LM 24, Hour 24: Toyota secures decisive Le Mans victory

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LM 24, Hour 24: Toyota secures decisive Le Mans victory

Le Mans/WEC

LM 24, Hour 24: Toyota secures decisive Le Mans victory

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Toyota Gazoo Racing now has a full hand of overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Brendon Hartley brought the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid to the checkered flag to secure top honors for himself and co-drivers Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa.

After taking the lead after sunrise this morning, the trio of Buemi, Hartley, and Hirakawa never looked back, completing 380 laps across 24 hours to take Toyota’s fifth consecutive overall win at Le Mans, and their second in the Hypercar class with the GR010.

Toyota completes a 1-2 finish with the No.7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in second place. While their own ambitions of overall victory were dashed when the car shut off this morning, Lopez took some degree of pride for the Toyota No. 7 with the fastest lap of the race in the final hour and one last push to close the final margin to 2m01s.

Jim Glickenhaus’ dream of an overall podium at the Grand Prix d’Endurance came true as the No. 709 SCG 007 LMH of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux completed a largely trouble-free outing and took the checkered flag in third place. It’s the first overall podium at Le Mans for the intrepid Glickenhaus Racing in their second year of this program, supported by the legendary Joest Racing.

The second Glickenhaus Hypercar, the No. 708 of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas and Pipo Derani had to fight back from an overnight accident to finish fourth overall, and fourth in class. All five Hypercars made it to the finish, with the No. 36 Alpine Elf Team A480-Gibson of André Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre, and Matthieu Vaxivière taking the checkered flag XXth overall following a grueling race.

JOTA Sport won the LMP2 class, completing a dominant drive for the mighty No. 38 ORECA 07-Gibson of Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens, who finished fifth overall. The LMP2 overall podium is completed by the No. 9 Prema Orlen Team ORECA of Lorenzo Colombo, Louis Deletraz and Robert Kubica in second, and the second JOTA car, the No. 28 of Oliver Rasmussen, Ed Jones and Jonathan Aberdein, in third.

The No. 13 TDS Racing x Vaillante ORECA (Nyck de Vries, Mathias Beche, Tijmen van der Helm) was fourth, the No. 5 Team Penske ORECA (Dane Cameron, Emmanuel Collard, Felipe Nasr) fifth, and the No. 23 United Autosports USA ORECA (Alex Lynn, Oliver Jarvis, Josh Pierson) sixth.

Recovering from a heavy crash on Wednesday that could have ended its race before it ever began, the No. 45 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA of Steven Thomas, James Allen, and René Binder took the LMP2 Pro-Am victory, finishing 15th across all P2s. Second in P2 Pro-Am was the No. 24 Nielsen Racing ORECA (Rodrigo Sales, Matt Bell, Ben Hanley), and third was the No. 3 DKR Engineering Oreca (Laurents Hoerr, Jean Glorieux, Alexandre Cougnaud).

The factory Porsche GT Team won the final battle for GTE Pro, as the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki took the victory — the last for an all-pro GT team at Le Mans, at least for the forseeable future. They completed 349 laps on the day, and won by 49.4s.

AF Corse’s two Ferrari 488 GTE Evos gritted their way to a 2-3 finish, with the No. 51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Daniel Serra in second, and the No.52 Ferrari of Miguel Molina, Antonio Fuoco, and Davide Rigon in third.

The No. 92 Porsche (Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor) consolidated fourth after a devastating puncture in the morning, and the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ferrari (Felipe Fraga, Sam Bird, Shane van Gisbergen) taking the flag in fifth. Corvette Racing’s dreams of a final Le Mans win in the class were dashed as the day wore on, with both cars retiring before the flag.

GTE Am was won by the No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Ben Keating, Henrique Chaves and Marco Sorensen, who seized the lead at halfway and drove on to victory from there.

The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche of Cooper MacNeil, Julien Andlauer and Thomas Merrill finished second in GTE Am, followed by the No. 98 Northwest AMR Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard in third. Fourth was the No. 86 GR Racing Porsche (Michael Wainwright, Ricardo Pera, Benjamin Barker), with the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche (Fred Poordad, Maxwell Root, Jan Heylen) fifth, and the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari (Thomas Floehr, Francesco Castellacci, Nick Cassidy) sixth.

Full reports of the class races to follow.

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