Toyota has won its third consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans as Kazuki Nakajima took the chequered flag in the #8 car at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
TOYOTA 24 HOURS LE MANS – The victory is a third for Sebastien Buemi and Nakajima and a second for Brendon Hartley, the New Zealander replacing Fernando Alonso in the #8 car for 2020.
The #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi had started the race from pole position and led comfortably after the #8 Toyota spent time in the garage with a brake issue in the early evening.
It was better news for the other Rebellion Racing car as Norman Nato crossed the line second, splitting the two Toyotas in what was the final Le Mans for the team.
The #8 car then crucially regained the lead when the #7 Toyota was rolled into the pits and lost half an hour with a turbocharger issue just after the halfway point, dashing victory hopes for Conway, Lopez and Kobayashi.
Hartley, Nakajima and Buemi retained the lead and took a comfortable win, with Menezes, Nato and Senna second. Conway, Lopez and Kobayashi took a late third when the #3 Rebellion R13-Gibson of Romain Dumas, Nathanael Berthon and Louis Deletraz fell victim to a clutch issue in the final hours of the race and dropped to fourth.
The LMP1 class saw one retirement: the #4 ENSO CLM P1/01-Gibson from ByKolles was retired following crash damage caused by an off from Bruno Spengler.
UNITED AUTOSPORTS CONTINUE STUNNING STREAK WITH LMP2 WIN
Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque have continued their massive win streak in LMP2 by taking United Autosports’ maiden Le Mans win. The #22 ORECA 07-Gibson bested the #38 JOTA ORECA 07-Gibson of Antonio Felix da Costa, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez in a race of attrition.
The championship-leading WEC entry had started the race from pole position and was a constant front runner, but moved into the lead when Paul di Resta worked his way past the #32 sister ORECA in the hands of Will Owen. A one-two finish then fell away when the second ORECA developed an oil leak.
Several other LMP2 runners also fell away for various reasons. The #29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA 07-Gibson was quick early on but suffered a race filled with misfortune that included an early overheating issue and a clash with the Weathertech Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo in the darkness.
The #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07-Gibson was disqualifed for receiving outside assistance when Gabriel Aubry broke down on track and the #26 G-Drive Aurus 01-Gibson of Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Mikkel Jensen lost third place in the final hour after a suspension failure at Indianapolis.
The #31 Panis Racing ORECA 07-Gibson moved into third place in the final hour to complete the podium for Matthieu Vaxiviere, Julien Canal and Nicolas Jamin. G-Drive Racing was fourth ahead of the fifth-placed #28 IDEC Sport of Richard Bradley, Paul Lafargue and Paul-Loup Chatin, which completed a remarkable comeback after starting a lap down following a practice crash on Thursday.
ASTON MARTIN DEFEATS FERRARI FOR GTE PRO HONOURS
Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell have taken Aston Martin’s first Le Mans class win since 2017 as the #97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR defeated the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra in a thrilling overnight duel.
The Aston Martin and Ferrari traded the top spot back and forth throughtout the course of the race, until Lynn seized the lead in the early hours of the morning and steadily built a gap. The victory for the Aston Martin was sealed when Lynn pitted as a last-hour safety car came out. Calado pitted after the race went back to green, increasing the gap to two minutes.
Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Richard Westbrook completed the podium in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage AMR, sealing the manufacturer’s standings in Aston Martin’s favour. The #71 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Sam Bird finished fourth after delays stemming from brake issues, ahead of the #82 RIsi Competizione Ferrari of Sebastien Bourdais, Jules Gounon and Olivier Pla in fifth
Porsche had a difficult and disappointing Le Mans debut for the 911 RSR-19. The #91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki started from pole but the Porsches struggled greatly and were never in the fight for victory. The two cars also suffered power steering issues. Bruni, Lietz and Makowiecki finished sixth ahead of the #92 of Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor in seventh.
One car in GTE Pro did not make the finish: the #63 Weathertech Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Toni Vilander, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Segal was retired after an overnight incident with the Racing Team Nederland ORECA.
TF SPORT MAKE IT AN ASTON MARTIN DOUBLE
Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam have taken a dominant win in the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR. The Aston Martins were the cars to beat in GTE Am all race long, but the victory for TF Sport was sealed when the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage dropped out of contention with a suspension issue.
TF Sport took victory by a full lap over the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR of Riccardo Pera, Matt Campbell and Christian Ried after a tense scrap after the restart where Matt Campbell moved past the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Nicklas Nielsen, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo.
A mistake in the final minutes from Matteo Cairoli cost the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR a podium finish for himself, Larry ten Voorde and Egidio Perfetti.
THE TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID HAS WON THE 88TH EDITION OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS THE TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID HAS WON THE 88TH EDITION OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS THE TOYOTA TS050 HYBRID HAS WON THE 88TH EDITION OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS