Toyota took home the consecutive Le Mans title after dominating the 24 hours endurance race this weekend. Driven by the trio of Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 hybrid saw some action in the closing hours as the sister car Number 7 suffered a puncture just an hour ahead of the chequered flag.
The Number 7 car driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez comprehensively outpaced the rivals (even the winning Toyota) throughout the qualification and during the race. But just a few hours before crossing the line, Lopez was stuck in third gear while there was a puncture on one of the wheels on the Mulsanne Straight. Lopez was over two minutes clear of the Number 8 Toyota before his car slowed down. Limping back to the pits and losing crucial time there, Nakajima in the Number 8 car grabbed the lead.
Both the Toyota’s managed to put in 385 laps in the 24 hours’ time. Rounding off the podium was Team BR Engineering BR1 which fell short of six laps. And, this is Alonso’s third FIA title after two championships in Formula 1.
Meanwhile, in the LMP2 category Signatech trio Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao secured a dominant win driving the Oreca under Team Alpine. This is their consecutive victory as well and they also secured WEC class championship this year.
The action unfolded in the GTE class as Ferrari took top honours beating defending champions Porsche. This is the first win for Prancing Horse since 2014. There was a closely fought battle for the lead between the Number 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and Number 63 Corvette. However, the Corvette was stuck in the pits after an accident and couldn’t recover the one minute lead the Ferrari had garnered. In the end, the Corvette’s another mishap at Porsche Curve caused a 15-minute delay and the Number 63 Corvette finished with five laps down. The podium was then taken over by the other two Porsche 911 RSRs.
It was the 20th anniversary of Chevrolet’s modern-day Le Mans campaign, and neither of the cars managed to finish on the podium. Meanwhile, Ford’s quartet of retro-liveried GT managed to finish in the next four positions. Both BMW and Aston Martin had ordinary results this year. Astons had a lot of troubles through the night with one of their car not finishing, while BMW’s top finisher was six laps down in 11th position.