Sebastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Toyota, driving the #8 Toyota GR010 to overall victory, just over two minutes ahead of the sister car, #7 Toyota, of Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway. This marks Hirakawa’s first win from three tries, with the previous two attempts in 2016 and 2017 in LMP2, finishing 17th in class and 39th overall in the latter year. Buemi has won the race four times now, with this being Hartley’s third win.
The #709 Glickenhaus 007 finished third, being driven to the final podium position by Richard Westbrook, Franck Mailleux and Ryan Briscoe. The car had a trouble-free run but just didn’t have the pace to compete fully with the Toyotas, and finished over five laps behind.
The #708 Glickenhaus, driven by Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas, and Pipo Derani, finished fourth after spending time in the garage in the first half of the race. The car climbed back up the order and took fourth off the leading LMP2 with an hour or so to go.
The #36 Alpine A480 of Andre Negrao, Mathieu Vaxiviere and Nicolas Lapierre finished 23rd overall and fifth in LMh after continual different issues, including clutch problems and accident damage, all through the race.
The aforementioned leading, and winning, LMP2 was the #38 JOTA Oreca 07-Gibson, driven at various stages by Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens, and Roberto Gonzalez. It dominated the race and led almost every lap in LMP2, finishing well over 2 minutes ahead of the #9 Prema Oreca 07-Gibson of Robert Kubica, Lorenzo Colombo and Louis Deletraz.
Third in LMP2 were Oliver Rasmussen, Ed Jones and Jonathan Aberdein in the other JOTA car, #28 JOTA Oreca 07-Gibson, a lap behind the second-placed Prema car.
Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz, driving the #91 Porsche 911 RSR-19, won the GTE-Pro class, followed 42 seconds behind by the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra. The two had a mighty battle in the final few hours, but the Ferrari, which has been lacking race pace all season fell short compared to ther Porsche.
Third was the sister AF Corse Ferrari, the #52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Antonio Fucuo. The car finished a lap behind its teamcar, but still managed to get onto the podium. Fourth was the #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Michael Christiansen, which came unstuck after Christiansen suffered a tyre delamination 16 hours into the race, requiring time in the garage to fix the resulting bodywork damage.
The two Corvettes, #63 and #64 Corvette C8.Rs, both retired from the race. The #63 had recurrent rear end issues, while the #64 had to retire after sustaining damage when #83 AF Corse Oreca 07-Gibson driver Francois Perrodo accidentally put the Corvette into the barriers when the car was competing for the class win with just a few hours to go.
Finally, in GTE-Am, the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Ben Keating, Henriquye Chaves and Marco Sorensen won, with an almost-45 second gap to second-placed #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Julien Andaluer, Cooper MacNeil and Thomas Merrill.
Third in GTE-Am was the #98 Northwest Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard, finishing a lap behind the WeatherTech Porsche. This marks Dalla Lana’s first podium at Le Mans after almost a decade of trying.
Congratulations to all the winners, and podium finishers, and finishers of the race, from all of us at Motorsport Week!
This was a great edition of the race, intense battles throughout the field in all four classes. Plus superb coverage by Eurosport, as always.
There are things that could be improved yes the race is always going to be better next year but still Toyota masked their race pace, Alpine got nobbled a bit by BOP then failed to perform and Glickenhaus seemed happy to run to make sure they finished and were not in contention for the win unless Toyota hit problems . This Hyper car class how ever much I love the whole Glickenhaus passion I say thank god for LMP2 which just been fantastic for several years now. And why do we have a clash with F1 and Indy car as drivers from those series would make the race go to another level ? ACO missed a trick again if they concentrated on the race instead of future tech that few can afford to run it could be so much better and might have more than 5 cars that could win.
Over the next two to three years it’s almost certain that three or four manufacturers will join the Hypercar class, and at least the same number again are contemplating entering. Yet the boom in the GT class will be even greater, with pro and pro-am combining from next season and taking on GT3 rules. There are many marques already competing in various GT3 series, and they aren’t going to be able to resist the allure of the WEC, and Le Mans in particular.
I thought at the moment only manufactures that will commit to Hyper car will be then get permission to run in the Le Mans GT3 class that also seems to be different bodywork rules that make it expensive and difficult to move from other series . Typical ACO to try and exclude several manufactures that currently run GT2 plus company’s like Mclaren and
Mercedes who have GT3 cars ready to go. This needs sorting out before we all get excited
I haven’t seen anything of such a condition being imposed on prospective entrants. Certainly I didn’t hear any mention of it from the Eurosport team, who have mostly covered, or competed in, the WEC for many years, and they talked about this quite a lot, especially during the dark hours. I don’t think such a demand would be a good move, and can’t really see the organizers expecting a positive outcome from that kind of threat.