FIA WRC

Hyundai/Michelin’s Sordo wins the day in Sardinia

Dani Sordo’s 163rd world class start saw the 36-year old Spaniard claim the second WRC win of his career at the 2019 Rally Italia Sardegna, one of the championship’s most punishing tests of tyres. Ott Tänak led until a power-steering problem delayed him on the week’s final stage, which allowed Teemu Suninen (Ford/Michelin) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) to clinch second and third places. Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda/Michelin) topped the WRC2 Pro order once again.

FIA WRC

Portugal glory for Toyota/Michelin

Twenty-five years after their last win together on the event as a WRC round*, Toyota and Michelin claimed the top prize at this year’s Rally de Portugal thanks to Ott Tänak. Second and third were Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) and Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin). With half of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship completed, Ogier tops the Provisional Drivers’ standings, two and ten points clear of his Estonian and Belgian rivals respectively. The new Skoda Fabia R5 Evo/Michelin got its career of to a flying start with a one-two finish in WRC2 Pro thanks to Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecky.

FIA WRC

Tänak earns Michelin’s 333rd WRC victory

The first Rally Chile to count towards the FIA World Rally Championship was won by Estonia’s Ott Tänak (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin) who notched up Michelin’s 333rd WRC success in the process. French world champions Sébastien Ogier (Citroën/Michelin) and Sébastien Loeb (Hyundai/Michelin) were second and third, while WRC2 victor was the young Finnish Michelin runner Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda).

 

The stages of the world championship’s newcomer were naturally unknown territory for all the crews, engineers and tyre technicians and consequently posed a big challenge when it came to finding the ideal set-up and pinpointing the most competitive tyre choices for the 304 kilometres of competitive action.

The fast, technical tests were described as a blend of RallyGB, Rally Finland and Rally Australia and provided a mix of muddy, damp, drying and all-dry ground, while fog, rain and the low sun added to the difficulty at times.

Michelin’s LTX Force and Latitude Cross tyres were consequently tasked with delivering the best grip possible, as well as consistency in the shifting weather conditions. Their mission was also to boost the confidence of the crews as they got their first taste of the Chilean stages which were contested at average speeds in excess of 100kph.

After being let down by his mechanicals in Argentina a fortnight ago, Tänak bounced back to steal the week’s win, helped by a tally of six fastest times. The Estonian pulled out an early lead and went on to take the top prize by a margin of 23.1 seconds. His victory was Michelin’s 333rd at this level, scored in 28 of the 32 different countries visited by the WRC since 1973.

Kris Meeke (Toyota/Michelin) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) both rolled out of contention, while Jari-Matti Latvala was eliminated by driveshaft failure, which left Loeb and Ogier to scrap for second place. The Franco-French duel ended in the latter’s favour by a margin of just 7.1s and the Citroën/Michelin driver’s fifth podium finish from six starts this season has promoted him back to the top of the provisional Drivers’ points table.

Meanwhile, third-placed Loeb crowned his maiden outing on dirt in the Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin with four fastest times and his 118th world-class top-three finish.

Ford M-Sport/Michelin’s Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen rounded out the top five, but it was a tough three days for Esapekka Lappi (Citroën/Michelin) and Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) who came home sixth and seventh, ahead of Meeke.

The other top-10 finishers were WRC2 Pro drivers Kalle Rovanperä (Skoda Fabia R5/Michelin) and the more experienced Mads Ostberg (Citroën C3 R5/Michelin).

After a brace of rounds in South America, the world championships returns to Europe for the next clash – in Portugal – on May 31-June 2.

2019 Rally Chile – final positions:

1. Tänak/Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC), 3h15m53.8s

2. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC), +23.1s

3. Loeb/Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +30.2s

4. Evans/Martin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1m36.7s

5. Suninen/Salminen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +3m15.6s

6. Lappi/Ferme (Citroën C3 WRC), +3m45.4s

7. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +4m39.0s

8. Meeke/Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC), +7m33.4s

9. Rovanperä/Haltunen (Skoda Fabia R5), +7m52.5s (1st, WRC2 Pro)

10. Ostberg/Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5), +8m16.1s

FIA Formula E

Vergne scores second straight Formula E crown!

DS Techeetah/Michelin’s Jean-Eric Vergne emerged from the 2019 New York City E-Prix as the first driver in Formula E history to claim the title twice. The Frenchman successfully defended his 2017/2018 crown after the weekend’s doubleheader meeting in New York City, USA, which produced wins for Sébastien Buemi (Nissan e.dams/Michelin) and Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing/Michelin). DS Techeetah/Michelin is Season 5’s Teams’ champion.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marquez in control at the Sachsenring

Since the start of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has failed to go two consecutive races without winning. This weekend, true to form, the Spaniard bounced back from his Netherlands defeat to score an assertive victory at Germany’s Sachsenring where he was joined on the podium by Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™ - HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland - Racecard

All you need to know about the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, 9th round of the MotoGP championshipClic on the photo to download the racecard.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Viñales and Yamaha hit top form at Assen

The Motul TT Assen –round eight of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales, ahead of Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Every one of the six Michelin tyre specifications available for the race was used, with three different specs making it onto the podium to provide a further illustration of the French products’ performance and versatility.

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