Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren)Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a dominant victory at the FIA WEC Season Finale after the No.8 and No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID sister cars finished first and second following an epic 24 Hours of Le Mans.


The result sees Sébastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima clinch the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship to add to the Manufacturers’ Championship title that the team won at Spa. Nakajima enters the history books as the first Japanese driver to win an FIA World Championship title.

Nakajima was behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as it took the chequered flag, 16.972s ahead of the No. 7 entry. The two had been running closely together through much of the 24 hour race but late-race drama saw the No.7 drop back in the event’s closing stages.

The LMP1 non-hybrids were unable to match the Toyotas but put up a terrific fight. Le Mans debutant Stoffel Vandoorne was partnered with Russian duo Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the SMP Racing No. 11 car, with the trio successfully bringing the BR Engineering BR1 – AER car home in third position. The sister No. 17 SMP car retired after 18 hours following an incident at the Porsche Curves.

Bruno Senna crossed the line fourth in the No. 1 Rebellion Racing Car, after losing time early in the race following a puncture. The sister No. 3 R13-Gibson finished fifth. ByKolles Racing Team and the No. 10 DragonSpeed BR1- Gibson were hindered with reliability problems with both cars unable to finish.

Signatech Alpine Matmut have successfully defended their LMP2 Le Mans title after taking the overall win following a stellar drive by Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrao and Pierre Thiriet in the No. 36 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson car. It also marks the first time that an LMP2 car equipped with Michelin tyres has won at Le Mans since the WEC began.

The French team have also clinched the coveted LMP2 title over Jackie Chan DC Racing who put up a terrific fight but eventually finished second – 15 points adrift of category victors Signatech.

TDS Racing finished the FIA WEC Super Finale in third position, the French team taking solace in a podium position after their misfortune last year.

Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren) thumb gw200619a5 Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

Meanwhile, it was a race to forget for American-based team DragonSpeed with the No.31 ORECA 07 – Gibson car crashing out in the 16th hour with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel.

Ferrari could not have chosen a better time or place in which to take its second LMGTE Pro victory of the FIA WEC Super Season: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the super finale of an incredible season of racing.

Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans 24 (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

In the 70th anniversary year of Ferrari’s first victory at Le Mans, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra combined to record a cool, calm and collected victory in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE. They finished 49.1 seconds ahead of the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki which was itself just a further 17 seconds in front of the sister Porsche GT Team entry from the USA, No.93.

It was the fifth different GTE manufacturer to win Le Mans in five years and Ferrari’s first victory at La Sarthe since 2014. In fact, the 87th running of Le Mans was a six-way manufacturer battle from start to finish with Ferrari finishing ahead of all others after 24 hours of non-stop action and constant positional changes.

Porsche wrapped up the GT Manufacturers’ title in Spa and the drivers’ crown came down to either of the Porsche GT Team entries. However, after being in a commanding position for much of the first 16 hours, Porsche’s No.91 911 RSR dropped out of contention when an exhaust issue forced a costly 20-minute stop.

 

The win for AF Corse was recompense for the failure of the team’s sister No.71 to finish due to engine failure. They weren’t the only manufacturer to suffer misfortune at Le Mans this year, with Aston Martin Racing – newly announced alongside Toyota as a competitor in the new Hypercar category – having a torrid time. The No.97 was the only one of the British marque’s three cars to finish, but everyone was more relieved to see Marco Sorensen walk away from a very heavy impact just before the halfway mark.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK entered its last race in the WEC as part of a four-strong Ford GT entry, and ended finishing 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th after a race of mixed fortunes. They, together with Corvette Racing, were challenging through much of the race but it was not to be their year. The American marque, which has won at Le Mans so many times in the past and competed in 50% of the WEC Super Season, was set to take another victory before bad luck hit the No.63. Also in its last race was BMW Team MTEK, the German manufacturer also having a race to forget after having made much progress through the season.

At the conclusion of its first full WEC season, Germany’s Team Project 1 finished 2nd in LMGTE Am and sealed the Drivers FIA Endurance Trophy for the class. Egidio Perfetti, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey had a superbly consistent season to come through for championship honours and will return next season with two entries.

The win went to the Keating Motorsports Ford GT, the first time that a customer entrant has competed with the American, after surviving a late-race penalty and a strong challenge from Bergmeister

The No. 84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE completed the class podium in third, with the next best of the WEC entries being the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR finishing 5th overall. The class pole-sitting No.88 Dempsey entry hit trouble early on with Satoshi Hoshino spinning from the class lead in the opening hour and then colliding with the No.64 Corvette which resulted in both cars retiring from the race.

During the post-race technical checks, the race stewards officially disqualified the #68 (Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA's Ford GT) and the #85 (Keating Motorsports' Ford GT) for breach of fuel tank capacity regulations.

The top step on the LMGTE Am class podium is now claimed by Team Project 1's #56 Porsche.

Now the Super Season is over and attention turns to Season 8 which begins with the Prologue in Barcelona on 23/24 July and then on to the 4 Hours of Silverstone on 1st September. By Melissa Warren

Race results
1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing S. BUEMI / K. NAKAJIMA / F. ALONSO Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 385 24:00:10.574 34 4 3:18.397 247.2
2 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing M. CONWAY / K. KOBAYASHI / J. LOPEZ Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 385 24:00:27.546 16.972 16.972 37 4 3:17.297 248.6
3 11 SMP Racing V. PETROV / M. ALESHIN / S. VANDOORNE BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 379 24:00:47.948 6 Laps 6 Laps 39 45 3:19.785 245.5
4 1 Rebellion Racing N. JANI / A. LOTTERER / B. SENNA Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 376 24:01:52.069 9 Laps 3 Laps 39 4 3:20.605 244.5
5 3 Rebellion Racing T. LAURENT / N. BERTHON / G. MENEZES Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 M 370 24:01:23.474 15 Laps 6 Laps 42 136 3:18.720 246.8
6 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut N. LAPIERRE / A. NEGRÃO / P. THIRIET Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 M 368 24:02:30.436 17 Laps 2 Laps 37 4 3:27.694 236.2
7 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing H. TUNG / S. RICHELMI / G. AUBRY Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 367 24:01:11.901 18 Laps 1 Lap 36 346 3:29.077 234.6
8 28 TDS Racing F. PERRODO / M. VAXIVIERE / L. DUVAL Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 366 24:00:40.659 19 Laps 1 Lap 37 3 3:27.611 236.3
9 22 United Autosports P. HANSON / F. ALBUQUERQUE / P. DI RESTA Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 365 24:00:53.907 20 Laps 1 Lap 37 234 3:29.892 233.7
10 48 Idec Sport P. LAFARGUE / P. CHATIN / M. ROJAS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 364 24:00:35.435 21 Laps 1 Lap 37 348 3:28.883 234.8
11 26 G-Drive Racing R. RUSINOV / J. VAN UITERT / J. VERGNE Aurus 01 - Gibson LMP2 D 364 24:01:00.288 21 Laps 24.853 36 314 3:27.719 236.2
12 30 Duqueine Engineering N. JAMIN / P. RAGUES / R. DUMAS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 363 24:00:28.815 22 Laps 1 Lap 36 100 3:28.984 234.7
13 23 Panis Barthez Competition R. BINDER / J. CANAL / W. STEVENS Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 362 24:00:19.203 23 Laps 1 Lap 37 4 3:30.800 232.7
14 39 Graff T. GOMMENDY / V. CAPILLAIRE / J. HIRSCHI Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 362 24:00:20.133 23 Laps 0.930 38 267 3:29.175 234.5
15 25 Algarve Pro Racing D. ZOLLINGER / A. PIZZITOLA / J. FALB Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 357 24:03:32.245 28 Laps 5 Laps 39 338 3:29.072 234.6
16 20 High Class Racing A. FJORDBACH / D. ANDERSEN / M. BECHE Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 356 24:02:59.659 29 Laps 1 Lap 39 245 3:29.896 233.7
17 50 Larbre Competition E. CREED / R. RICCI / N. BOULLE Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 355 24:01:24.643 30 Laps 1 Lap 38 4 3:33.860 229.4
18 47 Cetilar R. Villorba Corse R. LACORTE / G. SERNAGIOTTO / A. BELICCHI Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 M 352 24:02:34.882 33 Laps 3 Laps 39 4 3:31.596 231.8
19 32 United Autosports R. CULLEN / A. BRUNDLE / W. OWEN Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 348 24:00:23.515 37 Laps 4 Laps 37 3 3:30.721 232.8
20 51 AF Corse A. PIER GUIDI / J. CALADO / D. SERRA Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 342 24:00:29.469 43 Laps 6 Laps 25 97 3:50.125 213.2
21 91 Porsche GT Team R. LIETZ / G. BRUNI / F. MAKOWIECKI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 342 24:01:18.662 43 Laps 49.193 23 304 3:49.831 213.4
22 93 Porsche GT Team P. PILET / E. BAMBER / N. TANDY Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 342 24:01:36.626 43 Laps 17.964 23 3 3:50.279 213.0
23 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK A. PRIAULX / H. TINCKNELL / J. BOMARITO Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 342 24:03:52.597 43 Laps 2:15.971 24 3 3:50.328 213.0
24 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA R. BRISCOE / R. WESTBROOK / S. DIXON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 341 24:02:12.468 44 Laps 1 Lap 26 245 3:50.865 212.5
25 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK S. MÜCKE / O. PLA / B. JOHNSON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 340 24:00:51.196 45 Laps 1 Lap 24 18 3:51.247 212.1
26 29 Racing Team Nederland F. VAN EERD / G. VAN DER GARDE / N. DE VRIES Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 M 340 24:02:48.518 45 Laps 1:57.322 36 213 3:29.023 234.7
27 94 Porsche GT Team S. MÜLLER / M. JAMINET / D. OLSEN Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 339 24:00:34.560 46 Laps 1 Lap 24 309 3:50.819 212.5
28 63 Corvette Racing J. MAGNUSSEN / A. GARCIA / M. ROCKENFELLER Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 337 24:01:57.941 48 Laps 2 Laps 25 2 3:49.958 213.3
29 92 Porsche GT Team M. CHRISTENSEN / K. ESTRE / L. VANTHOOR Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 337 24:03:55.044 48 Laps 1:57.103 24 96 3:49.937 213.3
30 82 BMW Team MTEK A. FARFUS / A. DA COSTA / J. KROHN BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 335 24:00:26.780 50 Laps 2 Laps 25 3 3:50.702 212.6
31 56 Team Project 1 J. BERGMEISTER / P. LINDSEY / E. PERFETTI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 334 24:03:05.045 51 Laps 1 Lap 23 2 3:54.101 209.5
32 84 JMW Motorsport J. SEGAL / R. BAPTISTA / W. LU Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 334 24:03:49.229 51 Laps 44.184 23 2 3:53.813 209.8
33 62 WeatherTech Racing C. MACNEIL / T. VILANDER / R. SMITH Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 333 24:03:05.409 52 Laps 1 Lap 25 313 3:53.835 209.8
34 77 Dempsey - Proton Racing M. CAMPBELL / C. RIED / J. ANDLAUER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 332 24:00:11.757 53 Laps 1 Lap 25 2 3:52.945 210.6
35 57 Car Guy Racing T. KIMURA / K. COZZOLINO / C. LEDOGAR Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 332 24:02:13.057 53 Laps 2:01.300 25 2 3:53.684 209.9
36 78 Proton Competition L. PRETTE / P. PRETTE / V. ABRIL Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 332 24:03:01.454 53 Laps 48.397 24 2 3:53.716 209.9
37 61 Clearwater Racing L. PEREZ-COMPANC / M. GRIFFIN / M. CRESSONI Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 331 24:01:48.090 54 Laps 1 Lap 24 296 3:53.746 209.9
38 86 Gulf Racing M. WAINWRIGHT / B. BARKER / T. PREINING Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 331 24:02:53.948 54 Laps 1:05.858 28 2 3:52.834 210.7
39 83 Kessel Racing M. GOSTNER / R. FREY / M. GATTING Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 330 24:04:05.792 55 Laps 1 Lap 25 314 3:55.261 208.5
40 89 Risi Competizione P. DERANI / O. JARVIS / J. GOUNON Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 329 24:02:43.517 56 Laps 1 Lap 25 298 3:51.741 211.7
41 70 MR Racing M. ISHIKAWA / O. BERETTA / E. CHEEVER Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 328 24:03:51.293 57 Laps 1 Lap 28 292 3:54.578 209.1
42 90 TF Sport S. YOLUC / E. HANKEY / C. EASTWOOD Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 327 24:02:36.061 58 Laps 1 Lap 25 263 3:54.604 209.1
43 54 Spirit of Race T. FLOHR / F. CASTELLACCI / G. FISICHELLA Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 327 24:04:58.415 58 Laps 2:22.354 24 267 3:53.394 210.2
44 97 Aston Martin Racing M. MARTIN / A. LYNN / J. ADAM Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 325 24:00:42.319 60 Laps 2 Laps 25 3 3:51.423 212.0
45 34 Inter Europol Competition J. SMIECHOWSKI / J. WINSLOW / N. MOORE Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 325 24:02:12.317 60 Laps 1:29.998 37 184 3:32.730 230.6
46 60 Kessel Racing C. SCHIAVONI / S. PIANEZZOLA / A. PICCINI Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 324 24:04:05.536 61 Laps 1 Lap 25 239 3:53.472 210.1
47 81 BMW Team MTEK N. CATSBURG / M. TOMCZYK / P. ENG BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro M 309 24:00:26.754 76 Laps 15 Laps 24 18 3:51.118 212.2

Not classified
43 RLR M Sport / Tower Events J. FARANO / A. MAINI / N. NATO Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 295 20:09:42.073 32 275 3:28.980 234.7

Retired
31 DragonSpeed R. GONZALEZ / P. MALDONADO / A. DAVIDSON Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 M 245 16:09:29.728 24 187 3:28.216 235.6
37 Jackie Chan DC Racing D. HEINEMEIER-HANSSON / J. KING / R. TAYLOR Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 199 13:17:51.879 21 182 3:29.952 233.6
17 SMP Racing S. SARRAZIN / E. ORUDZHEV / S. SIROTKIN BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 M 163 10:18:13.785 16 3 3:20.273 244.9
4 Bykolles Racing Team T. DILLMANN / O. WEBB / P. RUBERTI Enso CLM P1/01 - Gibson LMP1 M 163 12:53:14.155 22 3 3:24.333 240.1
49 ARC Bratislava M. KONOPKA / H. ENQVIST / K. TERESCHENKO Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 160 13:32:48.155 19 28 3:32.513 230.8
71 AF Corse D. RIGON / S. BIRD / M. MOLINA Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro M 140 9:54:48.259 11 3 3:50.862 212.5
95 Aston Martin Racing N. THIIM / M. SØRENSEN / D. TURNER Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro M 132 9:18:25.054 9 2 3:50.139 213.1
98 Aston Martin Racing P. DALLA LANA / P. LAMY / M. LAUDA Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am M 87 7:01:33.766 7 4 3:55.026 208.7
64 Corvette Racing O. GAVIN / T. MILNER / M. FÄSSLER Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 82 5:36:00.286 5 2 3:50.484 212.8
88 Dempsey - Proton Racing S. HOSHINO / G. RODA JR / M. CAIROLI Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am M 79 6:28:27.584 9 2 3:52.567 210.9
10 DragonSpeed H. HEDMAN / B. HANLEY / R. VAN DER ZANDE BR Engineering BR1 - Gibson LMP1 M 76 8:30:14.175 14 3 3:22.565 242.2

Disqualified
68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA J. HAND / D. MÜLLER / S. BOURDAIS Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 342 24:02:41.630 23 283 3:50.492 212.8
85 Keating Motorsports B. KEATING / J. BLEEKEMOLEN / F. FRAGA Ford GT LMGTE Am M 334 24:02:20.102 24 168 3:53.774 209.8

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