The MICHELIN LTX Force and the MICHELIN Pilot Sport cover all the conditions in Spain
The 2016 RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana saw Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia steer their Volkswagen Polo R WRC to the top step of the podium to clinch their third straight world title and earn Michelin’s 300th victory since the creation of the FIA World Rally Championship in 1973.
Based in Salou, south of Barcelona, the 11th round of the 2016 FIA WRC was initially marked by appalling weather for Thursday evening’s 3.2km super-special in the Catalan city’s Montjuic region, and for Friday’s action on dirt. For Thursday’s short run and for the first full day of competition (115km), the cars were in their gravel configuration – on MICHELIN LTX Force gravel tires - before being converted to asphalt trim for Saturday and Sunday’s sealed-surface stages (202km). To cater for the rally’s unique mixed-surface format and cocktail of conditions, Michelin’s partner teams in Spain were able to choose from five different types of tire, namely the soft- and hard-compound versions of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport LTX Force tire (S4 and H4 respectively) for gravel, plus the hardand soft-compound MICHELIN Pilot Sport tire (H5 and S5) and the MICHELIN Pilot Sport FW2 - specially developed for very heavy rain - for the asphalt tests, although the latter weren’t used in Spain.
First of all, my congratulations to Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia on winning their fourth world title. They done a fantastic job all year long and today is payback time. Their winning the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ crowns coincides with Michelin notching up its 300th victory in the World Rally Championship. Coincidentally, we took our score to 250 world class wins in Spain, too, in 2012. Our partners have won every rally since, even though the championship allows open competition between tire firms, with four different brands registered. The combination of the mixed format of this year’s Rally de Espana and the bad weather we had to begin with allowed us to demonstrate the superiority of our range across a wide spectrum of conditions.
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were joined on the all-Michelin RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de Espana podium by Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) and the Spaniards’ team-mates Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul. The WRC2 win went to Jan Kopecky and Pavel Dresler, ahead of Pontus Tidemand and Jonas Andersson. Their respective MICHELIN-equipped Skoda Fabias dominated the class in which there is a fierce fight between tire manufacturers.