Toyota Gazoo takes fifth consecutive win at Le Mans

Toyota Gazoo takes fifth consecutive win at Le Mans

Toyota won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the fifth time in a row on Sunday, with the No. 8 car finishing ahead of the No. 7 car in another dominant performance.

Sébastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa, and Brendon Hartley in the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR101 Hybrid Hypercar won, giving Buemi his fourth victory at Circuit de la Sarthe, while Hartley secured his third victory and Ryo Hirakawa his first.

The race between the two Toyotas raged for the first 16 hours of the event, with each car leading at different times. However, a problem with the front hybrid system caused the No.7, driven by José Mara López, Mike Conway, and Kamui Kobayashi, to lose crucial time, ensuring the No.8 was clear to win.

Toyota’s victory today is the first since the works Ferrari team won five consecutive Le Mans races between 1960 and 1964.

Glickenhaus Racing improved on its fourth-place finish in 2021 with a third and fourth finish. Despite battling back from an early unplanned pit stop for a sensor change, Ryan Briscoe, Franck Mailleux, and Richard Westbrook took a popular podium in the No.709 Glickenhaus 007LMH.

The sister No.708 Glickenhaus Racing entry, piloted by Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla, and Romain Dumas, finished fourth after overcoming damage and time lost due to Pla’s off-track accident just before midnight at Tertre Rouge.

Alpine ELF Team earned a point for fifth place in the WEC Hypercar class for 2022, but the team is dissatisfied following a challenging weekend in Le Mans. It finished 24th overall due to a clutch issue, a crash, and other minor issues.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez, and Will Stevens led Jota Sport to a hat-trick of Le Mans LMP2 victories, dominating the class from the start in a perfect effort.

The No.38 car dominated the field and led home the Prema Orlen Team trio of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz, and Lorenzo Colombo, adding to the British team’s prior victories in 2014 and 2017.

Stevens’ victory sparked wild celebrations in the Jota Sport pit, which also celebrated a double podium finish with the No.28, which finished third with Ed Jones, Oliver Rasmussen, and Jonathan Aberdein rounding up a strong showing.

WRT, the defending champions, were heartbroken when their pole-sitting No.31 car was forced to drop back following a 60-second penalty for first-corner contact with another car.

However, until Robin Frijns crashed on the exit of Indianapolis circuit on Sunday lunchtime, the car was in contention for a podium finish.

After switching its chassis and a driver before of the race, TDS Racing x Vaillante Oreca-Gibson delivered a feel-good Le Mans story. Nyck de Vries made a surprise debut and proved to be a valuable asset to the team, finishing fourth alongside colleagues Mathias Beche and Tijmen van der Helm.

Team Penske finished fifth in class, with Felipe Nasr, Dane Cameron, and Emmanuel Collard making their final WEC appearance before focusing on Porsche’s upcoming LMDh project in 2022. Bodywork repairs caused the striking yellow and blue Oreca-Gibson to lose time.

United Autosports finished sixth after overcoming first-hour difficulties with the No.23 car of Alex Lynn, Oliver Jarvis, and Joshua Pierson, the youngest driver to ever start at Le Mans.

Porsche won its first Le Mans LMGTE Pro race since 2018 with Frederic Makowiecki, Gianmaria Bruni, and Richard Lietz in the No.91 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR-19.

In a tense and tactical duel to the finish, Makowiecki won ahead of the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari driven by James Calado, Daniel Serra, and Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Over the course of the 24 hours, each of the three manufacturers in LMGTE Pro – Ferrari, Porsche, and Corvette – spends time at the front of the extremely competitive category. Several events and tales of misfortune occurred throughout the race, with Corvette Racing initially appearing to have the upper hand.

The No. 63 and No. 64 Chevrolet Corvettes led for much of the race, however a suspension issue for the No. 63 car, driven by Nicky Catsburg, Jordan Taylor, and Antonio Garcia, and then an early morning crash for the No. 64 car, driven by Alexander Sims, guaranteed an early end to their hopes for a win.

Sims was an innocent victim in a three-car crash on Mulsanne Straight after the No.83 AF Corse-entered LMP2 car swiped him into the barriers.

These troubles allowed Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, and Laurens Vanthoor’s No.92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 to get to the front, but their own accident damage dropped them to fourth at the finish.

This was one position behind the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari, piloted by Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon, and Antonio Fuoco, which had a puncture in the early stages of the race. Felipe Fraga, Sam Bird, and Shane van Gisbergen’s Riley Motorsports Ferrari finished last in LMGTE Pro.

The No.45 Algarve Pro Racing entry of Steven Thomas, James Allen, and Rene Binder won the Pro/Am division, beating off the Nielsen Racing car of Ben Hanley, Rodrigo Sales, and Matt Bell.

TF Sport won the 23-car LMGTE Am field, with Ben Keating, Marco Sorensen, and Henrique Chaves doubling up and repeating their Le Mans victory from 2020.

In the early morning, the Aston Martin Vantage gained the lead from the WeatherTech Porsche 911 RSR-19, never looked back, and went on to expand its lead beyond the reach of the US-entered vehicle.

On his eighth attempt, Keating won for the first time and erased the memories of losing victory due to disqualification in 2019, while Sorensen won the Le Mans class for the first time on his eighth attempt. WeatherTech Racing ran a fantastic race, but an off-track excursion in the early morning hours cost them the chance to win.

The No. 98 NorthWest AMR team of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim, and David Pittard finished third following a pretty easy run on a great day for Aston Martin.

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