2019 Dakar: 18th straight win for KTM and Michelin
Three years after his maiden Dakar success, Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team/ Michelin) finished on top again to earn Michelin’s 36th victory on the cro...
Michelin runners monopolised the top three places at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours with three different carmakers. The top prize went to the Phoenix-run N°4 Audi R8 LMS of Kaffer/Stippler/Vervisch/Vanthoor, ahead of the N°911 Porsche 911 GT3-R (Manthey Racing, Bamber/Estre/Christensen/Vanthoor) and N°3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Black Falcon, Buhk/Haupt/Jaeger/Stolz).
For once, the 25.378km Nordschleife stayed dry throughout the 2019 Nürburgring 24 Hours to provide the Michelin Pilot Sport GT slick with the perfect opportunity to showcase its performance and consistency all the way to the finish line, just one week after the Michelin Pilot Sport Endurance’s triumph at Le Mans.
With the exception of a brief period when the N°1 Porsche/Michelin (Lietz/Makowiecki/Pilet/Tandy) appeared in front, the pole-winning N°2 Mercedes-AMG/Michelin led early on until it was passed on Saturday evening by Kevin Estre (N°911 Porsche/Michelin) who pulled off a brave move that saw him put two wheels on the grass along the long Döttinger Höhe straight. The N°2 Mercedes was then involved in a collision and later left the track.
The N°911 Porsche topped the order throughout the night and was still ahead with two hours remaining, when Race Control handed it a time penalty (5m32s) for excessive speed under yellow flags. The decision handed the lead to the N°4 Audi R8 LMS (Pierre Kaffer/Franck Stippler/Fred Vervisch/Dries Vanthoor) which had never been far behind since the start.
The only Michelin-equipped Phoenix-run Audi went on to shrug off late pressure from the N°911 Porsche to win by a margin of 4m41s.
Despite the woes suffered by the N°2 Mercedes, Black Falcon earned a footing on the podium with its N°3 car, while the N°14 Audi R8 LMS/Michelin (Winkelhock/Haase/Fässler/Ratz) and N°12 Porsche/Michelin (Klohs/Kern/Olsen//Cairoli) rounded out the weekend’s all-Michelin top five.