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 tyres… more consistent than the regulations!

Michelin’s unbeaten spell at Le Mans that has lasted since 1998 can be explained by the performance and consistency of the successive generations of endurance racing tyres it has developed. They have long been capable of covering multiple ‘stints’ all the way to the finish line with no loss of efficiency, and these are the very same qualities that the French firm’s partners know they can expect for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours.

In recent years, the regulations did not permit tyres to be changed while cars were being refuelled, and only one wheel-nut gun was authorised to remove and fit wheels. As a result, fitting fresh rubber took up valuable time in the pits, and this encouraged teams to keep the same set for several stints.

This phenomenon played perfectly to the strengths of Michelin’s tyres which are able to cover distances in excess of 700km at average speeds of around 220kph, with no fall-off in either performance or safety.

For this year, however, the picture has changed, since the regulations now permit tyres to be swapped as fuel is being pumped into the cars, while two wheel-nut guns and two mechanics are allowed to work in the pit lane. “It now takes around 15 seconds longer to refuel than it does to fit new tyres. As a result, changing rubber no longer represents a penalty in terms of time, so teams are tempted to switch more frequently,” notes Jérôme Mondain, the manager of Michelin Motorsport’s endurance racing programmes.

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All the same, teams will be compelled to run multi-stint strategies since a maximum cap concerning the number tyres they can use is in place. The LMP1 prototypes, for example, have a quota of 12 sets of slicks for Le Mans, which means they will have to run triple or even quadruple stints of around 40 minutes each. In LM GTE, the cars will have to double stint, at least.

“In spite of this evolution, there continues to be every justification to highlight the durability of our tyres,” says Jérôme Mondain. “This new regulation will clearly have a knock-on effect with regard to the teams’ strategies and will no doubt increase the number of tyres that are actually used, whereas the likes of Porsche and Audi used only nine or ten sets to win the race in recent years.”

Although this new measure could be conceived as a step back, the tyres Michelin’s partners have available for the 2018 Le Mans this year are totally capable of completing five stints in LMP1, quadruple stinting in LMP2 and triple stinting in LM GTE. “With that in mind, the teams will be free to choose the tactic that suits them the best,” concludes Jérôme Mondain.

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MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team/Michelin) takes Sepang spoils

The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, penultimate round of the 2018 MotoGPTM Word Championship, was won by Marc Márquez. The recently-crowned champion was joined on the Sepang podium by Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR/Michelin) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3/Michelin). The result settled the Manufacturers’ title chase in favour of Honda.  

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix - Racecard

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix and our tyre allocation.Clic on the photo to donwload the racecard

FIA WRC

Loeb, Citroën and Michelin return to their winning ways!

More than five years after his most recent WRC success, Sébastien Loeb (Citroën/Michelin) notched up the 79th world class win of his career this weekend in Spain. The Frenchman was chased over the line by Sébastien Ogier, who has recovered the championship lead, and the latter’s Ford/Michelin team-mate Elfyn Evans. The Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles will be settled in Australia.  

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP/Michelin) and Yamaha return to winning ways in Australia

The thrilling 2018 Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Round 17 of the MotoGPTM World Championship) was won by Maverick Viñales. The Yamaha rider was joined on the Phillip Island podium by Andrea Iannone (Ecstar Suzuki Team/Michelin) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team/Michelin) who made it three different bikemakers in the top three.  

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