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

The life of a Michelin tyre down racing’s most famous straight

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans is one of the longest straights in motorsport. This 5.5km run actually uses a main road that leads out of the French city to Tours and has been split into three parts by two chicanes since 1990. Tyres are subjected to considerable lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces along this celebrated portion of asphalt.

The Mulsanne Straight is preceded by the Tertre Rouge turn which the LM P1 hybrid prototypes take at around 215kph. Michelin’s tyres have to cope with lateral forces of up to 3g here, which causes them to deform significantly.

At the celebrated French track (13.629km), the cars reach their highest speed between Tertre Rouge and the Michelin Chicane, with the fastest prototype runners peaking at about 330kph. At this sort of speed, an LM P1 tyre rotates more than 41 times every second!

Centrifugal force also causes the tyres to deform as the side walls are stretched outwards, increasing the tyres’ overall diameter by around two percent (1cm). At the same time, aerodynamic downforce presses the covers into the ground, making them more oval than perfectly round, a phenomenon that kicks in at around 250kph.

After 2.1km, drivers reach the Michelin Chicane which turns right, then left and right again. Under braking, tyres have to withstand deceleration forces of 3G as they slow from 320kph to 110kph in something like 400 metres. Yet this isn’t the spot where the cars brake the hardest during the FIA WEC campaign, especially as the drivers tend to lift from the accelerator pedal slightly earlier in order to recover energy and charge the batteries. At Silverstone, for example, the cars are subjected to braking forces in excess of 4G in places.

When entering the Michelin Chicane, the front left tyre is submitted to a lateral load of 6,000 Newtons (600kg), but this isn’t the most critical part of the circuit for this particular cover which soaks up a load of 1,200kg into Indianapolis. At Spa’s famous Raidillon, the same figure is closer to 1,400kg.

The punishment is practically identical into the chicane, while braking for the Mulsanne Turn – at the very end of the straight – sees the four tyres soak up a static vertical load of 1.5G (i.e. the car’s own weight plus 50%).

This year, Michelin is giving its LMP1 partners the opportunity to complete five stints on the same set of tyres during the race, which equates to some 65 poundings down the Mulsanne Straight!

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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