Le Mans 24H: Toyota secures hat-trick of victories, AMR wins Le Mans in GTE-Pro

The #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing claimed a hat-trick of wins on the final 24 Hours of Le Mans for their TS050 Hybrid LMP1, Round 7 of the WEC.

The LMP2 and GTE Pro lead fights continued from the hours preceding, as the Am #89 Team-Project 1 suffered a front-right tyre failure entering the Porsche Curves as it ran a double-stint on that set of tyres.

A fight in GTE-Am was for seventh position between the #61 Luzich Racing and #66 JMW Motorsport.

In LMP1, after the exhaust manifold replacement on the #7, that Toyota was on the charge to fight for the third spot on the podium against the #3 Rebellion.

Further LMP1 drama in the Rebellion squad as, with three hours to go, the #3 right in front of the #1 WEC entry. Menezes in the #1 was told hold position as he needed to look after the brakes, with a 2 second gap wanted between the sibling cars.

In fact, the combination of traffic and slipstream kept the pair together, and only after eight laps and a third reminder to Menezes (by the team manager) saw him back down to two seconds.

The effects of fatigue were taking place with a handful of spins across the field and the drivers were on the closing stages of their double-stinting duties, with single stints set for the final hour to the finish.

Meanwhile, the GTE category leaders were unlikely to be challenged as they settled in towards the end.

A pitstop sequence for the Rebellions (#3 followed by the #1) saw them swap positions and emerge 22 seconds apart.

This was due to Deletraz experiencing clutch problems which saw him stationary in the box for a few moments, but did get away.

The #1, who pitted on the following lap, had Menezes’ closed a strong chain of five stints, inherited the lead.

The WEC regular TF Sport claimed victory in Am after establishing a strong sense of pace in the latter stages to healthily secure their victory.

With 1 hour to go, Louis Deletraz (a Le Mans rookie) went wide at Indianapolis, thus the car boxed and confusion over whether the car would be taken into the garage saw the debutant spin the wheels whilst up on the air-jacks.

Along with the recurring clutch issue, the WEC Championship-leading #7 were given a potential to sit on the podium.

Further LMP2 drama occurred within the final hour, as Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a front-right suspension failure, so the third-placed car was into the garage.

LM rookie Michel Jenson’s impressive stints were diminished as the team lost P3 in-class.

The #39 shortly crashed at the tyre barriers at the Porsche Curves, so the #36 Alpine had made a climb to fourth position.

A safety car brought positions second, third and fourth of the GTE-Am together in a sudden turn of action in the closing stages of the 24-hour race.

The intense battles of the #56, #83 and #77 calmed down as the #83 of Nicklas Nielsen forced his way past the #77 at the Ford Chicane.

Another LMP2 of the #27 Dragonspeed temporarily stopped on the mulsanne too.

The gap between third and fourth in LMP1 closed down to 20 seconds between the #3 and #7.

Phil Hanson in the #22 United Autosports made a slight fuel-strategy miscalculation which saw them tightly come out ahead of the #38 of Anthony Davidson, with eight minutes left. The #38 pitted two laps short on fuel.

For LMP2’s United Autosports endurance pursuits, they claimed their seventh consecutive victory amongst efforts in the ELMS, WEC and this Le Mans race. They also claimed the WEC drivers’ championship.

AMR’s first and third place in Pro (personal best at Le Mans) secured them the drivers (#95) and constructors championship, in consideration of the double-WEC championship points that are on offer.

Another Aston Martin of the #90 TF Sport claimed their Le Mans first win in the Am class.

The Pro #71 AF Corse broke down on the final lap and were not classified at the finish.

Toyota GAZOO Racing claimed a hat-trick of victories for their #8, as the #1 Rebellion Racing achieved its best overall finish at Le Mans. The #7 came in the third spot.

1 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing LMP1
2 #1 Rebellion Racing LMP1
3 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing LMP1
4 #3 Rebellion Racing LMP1
5 #22 United Autosports LMP2
6 #38 JOTA LMP2
7 #31 Panis Racing LMP2
8 #36 Signatech Alpine Elf LMP2
9 #26 G-Drive Racing LMP2
10 #28 IDEC Sport LMP2
11 #42 COOL Racing LMP2
12 #25 Algarve Pro Racing LMP2
13 #50 Richard Mille Racing Team LMP2
14 #47 Cetilar Racing LMP2
15 #17 IDEC Sport LMP2
16 #27 Dragonspeed USA LMP2
17 #32 United Autosports LMP2
18 #35 Eurasia Motorsport LMP2
19 #29 Racing Team Nederland LMP2
20 #97 Aston Martin Racing LM-GTE Pro
21 #51 AF Corse LM-GTE Pro
22 #95 Aston Martin Racing LM-GTE Pro
23 #82 Risi Competizione LM-GTE Pro
24 #90 TF Sport LM-GTE Am
25 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing LM-GTE Am
26 #83 AF Corse LM-GTE Am
27 #56 Team Project 1 LM-GTE Am
28 #24 Nielsen Racing LMP2
29 #86 Gulf Racing LM-GTE Am
30 #66 JMW Motorsport LM-GTE Am
31 #91 Porsche GT Team LM-GTE Pro
32 #61 Luzich Racing LM-GTE Am
33 #98 Aston Martin Racing LM-GTE Am
34 #85 Iron Lynx LM-GTE Am
35 #92 Porsche GT Team LM-GTE Pro
36 #99 Dempsey-Proton Racing LM-GTE Am
37 #60 Iron Lynx LM-GTE Am
38 #78 Proton Competition LM-GTE Am
39 #54 AF Corse LM-GTE Am
40 #57 Team Project 1 LM-GTE Am
41 #34 Inter Europol Competition LMP2
42 #62 Red River Sport LM-GTE Am
43 #89 Team Project 1 LM-GTE Am
44 #39 SO24-HAS By Graff LMP2
45 #71 AF Corse LM-GTE Pro
46 #72 Hub Auto Racing LM-GTE Am
47 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing LM-GTE Am
48 (RETIRED) #75 Iron Lynx LM-GTE Am
49 (RETIRED) #21 Dragonspeed USA LMP2
50 (RETIRED) #63 WeatherTech Racing LM-GTE Pro
51 (RETIRED) #70 MR Racing LM-GTE Am
52 (RETIRED) #16 G-Drive Racing By Algarve LMP2
53 (RETIRED) #30 Duqueine Team LMP2
54 (RETIRED) #4 ByKolles Racing LMP1
55 (RETIRED) #33 High Class Racing LMP2
56 (RETIRED) #52 AF Corse LM-GTE Am
57 (RETIRED) #55 Spirit of Race LM-GTE Am
58 (RETIRED) #11 Eurointernational LMP2
59 (DISQUALIFIED) #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2