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

Porsche/Michelin enjoys Mexican fiesta

The 6 Hours of Mexico saw Porsche Team claim its second one-two finish in as many rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, with the N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid/Michelin (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) securing top spot ahead of the N°1 sister prototype (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy). The N°8 and N°7 Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids were third and fourth at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.    

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.

The 6 Hours of COTA, Round 6 of the 2017 FIA WEC 2017, saw track temperatures at the Circuit of the Americas reach almost 45°C as ex-F1 star Rubens Barrichello flagged the cars away at midday local time. And with air temperatures of 35°C, the rule limiting drivers to a maximum of 80 minutes in the car at a time was enforced.

After locking out the front row of the grid in qualifying, the two Michelin-equipped Porsche 919 Hybrids got away to a clean start, but the similarly-shod Toyota TS050 Hybrids soon succeeded in splitting the German prototypes.

The first round of refuelling stops saw Buemi and Conway hand over their respective Toyotas to their team-mates, but Toyota Gazoo Racing chose to keep the cars on the same tyres for a second stint.

This manoeuvre resulted in the Japanese team appearing on top at the one-hour mark. Later, despite the heat, Porsche Team also took advantage of the longevity and consistency of its Michelin rubber to double stint.

A safety car interruption at around the halfway point threw the battle wide open once more and the four hybrid prototypes kept the Texan crowd entertained by performing some breath-taking passes in traffic.

Porsche eventually gained the upper hand and team orders allowed Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley (N°1) to claim their fourth straight win and extend their lead in the Drivers’ championship. The N°8 Toyota (Buemi/Sarrazin/Nakajima) was third.

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The N°51 Ferrari/Michelin of James Calado and Alessandro Per Guidi followed up its recent Mexican success by beating the on-form N°92 Porsche 911 RSR to the LM GTE Pro prize by a margin of just 5.663 seconds. The N°71 Ferrari made it an all-Michelin top three in the searing heat, but the Ford GTs failed to overcome the handicap of their unfavourable BoP on home soil.

The LMP2 pole-winning N°36 Alpine (Lapierre/Menezes/Negrao) collected its first class victory of the year, followed over the line by the N°13 and N°31 Vaillante-Rebellions.

The LM GTE Am went to the N°98 Aston Martin (Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda) despite an early tangle. Second and third were the N°61 and N°54 Michelin-equipped Ferraris.

The next round will take teams to Mount Fuji, Japan, on October 15.

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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