What a race finale at the 24
Hours of Le Mans in France! It was heart breaking for Toyota as it lost in the
last lap to Porsche before a crowd of 263,500 spectators. It was heart breaking
and a cruel twist of fate for Toyota which was leading the race till the very end, despite a cat and mouse race all
along with Porsche. The crowds watched as Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas
win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Porsche 919 Hybrid #2.
As the race entered its final
hour, the #5 Toyota TS 050 with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel had a
twenty-second lead on the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Romain Dumas, Neel
Jani and Marc Lieb. The final pit stop went off without a hitch for both teams,
Porsche bringing in the #2 on the 373rd lap for refuelling only. This meant
that Neel Jani had kept the same tyres for four stints!
Likewise for the Toyota on lap
374: refuelling but no tyre change. The Japanese car’s tyres were then on their
third stint. The pit stop was better handled by the Japanese team who were more
than four seconds faster. With just 30 minutes to go, the gap between the two
cars widened to 30 seconds.
Disaster struck as the #5
Toyota TS 050 was coming up to its final lap. Kazuki Nakajima slowed down then
came to a complete standstill just before the line. Neel Jani, in the #2 919
Hybrid, stormed past for his final lap and clinched the win for Porsche.
In LM P2, the win went to
Alpine! The Alpine A460, powered by a Nissan engine and driven by Gustavo
Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi, had been leading since the
tenth hour of the race. A fine victory for the French marque that has been
competing in endurance for several seasons now and recently announced its
commercial revival. Their success harks back to the manufacturer’s overall Le
Mans win in 1978 with an Alpine A442B driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier
Ford clinched the LM GTE Pro
class victory 50 years after the triumph of the Ford GT40. The Ford GT was
among the leaders in its class throughout the race in what has turned out to be
a flamboyant comeback. Last but not least, Ferrari and Scuderia Corsa top the
LM GTE Am class , after leading over the final hours of the race.
1 - Porsche Team (#2 Porsche
919 Hybrid) Romain Dumas - Marc Lieb -
2 - Toyota Gazoo Racing (#6
Toyota TS050 Hybrid) Mike Conway - Kamui Kobayashi - Stéphane Sarrazin
3 - Audi R 18 Team Joest (#8
Audi R 18 Team Joest) Lucas Di Grassi - Loïc Duval - Oliver Jarvis
1. Signatech Alpine (#36
Alpine A460-Nissan) Gustavo Menezes - Nicolas Lapierre - Stéphane Richelmi
2. G-Drive Racing (#26 Oreca
05-Nissan) Roman Rusinov - Will Stevens
- René Rast
3. SMP Racing (#37 BR
Engineering BR01-Nissan) Vitaly Petrov - Viktor Shaitar - Kirill Ladygin
LM GTE Pro
1 - Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
(#68 Ford GT) Joey Hand - Dirk Müller - Sébastien Bourdais
2 - Risi Competizione (#82
Ferrari 488 GTE) Giancarlo Fisichella - Toni Vilander - Matteo Malucelli
3 - Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
(#69 Ford GT) Ryan Briscoe - Richard Westbrook - Scott Dixon
LM GTE Am
1 - Scuderia Corsa (#62
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2) Bill Sweedler - Townsend Bell - Jeff Segal
2 - AF Corse (#83 Ferrari 458
Italia GT2) François Perrodo - Emmanuel Collard - Rui
3 - Águas Abu Dhabi-Proton
Racing (#88 Porsche 911 RSR) Khaled Al Qubaisi - Patrick Long - David
Source: LeMans 24 Hours website
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