Toyota finally win at Le Mans

Toyota #8 winning drivers (Photo by Melissa Warren)Toyota re-wrote Japanese endurance racing history today by taking its first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – a long-awaited event for the manufacturer, and redemption for the disappointments of recent years.

Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a commanding 1-2 result, with Fernando Alonso winning on his debut at the world’s most famous endurance race. By doing so, the Spaniard - who together with Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi - drove magnificently throughout the 24 hours in this second round of the FIA WEC Super Season, also made a further claim on the legendary ‘Triple Crown’ in motorsport.

Fernando Alonso said: "It's amazing, I'm still a little bit in shock right now. It was very stressful at the end when we were all watching. It's been a very tense 24 hours. Maybe tomorrow, we'll start to realise! I felt ok in the traffic. Sometimes you're lucky for a few laps and then sometimes you're unlucky and you get in a bad loop but the race suited my driving style and it all worked out."

Nakajima was behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as it took the chequered flag two laps ahead of the No.7 entry driven by Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez.

Kazuki Nakajima said: "It's just amazing. I'm speechless. Toyota gave us a very strong car. We all deserved to win but our car had a bit more luck perhaps, so I'm happy to be up here representing everybody."

The two cars had been running closely together through much of the 24 hours but late-race drama and penalties saw the No.7 drop back in the final hours.

The LMP1 non-hybrids were unable to match the Toyotas, and many of the new cars experienced technical issues during the race, but Rebellion Racing’s Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes took the final podium place and the No.1 crew came home in fourth. It was Laurent’s second podium finish in a row, Le Mans treating the young Frenchman particularly well! The No.5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT P1 Mecachrome was the only other classified LMP1 car.

SMP Racing, which showed early pace with the two BR Engineering BR1-AERs, failed to get either of its two cars to the finish, with engine failure forcing Jenson Button out of the race with less than one hour to go.

G-Drive continues its winning ways

Following wins at Spa (WEC) and Monza (ELMS), the No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07 Gibson took a commanding LMP2 class victory today.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola were all first-time winners of the French endurance classic and the TDS-run car had a flawless run to the flag after the opening hour. Frenchman Vergne took the car over the finish line to record victory two laps ahead of the No.36 Signatech Alpine Matmut entry of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrão and Pierre Thiriet.

As well as being a first Le Mans class win for the drivers, it was also the first for G-Drive and the TDS team.

Roman Rusinov said: "We've been here before and never won when we should have, when we had the right teammates and everything else, but I'm very happy that it finally happened this time. We made good time, were very efficient in the pit stops, we worked hard all winter for this so it's great."

Fourth on track and third in the WEC points classification, due to podium finisher Graff SO24 not being a WEC entrant, was the TDS Racing entry of Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivière and Loïc Duval which made a late charge for the podium place.

Porsche celebrates 70th anniversary in style with Le Mans victories

The Porsche GT Team today celebrated victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the German marque not just winning but taking a dominant 1-2 in the World Championship Pro class, plus victory in the LMGTE Am category.

In its 70th anniversary year, and sporting iconic liveries from its past, the No.92 ‘Pink Pig’ of Michael Christensen (DNK), Kevin Estre (FRA) and Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) took the chequered flag one lap ahead of the No.91 in the blue and white colours from the 70s.

Race start (Photo by Melissa Warren) Racing action  (Photo by Melissa Warren) Racing action  (Photo by Melissa Warren) Racing action  (Photo by Melissa Warren) Racing action  (Photo by Melissa Warren) 

 

 

 

The two cars, the No.91 in the hands of Richard Lietz (AUT), Gimmi Bruni (ITA) and Fred Makowiecki (FRA) led the French classic, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season, from the first hour and dominated thereafter. It is the first win at Le Mans for Porsche in the GTE categories since 2013.

The manufacturer which came closest to challenging the Porsche 911 RSRs throughout the race was Ford and two cars from the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing stable finished in third and fourth places. The No.68 (Joey Hand (USA, Dirk Müller (DEU), Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) from the US arm of the team took the final LMGTE Pro podium place while the No.67 of Andy Priaulx (GBR), Harry Tincknell (GBR) and Tony Kanaan (USA) will take points for third place in the FIA WEC points classifications (the American Ford entry does not score points as it is not a full season WEC competitor).

The AF Corse Ferraris and BMWs put up a strong challenge at times but ultimately were let down by technical issues and penalties which cost them time in the pits. Aston Martin Racing got both its new cars through to the finish to give them confidence for the rest of the season.

Dempsey Proton put on the perfect show

Delighted team owner Patrick Dempsey was on hand in Le Mans to see his team take victory in the LMGTE Am class. The No.77 of Matt Campbell (AUS), Christian Ried (DEU) and Julian Andlauer (FRA) cross the line 1m 39s ahead of the No.54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Thomas Flohr (CHE), Francesco Castellacci (ITA) and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA).

As in the Pro class, Dempsey-Proton dominated the class although for many hours it was the sister No.88 Porsche 911 RSR which led. Unfortunately, just after 07h00 this morning, in the hands of Matteo Cairoli, the car went off track and into the barriers just after the Porsche Curves …into retirement.

Third in class was the No.85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari from the USA, and third in the points classification is the No.56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Jörg Bergmeister (DEU), Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (NOR) – the team’s first season in the WEC and first participation at the world’s most famous endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Le Mans racing at night (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans pits at night #77 winner of GTE Am (Photo by Melissa Warren) Podium  (Photo by Melissa Warren) Podium (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

The next round of the WEC Super Season will be the 6 Hours of Silverstone on Sunday 19 August.

Le Mans results
1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing S. BUEMI / K. NAKAJIMA / F. ALONSO Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 388 24:00:52.247 37 5 3:17.658 248.2
2 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing M. CONWAY / K. KOBAYASHI / J. LOPEZ Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 386 24:00:52.478 2 Laps 2 Laps 38 323 3:17.980 247.8
3 3 Rebellion Racing T. LAURENT / M. BECHE / G. MENEZES Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 376 24:02:32.484 12 Laps 10 Laps 39 327 3:20.316 244.9
4 1 Rebellion Racing A. LOTTERER / N. JANI / B. SENNA Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 375 24:02:32.580 13 Laps 1 Laps 42 82 3:20.046 245.2
5 26 G-Drive Racing R. RUSINOV / A. PIZZITOLA / J. VERGNE Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 369 24:01:07.299 19 Laps 6 Laps 36 200 3:28.196 235.6
6 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut N. LAPIERRE / A. NEGRÃO / P. THIRIET Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 D 367 24:03:11.085 21 Laps 2 Laps 37 246 3:28.610 235.1
7 39 Graff-SO24 V. CAPILLAIRE / J. HIRSCHI / T. GOMMENDY Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 366 24:01:46.746 22 Laps 1 Laps 41 365 3:28.135 235.7
8 28 TDS Racing F. PERRODO / M. VAXIVIERE / L. DUVAL Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 366 24:01:49.285 22 Laps 2.539 37 278 3:27.258 236.7
9 32 United Autosports H. DE SADELEER / W. OWEN / J. MONTOYA Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 365 24:03:13.589 23 Laps 1 Laps 36 245 3:28.661 235.1
10 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing J. JAAFAR / N. JEFFRI / W. TAN Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 361 24:02:36.708 27 Laps 4 Laps 39 88 3:29.112 234.6
11 31 DragonSpeed R. GONZALEZ / P. MALDONADO / N. BERTHON Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 360 24:03:09.415 28 Laps 1 Laps 40 239 3:27.200 236.7
12 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing H. TUNG / S. RICHELMI / G. AUBRY Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 356 24:02:00.392 32 Laps 4 Laps 36 288 3:29.011 234.7
13 29 Racing Team Nederland F. VAN EERD / G. VAN DER GARDE / J. LAMMERS Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 M 356 24:02:27.489 32 Laps 27.097 35 6 3:29.754 233.9
14 33 Jackie Chan DC Racing D. CHENG / N. BOULLE / P. NICOLET Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 355 24:00:54.049 33 Laps 1 Laps 36 311 3:33.492 229.8
15 23 Panis Barthez Competition T. BURET / J. CANAL / W. STEVENS Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 352 24:02:59.009 36 Laps 3 Laps 35 228 3:27.872 236.0
16 35 SMP Racing V. SHAITAR / H. NEWEY / N. NATO Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 D 345 24:00:53.375 43 Laps 7 Laps 35 314 3:29.188 234.5
17 92 Porsche GT Team M. CHRISTENSEN / K. ESTRE / L. VANTHOOR Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 344 24:04:16.546 44 Laps 1 Laps 25 2 3:50.406 212.9
18 91 Porsche GT Team R. LIETZ / G. BRUNI / F. MAKOWIECKI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 343 24:01:08.216 45 Laps 1 Laps 24 292 3:50.201 213.1
19 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA J. HAND / D. MÜLLER / S. BOURDAIS Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 343 24:01:34.945 45 Laps 26.729 24 2 3:50.108 213.2
20 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK A. PRIAULX / H. TINCKNELL / T. KANAAN Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 343 24:03:07.508 45 Laps1:32.563 26 328 3:50.180 213.1
21 63 Corvette Racing J. MAGNUSSEN / A. GARCIA / M. ROCKENFELLER Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 342 24:01:04.003 46 Laps 1 Laps 25 296 3:49.448 213.8
22 47 Cetilar Villorba Corse R. LACORTE / G. SERNAGIOTTO / L. NASR Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 D 342 24:01:08.648 46 Laps 4.645 38 321 3:29.578 234.1
23 52 AF Corse T. VILANDER / A. GIOVINAZZI / L. DERANI Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 341 24:01:58.152 47 Laps 1 Laps 27 253 3:50.569 212.8
24 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK S. MÜCKE / O. PLA / B. JOHNSON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 340 24:02:47.200 48 Laps 1 Laps 25 300 3:50.343 213.0
25 51 AF Corse A. PIER GUIDI / J. CALADO / D. SERRA Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 339 24:00:52.927 49 Laps 1 Laps 166 3:50.759 212.6 24:04:25.797 3 3:52.318 211.1
26 95 Aston Martin Vantage AMR 26 Aston Martin Racing M. SØRENSEN / N. THIIM / D. TURNER LMGTE Pro M 339 49 Laps3:32.870 24
27 71 AF Corse D. RIGON / S. BIRD / M. MOLINA Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 338 24:03:42.549 50 Laps 1 Laps 26 4 3:51.074 212.3
28 77 Dempsey - Proton Racing M. CAMPBELL / C. RIED / J. ANDLAUER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 335 24:02:15.039 53 Laps 3 Laps 24 276 3:53.521 210.1
29 54 Spirit of Race T. FLOHR / F. CASTELLACCI / G. FISICHELLA Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 335 24:03:54.083 53 Laps1:39.044 24 2 3:52.715 210.8
30 93 Porsche GT Team P. PILET / N. TANDY / E. BAMBER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 334 24:01:16.697 54 Laps 1 Laps 25 2 3:50.539 212.8
31 85 Keating Motorsports B. KEATING / J. BLEEKEMOLEN / L. STOLZ Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 334 24:01:45.791 54 Laps 29.094 25 3 3:53.528 210.1
32 99 Proton Competition P. LONG / T. PAPPAS / S. PUMPELLY Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 334 24:03:08.602 54 Laps1:22.811 25 291 3:53.249 210.3
33 84 JMW Motorsport L. GRIFFIN / C. MACNEIL / J. SEGAL Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 332 24:00:52.819 56 Laps 2 Laps 23 331 3:53.575 210.0
34 80 Ebimotors F. BABINI / C. NIELSEN / E. MARIS Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 332 24:00:55.691 56 Laps 2.872 25 207 3:54.309 209.4
35 50 Larbre Competition E. CREED / R. RICCI / T. DAGONEAU Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 332 24:00:57.572 56 Laps 1.881 34 95 3:35.864 227.2
36 81 BMW Team MTEK M. TOMCZYK / N. CATSBURG / P. ENG BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 332 24:01:16.446 56 Laps 18.874 28 146 3:50.834 212.5
37 56 Team Project 1 J. BERGMEISTER / P. LINDSEY / E. PERFETTI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 332 24:01:29.845 56 Laps 13.399 25 278 3:53.306 210.3
38 61 Clearwater Racing W. MOK / M. GRIFFIN / K. SAWA Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 332 24:03:25.318 56 Laps 1:55.473
39 97 Aston Martin Racing A. LYNN / M. MARTIN / J. ADAM LMGTE Pro M 327 61 Laps 5 Laps 24 24 332 3:53.396 210.2 24:01:48.484 3 3:53.114 210.4
40 70 MR Racing M. ISHIKAWA / O. BERETTA / E. CHEEVER Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am M 324 24:01:42.198 64 Laps 3 Laps 24 267 3:54.310 209.4
41 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA R. BRISCOE / R. WESTBROOK / S. DIXON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 311 24:01:51.827 77 Laps 13 Laps 23 300 3:50.200 213.1 24:02:55.366 250 3:25.390 238.8
42 5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1 - Mecachrome ROBERTSON / M. SIMPSON / L. ROUSSEL LMP1 M 289 99 Laps 22 Laps 34
43 86 Gulf Racing M. WAINWRIGHT / B. BARKER / A. DAVISON Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 283 24:00:56.772 105 Laps 6 Laps 26 3 3:52.600 210.9 Not classified
44 Eurasia Motorsport A. BERTOLINI / N. JÖNSSON / T. KROHN Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 334 22:38:36.227 36 305 3:33.487 229.8
Retired
11 SMP Racing V. PETROV / M. ALESHIN / J. BUTTON BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 315 23:02:25.286 31 242 3:20.949 244.1
48 Idec Sport P. LAFARGUE / P. CHATIN / M. ROJAS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 312 20:46:23.572 35 280 3:28.572 235.2
90 TF Sport S. YOLUC / E. HANKEY / C. EASTWOOD Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 304 22:28:19.118 22 243 3:53.300 210.3
22 United Autosports P. HANSON / F. ALBUQUERQUE / P. DI RESTA Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 288 18:55:51.304 28 212 3:29.570 234.1
64 Corvette Racing O. GAVIN / T. MILNER / M. FÄSSLER Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 259 18:19:34.039 21 227 3:50.981 212.4 16:25:47.365 4 3:22.064 242.8
10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 - Gibson 10 H. HEDMAN / B. HANLEY / R. VAN DER ZANDE LMP1 M 244 26
25 Algarve Pro Racing M. PATTERSON / A. DE JONG / T. KIM Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 237 20:25:57.494 25 234 3:37.637 225.4
88 Dempsey - Proton Racing M. CAIROLI / K. AL QUBAISI / G. RODA Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 225 15:59:06.981 17 3 3:53.268 210.3
82 BMW Team MTEK A. FARFUS / A. DA COSTA / A. SIMS BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 223 15:31:09.255 17 100 3:50.712 212.6
40 G-Drive Racing J. ALLEN / J. GUTIERREZ / E. GUIBBERT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 197 12:50:35.063 20 47 3:28.861 234.9
34 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 195 12:45:23.339 20 37 3:29.984 233.6 R. TAYLOR / C. LEDOGAR / D. HEINEMEIER-HANSSON 9:43:18.738 3 3:24.444 239.9
6 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1 - Mecachrome 6 O. ROWLAND / A. BRUNDLE / O. TURVEY LMP1 M 137 15
17 SMP Racing S. SARRAZIN / E. ORUDZHEV / M. ISAAKYAN BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 123 7:52:57.094 11 4 3:20.335 244.9
94 Porsche GT Team R. DUMAS / T. BERNHARD / S. MÜLLER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 92 6:40:01.244 8 88 3:51.192 212.2
98 Aston Martin Racing P. DALLA LANA / P. LAMY / M. LAUDA Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 92 6:46:10.156 7
38 3:55.273 208.5 4 Bykolles Racing Team O. WEBB / D. KRAIHAMER / T. DILLMANN Enso CLM P1/01 - Nismo LMP1 M 65 4:12:59.555 6 49 3:25.869 238.3

Circuit Best Laps by Class
LMP1 Kazuki NAKAJIMA 14/06/2018 3:15.377 251.1 Kph
LMP2 Paul Loup CHATIN 14/06/2018 3:24.842 239.5 Kph
LMGTE Pro Gianmaria BRUNI 13/06/2018 3:47.504 215.6 Kph
LMGTE Am Matteo CAIROLI 13/06/2018 3:50.728 212.6 Kph
Circuit Race Records by Class
LMP1 Sébastien BUEMI 16/06/2018 3:17.658 248.2 Kph
LMP2 Nathanaël BERTHON 17/06/2018 3:27.200 236.7 Kph
LMGTE Pro Jan MAGNUSSEN 17/06/2018 3:49.448 213.8 Kph
LMGTE Am Benjamin BARKER 16/06/2018 3:52.600 210.9 Kph By Melissa Warren

 

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