Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s firs...
The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.
Following the cancelation of Super Sebring 2020, 50 drivers stepped up to take part in Sebring SuperSaturday which saw victory go to Bruno Spengler in a BMW M8 GTE. Five minutes after lights out, the BMW/Michelin driver took command at Turn 7 before holding onto the lead all the way to the finish line to beat Corvette Racing/Michelin’s Nicky Catsburg by just 3.172s.
“It felt really weird at the start because I could feel the pressure climb just like in the build-up to a real race,” admitted the IMSA WeatherTech Championship regular (BMW Team RLL/Michelin). “I even broke into a sweat with Nicky pushing so hard behind me. After the finish, I almost shouted out loud, like over the radio, but I only had my wife and dog sitting next to me on the settee.”
On Sunday, March 29, ten MotoGP riders – including the Marquez brothers, Fabio Quartararo, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales – lined up for a six-lap MotoGP e-Sport race around Mugello, Italy. Rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol-Honda/Michelin) was first past the chequered flag after Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT/Michelin) had qualified on pole position. The next MotoGP e-Sport is scheduled Sunday, April 12.
Last weekend, there was supposed to have been a round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – a series Michelin has partnered for more than 20 years – at Barcelona, Spain, along with an official test. In its place, two virtual races were run featuring 31 drivers in Porsche 911 GT3 Cups equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Victors were Larry Ten Voorde and Porsche Junior Ayhancan Guven.
From IndyCar and Nascar, to Formula 1 and MotoGP, the majority of the world’s leading championships whose calendars have been disrupted by the pandemic are staging virtual action in order to help pass the time until normal racing resumes…