Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Jamie Klein

Le Mans 24h: Toyota takes fifth straight win as rivals falter

The Japanese manufacturer was never seriously threatened by its two Hypercar rivals, Glickenhaus and Alpine, in a relatively clean race for both of the two GR010 Hybrid crews.

The only major drama to hit either Toyota came just shy of the 16-hour mark, when Jose Maria Lopez stopped on track in the #7 car and had to perform a full power cycle of the front hybrid system to get going again, losing a lap in the process.

Although the car shared by Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi was able to get back on to the lead lap, on pace there was virtually nothing to choose between the two Toyota crews, which had spent the first two thirds of the race exchanging the lead.

The only blip on the way to victory for the #8 car was a slightly slow changeover from Buemi to Hartley in the penultimate hour, with Hartley going on to secure victory by a final margin of  2m01.222s over Lopez in the #7 machine.

It marks a fourth Le Mans win for Swiss driver Buemi, a third for New Zealander Hartley - both of whom are now the most successful drivers at La Sarthe from their respective nations in terms of wins - and a first for new Toyota FIA World Endurance Championship driver Ryo Hirakawa, who becomes the fifth driver from Japan to win the event.

Best of the rest in the five-car Hypercar division was the #709 Glickenhaus 007 LMH of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux, which ended up five laps down, enjoying a largely clean run barring an early trip to the garage to replace a sensor.

The quicker of the American manufacturer’s cars early in the race, the #708 car of Olivier Pla, Pipo Derani and Romain Dumas, had already dropped off the lead lap when Pla spun at Tertre Rouge in the eighth hour and damaged its rear suspension.

The trio finally recovered to fourth overall, 10 laps off the winning Toyota.

Alpine’s solo grandfathered A480 LMP1 car had a disastrous race beset by technical gremlins that resulted in the entry shared by Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao finishing outside of the overall top 20, 18 laps down.

Two trips to the garage - first to replace the electronic clutch unit and then the ignition coil - were followed by a penalty for speeding and then another 20-minute spell in the pits after an off for Vaxiviere at the Porsche Curves in the morning hours.

JOTA dominant in LMP2

#38 Jota Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 of Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Will Stevens (Photo by: Eric Le Galliot)

JOTA took a commanding victory in the LMP2 class that had appeared to be the likely outcome since the early stages of the race.

The #38 Oreca 07-Gibson shared by Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens took the lead after the first round of stops and was barely headed after that, at one point building up an advantage of a lap over the opposition.

A crash for the #31 WRT entry of Robin Frijns in the early morning, which caused the one and only safety car period of the race, meant the #38 was delayed at the end of the pitlane by a red light, but that was just about the only misfortune that befell the team.

In the end, Stevens brought it home for JOTA’s first class win since 2017 by a margin of 2m21s ahead of the #9 Prema Oreca of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Lorenzo Colombo, which likewise enjoyed a largely smooth run barring an early slow puncture.

JOTA made it two cars on the podium as its second entry, the #28 of Ed Jones, Jonathan Aberdein and Oliver Rasmussen was a lap down in third ahead of the TDS Racing car of last-minute replacement Nyck de Vries, Mathias Beche and Tijmen van der Helm.

Team Penske logged a top-five finish in its final LMP2 outing for the foreseeable future with Felipe Nasr, Dane Cameron and Emmanuel Collard, despite losing time early on with a brake duct issue that required a nose change.

Besides JOTA, the other two multi-car powerhouse teams in LMP2 both had races to forget.

United Autosports lost a car from contention at Turn 1 as Will Owen’s #22 machine was hit by the pole-winning WRT car of Rene Rast, ending up in the gravel, while the #23 was also in the pits early on for a delaminated front-right tyre, dropping it down the order.

Delayed by a penalty for an unsafe release and another drive-through for a slow zone infringement, the #23 of Alex Lynn, Oliver Jarvis and youngest-ever Le Mans starter Josh Pierson could only recover to sixth at the finish, two laps down.

Owen, Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson wound up 11th as they struggled with floor and sidepod damage from their first corner off, for which Rast was penalised.

With Frijns crashing out the lead WRT entry and the #41 Realteam by WRT car heavily delayed and damaged in the first-corner incident involving Rast and Owen, it was the third-string #42 car of Dries Vanthoor, Mirko Bortolotti and Rolf Ineichen that was the Belgian squad’s highest finisher in a lowly 10th place.

WRC legend Sebastien Ogier bagged a top-10 finish on his Le Mans debut taking ninth in the #1 Richard Mille Racing entry alongside Charles Milesi and Lilou Wadoux.

With the TDS car no longer eligible for Pro/Am honours, it was the #45 Algarve Pro Racing entry shared by Rene Binder, Steven Thomas and James Allen that won the subclass.

Porsche victorious in dramatic GTE Pro battle

#91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR 19 LMGTE Pro of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz, Frederic Makowiecki (Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images)

The battle for the last-ever GTE Pro win at Le Mans went the way of Porsche, as pre-race favourites Corvette Racing suffered a double retirement with its pair of C8.Rs.

Corvette had swept the front row of the class and its cars looked to be the class of the seven-car Pro field on sheer pace, with Porsche its nearest challenger and Ferrari struggling to hang on to the coat-tails of its two rivals.

However, at around one-third distance, Corvette lost a car from contention when the #63 machine of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg suffered a dramatic left-rear suspension failure, which foreshadowed the car’s eventual retirement.

That put Porsche’s #92 crew of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor in line to replicate their 2018 GTE Pro victory, until the car was struck by a front-right puncture in the morning hours that destroyed the front end of the works 911 RSR-19.

Corvette reassumed the advantage at this point with the surviving #64 C8.R of Nick Tandy, Tommy Milner and Alexander Sims, with the trio more than an a minute clear of the field.

But the race was turned on its head again when Sims was put into the barriers along the Mulsanne Straight by the AF Corse LMP2 car of Francois Perrodo with six hours to run.

With both Corvettes now out, the race became a duel between Porsche’s #91 car of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki and the leading AF Corse-run #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra.

The Ferrari was barely clinging to a slender advantage when Pier Guidi had to stop early due to a right-rear puncture, and from there it was plain sailing for the #91 Porsche crew, which picked up its first WEC win since the 2019 Silverstone race by 42.6s.

Ferrari’s #52 entry of Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Antonio Fuoco completed the podium in third, delayed by a puncture in the night, ahead of the #92 Porsche and the #74 Riley Motorsports Ferrari.

TF Sport Aston takes GTE Am win

#33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AmR LMGTE Am of Ben Keating, Henrique Chaves, Marco Sorensen (Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt)

Aston Martin took honours in the GTE Am division, as TF Sport’s Ben Keating avenged his 2019 disqualification with victory in the Vantage he shared with Marco Sorensen and Henrique Chaves.

WeatherTech Racing Porsche trio Julien Andlauer, Cooper MacNeil and impressive bronze-rated Thomas Merrill looked strong in the early stages, but mistakes by both MacNeil and Merrill in the night-time hours handed the initiative back to the ultra-consistent TF car, which ultimately finished 44.4s ahead.

Making it two Aston crews on the podium was the NorthWest AMR of Nicki Thiim, Paul Dalla Lana and David Pittard, a lap behind the leading duo.

The Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Harry Tincknell, Sebastian Priaulx and Christian Ried had looked on course for the place until a broken wishbone inside the final three hours dropped the #77 down the order.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Race results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Laps
1 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 380
2 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 380
3 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Franck Mailleux
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 375
4 708 France Olivier Pla
France Romain Dumas
Brazil Pipo Derani
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 370
5 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 369
6 9 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Oreca 07 LMP2 369
7 28 Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Edward Jones
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Oreca 07 LMP2 368
8 13 Philippe Cimadomo
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Netherlands Tijmen van der Helm
Oreca 07 LMP2 368
9 5 United States Dane Cameron
France Emmanuel Collard
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Oreca 07 LMP2 368
10 23 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Josh Pierson
Oreca 07 LMP2 368
11 37 China Ye Yifei
United States Ricky Taylor
Germany Niklas Krütten
Oreca 07 LMP2 367
12 48 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Patrick Pilet
Oreca 07 LMP2 366
13 1 France Lilou Wadoux
France Sébastien Ogier
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 366
14 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Will Owen
Oreca 07 LMP2 366
15 32 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Oreca 07 LMP2 366
16 65 France Julien Canal
France Nico Jamin
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 366
17 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Mexico Esteban Gutierrez
Oreca 07 LMP2 365
18 43 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Oreca 07 LMP2 364
19 45 United States Steven Thomas
Australia James Allen
Austria Rene Binder
Oreca 07 LMP2 363
20 24 United States Rodrigo Sales
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 362
21 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 362
22 3 Germany Laurents Hörr
Belgium Jean Glorieux
France Alexandre Cougnaud
Oreca 07 LMP2 362
23 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 362
24 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Oreca 07 LMP2 361
25 47 Germany Sophia Flörsch
United States John Falb
United Kingdom Jack Aitken
Oreca 07 LMP2 361
26 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
France Tristan Vautier
Oreca 07 LMP2 360
27 10 Switzerland Nico Müller
Ireland Ryan Cullen
France Sébastien Bourdais
Oreca 07 LMP2 357
28 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 350
29 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 350
30 52 Spain Miguel Molina
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 349
31 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 348
32 74 Brazil Felipe Fraga
United Kingdom Sam Bird
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 347
33 39 France Eric Trouillet
Sebastien Page
Switzerland David Droux
Oreca 07 LMP2 344
34 33 United States Ben Keating
Portugal Henrique Chaves Jr.
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 343
35 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Julien Andlauer
United States Thomas Merrill
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 343
36 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom David Pittard
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 342
37 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 340
38 88 United States Fred Poordad
United States Maxwell Root
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 340
39 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 340
40 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 339
41 21 France Simon Mann
Switzerland Christoph Ulrich
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 339
42 61 Monaco Louis Prette
Conrad Grunewald
Monaco Vincent Abril
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 339
43 55 United Kingdom Duncan Cameron
Ireland Matthew Griffin
South Africa David Perel
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 339
44 99 Indonesia Andrew Haryanto
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Estonia Martin Rump
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 338
45 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Switzerland Frederik Schandorff
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 336
46 80 Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
United States Richard Heistand
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 336
47 77 Germany Christian Ried
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 336
48 35 France Jean Baptiste Lahaye
France Matthieu Lahaye
France François Heriau
Oreca 07 LMP2 335
49 27 Cresp Christophe
Michael Jensen
Steven Palette
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 333
50 66 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United States Mark Kvamme
United States Jason Hart
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 331
51 93 Germany Michael Fassbender
Australia Matt Campbell
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 329
52 30 United Kingdom Richard Bradley
Mexico Guillermo Rojas
France Reshad de Gerus
Oreca 07 LMP2 326
53 75 Germany Pierre Ehret
Germany Christian Hook
Nicolas Varrone
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 324
54 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Alessandro Balzan
Italy Raffaele Giammaria
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 289
55 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Germany René Rast
Oreca 07 LMP2 285
56 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 260
57 56 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 241
58 63 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 214
59 59 Sweden Alexander West
France Côme Ledogar
France Marvin Klein
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 190
60 71 France Franck Dezoteux
France Pierre Ragues
France Gabriel Aubry
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 127
61 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Charlie Fagg
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 112
62 46 Italy Matteo Cairoli
Denmark Mikkel Pedersen
Switzerland Nicolas Leutwiler
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 77
Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.