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|
|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|