Le Mans 24H: Ecstasy and elation as the checkered flag falls at Le Mans

The #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing led home a Toyota formation finish to take victory at the 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

The ecstasy belongs to the ‘other’ Toyota crew in 2021.

After spending so many years as the bridesmaid, the #7 Toyota crew of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, and Jose Maria Lopez are the winners. The moving images of Maria Lopez crying in the garage brought a tear to everyone’s eyes.

In reality, the #7 Toyota may have had its name on the trophy. The sister car experienced troubles yesterday and more technical issues this morning. A fueling problem hindered its progress. Kaz Nakajima would follow the lead Toyota home two laps behind.

Alpine came home in third, four laps behind the overall winners Toyota. Nevertheless, after several dramas in the dark, it was a solid return for the French name to this great race.

LMP2’s dramas have been well documented throughout the entirety of this race. This morning, the category seemed to have settled, until last-lap late heartbreak denied Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz, and Yifie Ye.

A one-two finish would’ve sealed the perfect debut in LMP2 for Team WRT. Robin Frijns got the car over the line to take the class win. A fabulous performance from a ‘new’ team as they kept calm despite all the chaos.

Team Jota experienced plenty of dramas, but their trio of Tom Blomqvist, Stoffel Vandoorne, and Sean Gelael drove a perfect second day as they sealed a podium place. Panis Racing benefited from WRT’s breakdown;

Will Stevens got the French team home a lap behind the class winners. Zak Brown’s United Autosports car endured a dramatic 24 hours, but they did well to finish fourth with their sole vehicle.

Ferrari and AF Corse swept the GT classes after they triumphed in GTE Pro and GTE Am. The lead Ferrari piloted by James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Come Ledogar beat the Corvette home by 19 seconds.

The Porsche GT Team withstood their car, shedding debris all over the track to take home a remarkable third place. Credit must go to the pit crew who serviced that car rapidly.

AF Corse and Team Iron Lynx ensured two Ferrari’s would finish on the podium. Alessio Rovera, Nicklas Nielsen, and Francois Perrodo raced brilliantly as a trio to scoop up the class win. Alfa Romeo and Ferrari F1 test driver Callum Ilott attacked his first Le Mans admirably.

The Brit finished third alongside teammates Matteo Cressoni and Rino Mastronardi. With Ferrari returning to the top category soon under the Hypercars, many drivers are putting their hands up.

Overall Position Category Team
1 (371 Laps) Hypercar
#7 Toyota GAZOO Racing
2 Hypercar
#8 Toyota GAZOO Racing
3 Hypercar
#36 Alpine Elf Matmut
4 Hypercar
#708 Glickenhaus Racing
5 Hypercar
#709 Glickenhaus Racing
6 LMP2 #31 Team WRT
7 LMP2 #28 JOTA
8 LMP2
#65 Panis Racing
9 LMP2
#23 United Autosports
10 LMP2
#34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am)
11 LMP2 #48 IDEC Sport
12 LMP2
#26 G-Drive Racing
13 LMP2 #38 JOTA
14 LMP2
#30 Duqueine Team
15 LMP2
#21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am)
16 LMP2
#29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am)
17 LMP2
#70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am)
18 LMP2
#20 High Class Racing (Pro/Am)
19 LMP2
#39 SO24-DIROB by Graff (Pro/Am)
20 GTE-Pro #51 AF Corse
21 GTE-Pro
#63 Corvette Racing
22 GTE-Pro
#92 Porsche GT Team
23 GTE-Pro
#91 Porsche GT Team
24 LMP2
#44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am)
25 GTE-Am #83 AF Corse
26 GTE-Am #33 TF Sport
27 GTE-Am #80 Iron Lynx
28 LMP2
#74 Racing Team India Eurasia (Pro/Am)
29 LMP2
#49 High Class Racing
30 GTE-Am #60 Iron Lynx
31 GTE-Am
#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing
32 Innovative Car
#84 Association SRT41
33 GTE-Am
#777 D’station Racing
34 GTE-Am
#18 Absolute Racing
35 GTE-Am #95 TF Sport
36 GTE-Am #85 Iron Lynx
37 GTE-Pro #52 AF Corse
38 GTE-Am
#69 Herberth Motorsport
39 GTE-Am #54 AF Corse
40 LMP2
#22 United Autosports
41 GTE-Am
#71 Inception Racing
42 GTE-Am
#88 Dempsey-Proton Racing
43 GTE-Am #86 GR Racing
44 GTE-Pro
#64 Corvette Racing
45 (DNF) LMP2 #41 Team WRT
46 (DNF) LMP2
#82 Risi Competizione
47 (DNF) GTE-Am
#388 Rinaldi Racing
48 (DNF) LMP2
#24 PR1 Motorsports Mathiasen (Pro/Am)
49 (DNF) GTE-Pro
#72 Hub Auto Racing
50 (DNF) GTE-Pro
#79 WeatherTech Racing
51 (DNF) GTE-Am
#46 Team Project 1
52 (DNF) GTE-Am
#57 Kessel Racing
53 (DNF) GTE-Am
#66 JMW Motorsport
54 (DNF) GTE-Am
#55 Spirit of Race
55 (DNF) LMP2
#25 G-Drive Racing (Pro/Am)
56 (DNF) GTE-Am
#47 Cetilar Racing
57 (DNF) LMP2
#32 United Autosports
58 (DNF) GTE-Am
#99 Proton Competition
59 (DNF) GTE-Am
#98 Aston Martin Racing
60 (DNF) GTE-Am
#56 Team Project 1
61 (DNF) LMP2
#1 Richard Mille Racing