FIA WRC

Citroën and Michelin: a winning combination in the WRC

Citroën has announced its intention to curtail its involvement in the FIA World Rally Championship. Together, the French car firm and Michelin have harvested five Manufacturers’ titles, four Drivers’ crowns, 58 world-class wins and 150 podium finishes.

FIA WRC

WRC: Neuville wins in Spain, while Tänak takes 2019 title* with Michelin

Despite claiming an assertive victory at the RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) failed to prevent second-placed Ott Tänak (Toyota/Michelin) from pocketing the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship Drivers’ crown* with one round to go. The Estonian – who earned Michelin’s 55th WRC title in the process – is the first non-Frenchman to win the coveted prize since 2003.  

FIA WRC

Rally Australia cancellation hands WRC crown to Hyundai, with Michelin*

Raging fires in New South Wales have forced Rally Australia’s organisers to cancel the curtain-closing round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. Their decision has handed this season’s Manufacturers’ title to Hyundai which has earned Michelin’s 56th WRC crown in the process.

 

Since 2009, Australia’s round of the WRC has been held in New South Wales, northeast of Sydney. This year, however, a state of emergency has been declared in the region due to a spate of catastrophic bush fires.

To address the situation, the Coffs Harbour-based event’s organisers initially proposed a shortened version of their route. On Tuesday evening local time, though, in collaboration with the local authorities, the decision was taken to cancel the rally altogether.

It is only the ninth time in world championship history that a round has had to be cancelled, and the first time since China in 2016.

Ott Tänak had already made sure of the 2019 Drivers’ title in Spain, leaving the fight between Hyundai and Toyota for the year’s top Manufacturers’ honours to be settled in Australia.

Hyundai’s score to date of four wins and 13 podium finishes had earned it an 18-point lead in the provisional classification before the trip to the southern hemisphere, which means the crown has ended up in the hands of the Korean brand for the very first time.

Its coronation comes 20 years after Sweden’s Kenneth Eriksson won the two-litre/two-wheel drive class in Australia in the Michelin-equipped Hyundai Coupé Kit-Car.

The Korean manufacturer subsequently upgraded its programme when it briefly ran the Hyundai Accent WRC/Michelin. It withdrew in 2003 but returned in 2014 with an ambitious effort that reaped three straight second places before culminating in this year’s title. Hyundai is the 13th carmaker to claim the WRC’s Manufacturers’ title.

The 2019 classification takes Michelin’s own score to 56 world titles (29 Manufacturers / 27 Drivers), while Hyundai is the 11th brand to win the ultimate prize on the company’s rubber since 1973.

Today’s cancellation means that Michelin has also won this year’s fiercely-competitive WRC2 class with French Skoda driver Pierre-Louis Loubet.

FIA World Rally Championship action will resume on January 23 with the Rallye Monte-Carlo, opening round of the 2020 calendar.

 

(*) Subject to confirmation of the official results by the FIA

FIA WEC

Twenty-nine champions for FIA endurance racing Hall of Fame

After creating Halls of Fame for its Formula 1 and Rally World Championships, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has now added an endurance racing section at its Paris headquarters. Twenty-nine champions were inducted at a special ceremony on Monday evening (December 2). It was organised in association with Michelin, a long-time major player in the discipline.

FIA Formula E

Formula E: Britons rule at 2019/2020 curtain raiser in Saudi Arabia

Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin) and Alexander Sims (BMW I Andretti Motorsport) took the two wins at the opening meeting of the 2019/2020 Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Michelin has been the official tyre supplier to the FIA’s all-electric racing series since its creation in 2014.

MOTOGP™

MotoE: Ferrari claims inaugural Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup

Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s first champion. The weekend’s two races were won by pole-winner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Márquez wraps up 2019 with home success

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana was won by Spaniard Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team). Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha Petronas SRT) was second, while Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made it three different bikemakers on the podium. All three riders chose the same tyre combination for the 19th and last round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship.  

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