WEC 2019 - Le Mans 24 Hours - Michelin's Successful 'Super-Final'!

June 28, 2019 at 08:06 PM
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• A 22nd straight win, victory in all four classes and World Titles for Michelin.

• A new fastest race lap record with Toyota Gazoo Racing (3m17.297s).

• Faultless performance and consistency from Michelin’s endurance racing tyres, including quadruple-stint strategies in LMP1.

 

The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Toyota Gazoo Racing claim first and second places to clinch the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship title with Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima (Japan’s first ever FIA World Champion) and Fernando Alonso who steered the N°8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid to Michelin’s 22nd straight Le Mans victory on Sunday. The N°7 sister prototype of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez was in front at the start of the final hour of the race when one of its tyres was damaged by debris picked up from the track, forcing Lopez to pit for a replacement set.

 

Toyota’s success is the fruit of a competitive package that placed the emphasis on performance, consistency and energy efficiency, to which Michelin contributed from the start to the end of the 24hour race.

The overall top three at Le Mans was rounded out by the N°11 SMP Racing-run BR Engineering BR1AER of Vitaly Petrov, Mikhaïl Aleshin and Stoffel Vandoorne who produced a combative performance and a pace that was not all that far off that of the Japanese hybrid prototypes.

 

Le Mans success and the 2018/2019 LMP2 crowns for Signatech Alpine Matmut

 

Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrao and Pierre Thiriet switched to Michelin tyres for the Super Sebring meeting in March at a time when they figured in second place in the world championship standings. Their class-topping result with Michelin at Le Mans allowed them to wrap up the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers, while Signatech Alpine Matmut made sure of the Teams’ crown.

 

Victory for Ferrari / AF Corse at Le Mans, while Porsche GT Team secures the titles

 

The LM GTE Pro class at Le Mans was won by the N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo shared by Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra thanks to the high-level performance of the Italian cars from the word go, and particularly that of the N°51 car which took the fight to its rivals Aston Martin, Porsche and Corvette who all took turns in front. The Italian team’s strategy proved unbeatable, however, and perfect management of its tyres allowed it to benefit from optimum performance throughout the 24-hour race as a function of the shifting ground temperatures which ranged from 30°C during the day to 15°C at night.

 

Porsche GT Team completed the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours in second and third places thanks to the N°91 and N°93 911 RSRs of Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki and Pilet/Bamber/Tandy respectively. Their result means the German make has now added the Drivers’ world title for Christensen/Estre (who were joined at Le Mans by Laurens Vanthoor) to the squad’s Manufacturers’ crown.

 

Keating Motorsports and Team Project 1: success first time out!

 

The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours provided the first case of Ford entrusting a GT to a private team, and the American make’s confidence was paid back when Keating Motorsport and its trio of drivers Keating/Bleekemolen/Fraga won the LM GTE Am class.

 

Meanwhile, Team Project 1 concluded its successful inaugural FIA WEC campaign with second place in LM GTE Am at Le Mans with the N°56 Porsche 911 RSR. That sufficed to clinch the FIA Cup, while Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti secured the Drivers’ spoils.

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