” commented Arnaud Rémy, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s rally programmes. “On average, our WRC runners lost only 20 studs per tyre – that’s just five percent! The drivers were consequently able to benefit from outstanding grip throughout.”

Meanwhile, the X-Ice NA01 – the customer tyre available to Michelin’s non-WRC partners – had to cope with even stonier, more rutted terrain. That, however, didn’t prevent it from claiming both the WRC3 and WRC2 fights with Jari Huttunen (Hyundai i20 R5) and Mads Ostberg (Citroën C3 R5) respectively, having posted the fastest time on seven of the week’s nine stages in both classes.

Michelin also topped the RC4 order (two-wheel drive) with Sweden’s Dennis Rädstrom (Ford Fiesta) who completed the distance almost half-a-minute clear of fifteen identical Ford Fiesta R2T19s competing on rival rubber!

Next round: Rally Mexico (March 12-15).

2020 Rally Sweden – Final Positions:

1. Evans/Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC), 1h11m43.1s

2. Tänak/Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +12.7s

3. Rovanperä/Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC), +20.2s

4. Ogier/Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC), +23.6s

5. Lappi/Ferm (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +32.4s

6. Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +33.8s

7. Breen/Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +1m0.9s

8. Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1m24.5s

9. Katsuta/Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC), +1m59.6s

10. Huttunen/Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5), +4m3.0s (1st, WRC3)

Etc.

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.

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.

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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