Alonso's Toyota wins 24 Hours of LeMans after #7 slows
||#51 Ferrari wins in GTE-Pro
|Sunday, June 16, 2019
|The winning #8 Toyota|
Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a dominant victory at the FIA WEC Season Finale after the No.8 and No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID sister cars finished first and second following an epic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Today’s result sees Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima clinch the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship to add to the Manufacturers’ Championship title that the team won at Spa. Furthermore, Nakajima enters the history books as the first Japanese driver to win an FIA World Championship title.
Nakajima was behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as it took the checkered flag 16.972s ahead of the No. 7 entry. The sister cars had been running closely together through much of the 24 hour race but late-race drama and penalties saw the No.7 drop back in the event’s closing stages as the #7 had a tire puncture after leading 23.5 of the 24 hours.
The LMP1 non-hybrids were unable to match the Toyotas but put up a terrific fight. Le Mans debutant Stoffel Vandoorne was partnered with Russian duo Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the SMP Racing No. 11 car, with the trio successfully bringing the BR Engineering BR1 – AER car home in third position. The sister No. 17 SMP car retired after 18 hours following an incident at the Porsche Curves.
Bruno Senna crossed the line fourth in the No. 1 Rebellion Racing Car, after losing time early in the race following a puncture. The sister No. 3 car finished fifth. ByKolles Racing Team and the No. 10 DragonSpeed Oreca-07 Gibson were hindered with reliability problems with both cars unable to finish.
Double celebration for Signatech Alpine Matmut
|Winning #36 in LMP2|
Signatech Alpine Matmut have successfully defended their LMP2 Le Mans title after taking the overall win following a stellar drive by Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet in the No. 36 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson car. It also marks the first time that an LMP2 car equipped with Michelin tires has won at Le Mans since the WEC began.
Moreover, the French team have clinched the coveted LMP2 title over Jackie Chan DC Racing who put up a terrific fight but eventually finished second – 15 points adrift of category victors Signatech.
TDS Racing finished the FIA WEC Super Finale in third position, the French team taking solace in a podium position after their misfortune last year.
Meanwhile, it was a race to forget for American-based team DragonSpeed with the No.31 ORECA 07 – Gibson car crashing out in the 16th hour with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel.
The event, which was started by HSH Princes Charlene of Monaco in front of a host of stars and celebrities including basketball star Tony Parker, attracted a 252,500 strong crowd.
|Winning #51 Ferrari in GTE-Pro|
In front of 252,500 fans, and in the 70th anniversary year of Ferrari’s first victory at Le Mans, Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra combined to record a cool, calm and collected victory in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE. They finished 49.1 seconds ahead of the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki which was itself just a further 17 seconds in front of the sister Porsche GT Team entry from the USA, No.93
It was the fifth different GTE manufacturer to win Le Mans in five years and Ferrari’s first victory at La Sarthe since 2014. In fact, the 87th running of Le Mans was a six-way manufacturer battle from start to finish with Ferrari finishing ahead of all others after 24 hours of non-stop action and constant positional changes.
Porsche wrapped up the GT Manufacturers’ title in Spa and the drivers’ crown came down to either of the Porsche GT Team entries. However, after being in a commanding position for much of the first 16 hours, Porsche’s No.91 911 RSR dropped out of contention when an exhaust issue forced a costly 20-minute stop.
The win for AF Corse was recompense for the failure of the team’s sister No.71 to finish due to engine failure. They weren’t the only manufacturer to suffer misfortune at Le Mans this year, with Aston Martin Racing – newly announced alongside Toyota as a competitor in the new Hypercar category – having a torrid time. The No.97 was the only one of the British marque’s three cars to finish, but everyone was more relieved to see Marco Sorensen walk away from a very heavy impact just before the halfway mark.
Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK entered its last race in the WEC as part of a four-strong Ford GT entry, and ended finishing 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th after a race of mixed fortunes. They, together with Corvette Racing, were challenging through much of the race but it was not to be their year. The American marque, which has won at Le Mans so many times in the past and competed in 50% of the WEC Super Season, was set to take another victory before bad luck hit the No.63. Also in its last race was BMW Team MTEK, the German manufacturer also having a race to forget after having made much progress through the season.
Team Project 1 take Championship honors
At the conclusion of its first full WEC season, Germany’s Team Project 1 finished 2nd in LMGTE Am and sealed the Drivers FIA Endurance Trophy for the class. Egidio Perfetti, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey had a superbly consistent season to come through for championship honors and will return next season with two entries.
The win went to the Keating Motorsports Ford GT, the first time that a customer entrant has competed with the American, after surviving a late-race penalty and a strong challenge from Bergmeister
The No. 84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE completed the class podium in third, with the next best of the WEC entries being the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR finishing 5th overall.
The class pole-sitting No.88 Dempsey entry hit trouble early on with Satoshi Hoshino spinning from the class lead in the opening hour and then colliding with the No.64 Corvette which resulted in both cars retiring from the race.
Now the Super Season is over and attention turns to Season 8 which begins with the Prologue in Barcelona on 23/24 July and then on to the 4 Hours of Silverstone on 1st September.
Shigeki Tomoyama, GAZOO Racing Company President: “I would like to truly thank all fans, supporting companies and all team members who fought with one heart. In order to win Le Mans, a fast car alone is not enough. We also need a strong car and team. We wanted to improve on the victory last year; we made a continuous effort to improve everything and I believe this was clear in this year’s victory. I was really impressed with the podium celebration when you see the many TOYOTA GAZOO Racing flags and two Japanese flags flying in the air. I am very happy to create a new page in the history of Le Mans. But we cannot be fully happy if we consider the trouble which occurred on car #7, which lead most of the race, in the last hour. A slow puncture was accompanied by sensor trouble and this lost a lot of time. We can feel there is still room to improve in the car and team operation. For Le Mans in 2020, and for the hypercar class from autumn 2020, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will continue to make a strong today, and even more tomorrow, always creating better sprit. The continued support of the fans is really appreciated.”
Hisatake Murata, Team President: “We have an unusual feeling because we have won our second Le Mans but everyone in the team is sorry for Mike, Kamui and José and the #7 crew, who would have been deserving winners. We will investigate the exact cause of this issue in the coming days to avoid a repeat. Nevertheless, I am proud of the overall performance as well as the team spirit which we showed throughout the race, also in the difficult moments in the final hour. Congratulations to the new World Champions Sébastien, Kazuki and Fernando, also on their second Le Mans victory. This was a dramatic end to an incredible season for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and we look forward to defending our titles next season.”
TS050 HYBRID #7
Race: 2nd, 385 laps, 37 pit stops. Grid: 1st. Fastest lap: 3min 17.297secs
Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “It’s a tough outcome because we were looking good for a long, long time but we just got unlucky with the puncture. That’s Le Mans. Everyone on the team did a great job, especially the car crew. All credit to them for giving us a car that ran at the front all day. Congratulations to car #8 not just today but also for winning the World Championship. They have been formidable opponents but it has been a lot of fun. We will be pushing to come back stronger.”
Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “To win Le Mans is extremely difficult and frustrating; we saw that again. I have tried four times, so maybe next year will be mine. The point is that we should never give up; we should continue to push and try our best. This year I pushed really hard to win and it looked good until 23 hours, so this result is hard to take. Congratulations to car #8 and everyone who got to the end of the race; it is not easy to finish a 24-hour race so well done to everyone.”
Jose Maria Lopez (TS050 HYBRID #7): “Firstly I would like to congratulate our team-mates from car #8 who pushed us to the limit for the Le Mans win and the World Championship title. The history of Le Mans has proven that it is a tough and cruel race; unfortunately we had to experience this today. Nevertheless I am proud of my team-mates Mike and Kamui for their performance, they drove a great race and we can promise that we will come back stronger to Le Mans.”
TS050 HYBRID #8
Race: 1st, 385 laps, 34 pit stops. Grid: 2nd. Fastest lap: 3min 18.397secs
Sebastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It was a difficult race for us because we knew that it was possible to lose the World Championship. When we started the race we wanted to stay on the pace of car #7 but after only five laps I realised this was nearly impossible. We got stronger during the race but admittedly car #7 was quicker in the end. I would have been satisfied to finish the race in second so what happened to car #7 is really painful. I am really sorry for them, they did an amazing job.”
Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “This year the Le Mans win was decided by luck and not by performance. It was a tough race and what happened to car #7 is hard to believe. We experienced a similar situation in 2016 so we know how this feels and we feel for our team-mates. Thanks to our win we are also World Champions and we are very proud of this after a long and hard season, which included many close fights with our sister car.”
Fernando Alonso (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It is amazing to win Le Mans for the second time but the win came really unexpectedly. We did not have the pace to win this race against car #7 on track. Today luck was a big factor and this is part of motorsport. I feel for my team-mates who are actually more than team-mates, they are friends. They would have deserved the victory, but the race chose us to win it. Our main goal was to win the World Championship and we are very proud that we have achieved this.”
|1||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso||385||+0.000s|
|2||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||385||+16.972s|
|3||LMP1||#11 BR||Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne||379||+6 Laps|
|4||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Jani, Lotterer, Senna||376||+9 Laps|
|5||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Laurent, Berthon, Menezes||370||+15 Laps|
|6||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet||368||+17 Laps|
|7||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Tung, Richelmi, Aubry||367||+18 Laps|
|8||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval||366||+19 Laps|
|9||LMP2||#22 Ligier||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||365||+20 Laps|
|10||LMP2||#48 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas||364||+21 Laps|
|11||LMP2||#26 Aurus||Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne||364||+24.853s|
|12||LMP2||#30 Oreca||Jamin, Ragues, Dumas||363||+22 Laps|
|13||LMP2||#23 Ligier||Binder, Canal, Stevens||362||+23 Laps|
|14||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi||362||+0.930s|
|15||LMP2||#25 Oreca||Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb||357||+28 Laps|
|16||LMP2||#20 Oreca||Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche||356||+29 Laps|
|17||LMP2||#50 Ligier||Creed, Ricci, Boulle||355||+30 Laps|
|18||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi||352||+33 Laps|
|19||LMP2||#32 Ligier||Cullen, Brundle, Owen||348||+37 Laps|
|20||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||342||+43 Laps|
|21||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki||342||+49.193s|
|22||GTE Pro||#93 Porsche||Pilet, Bamber, Tandy||342||+1m07.157s|
|23||GTE Pro||#68 Ford||Hand, Muller, Bourdais||342||+2m12.161s|
|24||GTE Pro||#67 Ford||Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito||342||+3m23.128s|
|25||GTE Pro||#69 Ford||Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon||341||+44 Laps|
|26||GTE Pro||#66 Ford||Mucke, Pla, Johnson||340||+45 Laps|
|27||LMP2||#29 Dallara||Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries||340||+1m57.322s|
|28||GTE Pro||#94 Porsche||Muller, Jaminet, Olsen||339||+46 Laps|
|29||GTE Pro||#63 Chevrolet||Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller||337||+48 Laps|
|30||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||337||+1m57.103s|
|31||GTE Pro||#82 BMW||Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn||335||+50 Laps|
|32||GTE Am||#85 Ford||Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga||334||+51 Laps|
|33||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti||334||+44.943s|
|34||GTE Am||#84 Ferrari||Segal, Baptista, Lu||334||+1m29.127s|
|35||GTE Am||#62 Ferrari||Macneil, Vilander, Smith||333||+52 Laps|
|36||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Campbell, Ried, Andlauer||332||+53 Laps|
|37||GTE Am||#57 Ferrari||Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar||332||+22.399s|
|38||GTE Am||#78 Porsche||Prette, Prette, Abril||332||+2m49.697s|
|39||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni||331||+54 Laps|
|40||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||331||+1.505s|
|41||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Preining||331||+1m05.858s|
|42||GTE Am||#83 Ferrari||Gostner, Frey, Gatting||330||+55 Laps|
|43||GTE Pro||#89 Ferrari||Derani, Jarvis, Gounon||329||+56 Laps|
|44||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever||328||+57 Laps|
|45||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood||327||+58 Laps|
|46||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Martin, Lynn, Adam||325||+60 Laps|
|47||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore||325||+1m29.998s|
|48||GTE Am||#60 Ferrari||Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini||324||+61 Laps|
|49||GTE Pro||#81 BMW||Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng||309||+76 Laps|
|50||LMP2||#43 Oreca||Farano, Maini, Nato||295||+90 Laps|
|51||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson||245||+140 Laps|
|52||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor||199||+186 Laps|
|53||LMP1||#17 BR||Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin||163||+222 Laps|
|54||LMP1||#4 Enso||Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti||163||+222 Laps|
|55||LMP2||#49 Ligier||Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko||160||+225 Laps|
|56||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Bird, Molina||140||+245 Laps|
|57||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Thiim, Sorensen, Turner||132||+253 Laps|
|58||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda||87||+298 Laps|
|59||GTE Pro||#64 Chevrolet||Gavin, Milner, Fassler||82||+303 Laps|
|60||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli||79||+306 Laps|
|61||LMP1||#10 BR||Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande||76||+309 Laps|
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