FIA WRC

Neuville beats Ogier by seven-tenths of a second in Sardinia!

The provisional world championship pace-setter Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) came out on top of his hypnotising duel with five-time champ Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to win the 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna by seven-tenths of a second. Esapekka Lappi was third for Toyota/Michelin.

FIA WRC

FIA WRC - Rally Italia Sardegna - Racecard (EN)

All you need to know about the Rally Italia Sardegna with our racecardClick on the photo to download it.

FIA WRC

Thierry Neuville takes Portugal win

After his success in snowy Sweden in February, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) was first past the post again at the end of the weekend’s Rally de Portugal. The Belgian, who has gone to the top of the provisional 2018 Drivers’ standings, was joined on the podium by Ford M-Sport/Michelin’s Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen.

The first day of the 2018 Rally de Portugal took an exceptional toll on the leading crews, with no fewer than seven of the 13 factory drivers either retiring or picking up big delays.

SS2 saw early leader Ott Tanak hit a rock and damage his engine, while his Toyota/Michelin team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala broke his suspension on SS3.

Day 1’s afternoon loop claimed five-time Portugal victor Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin, accident on SS5), and Hayden Paddon (Hyundai/Michelin) crashed out of the lead on the following test. Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai/Michelin) had to cope without power steering and Citroën/Michelin’s Kris Meeke and Craig Breen both suffered punctures.

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) emerged from the chaos as the overnight leader, chased by M-Sport/Michelin’s Evans and Suninen and team-mate Dani Sordo. Both Hyundai drivers spent the entire day on the soft-compound version of the Michelin Pilot Sport (S5), in spite of the hot weather.

For the remainder of the weekend, the Belgian was able to control from in front to earn his first Rally de Portugal victory and ease into the lead of the 2018 WRC Drivers’ standings. In his wake, Evans, Suninen, Sordo and Esapekka Lappi (Toyota/Michelin) produced a thrilling battle for the podium’s other two steps which worked out in favour of the Ford pair after Sordo was handed a 10-second penalty for clouting a chicane on the super-special. Suninen joined the top-three celebrations for the first time of his burgeoning career.

Ogier, who shares the record for the highest number of Portugal wins, failed to finish in the points. He also lost his appeal against the stewards’ decision after Rally Mexico and is now 19 points short of Neuville in the championship.

The WRC runners tended to cut the stages up badly which caused havoc in the WRC2 fight. The reigning champion Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) recovered from a poor start to top the order, while Poland’s Lukasz Pieniazek (Skoda) and Frenchman Stéphane Lefebvre (Citroën) made it an all-Michelin podium in this class which allows competition between tyre firms.

The WRC’s next port of call will be Sardinia, Italy, on June 8-10.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin) on top again in Catalunya

The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, Round 7 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship at Barcelona-Catalunya, was won by Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team/Michelin). The race produced the Majorcan’s second victory in a row for Ducati, ahead of the championship pace-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team/Michelin) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP/Michelin). 

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

H-18: Everything going to plan for Toyota/Michelin

We’re a quarter of the way into the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours and, for the moment, nothing has spooked Toyota’s game plan. The Japanese make’s two cars are in first and second places after six hours, with the N°8 prototype of Alonso/Nakajima/Buemi setting the pace, shadowed closely by the N°7 sister car. Porsche/Michelin tops the LM GTE Pro and Am orders, while the G-Drive Racing Oreca07 is in command in LMP2. Both Toyotas have been quadruple stinting on their Michelin slicks.

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