Toyota without rival at Le Mans

Leading from start to finish and having gone through the race without experiencing any major problems, Toyota scored a double at the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the n°8 ahead of the n°7. Glickenhaus completed the podium when Alpine had a nightmarish race and finished 23rd.

After 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Toyota achieves the pass of five at the 24 Hours of Le Mans! After a double turn of the clock during which the two prototypes of the Japanese manufacturer did not experience any major technical problems, it was the GR010 Hybrid bearing the number 8 entrusted to the trio made up of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa which crossed the finish line as the winner after its 380th lap. If the two Toyota Gazoo Racing prototypes were neck and neck during the first half of the race, making the Swiss driver say that this pace was not tenable, it was at daybreak that the hierarchy frozen, in fact. Indeed, the Toyota n°7 then entrusted to José Maria Lopez, teammate of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, had an electronic problem which forced the Argentinian to stop for a few moments at the edge of the track to restart the system then to make a pit stop to definitively solve the problem. An incident which propelled the n°8 in the lead, a position which it did not leave until the checkered flagthus giving Ryo Hirakawa his first victory at Le Mans for his first participation, he who replaced Kazuki Nakajima.

Glickenhaus on the podium, Alpine in the middle of a nightmare

Behind the two GR010 Hybrids are the two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs. If the race of the two American prototypes was not ideal, the objective of getting on the podium was achieved with the n°709 of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux, which finished five laps behind the winner. The n°708 of Olivier Pla, Romain Dumas and Pipo Derani, which was not spared by mechanical problems, was able to climb back to fourth place, ten laps behind the n°8 Toyota. Last entered in the Hypercar category, the Alpine A480 of André Negrão, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxivière could not do better than 23rd place overall, a far cry from its ambitions to challenge Toyota’s dominance. After the problems of clutch and speeding in the pit lane of the first quarter of the race, the prototype of the French manufacturer was the victim of an exit from the road in the middle of the morning while overtaking a Porsche of the LMGTE Am category and an LMP2 prototype at Porsche corners. With the front axle seriously damaged, the n°36 once again plunged into the hierarchy, to finish 18 laps behind the winners.

JOTA dominates LMP2, Makowiecki finally crowned in LMGTE Pro

In the LMP2 category, the duel was lively from start to finish between the two prototypes of the British JOTA team and that of the Prema Orlen Team. However, it was the No. 38 of Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix da Costa and Will Stevens who had the last laugh for just under two and a half minutes against the trio of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Lorenzo Colombo. The category podium is completed by the #28 JOTA of Oliver Rasmussen, Ed Jones and Jonathan Aberdein. In LMGTE Pro, the category for which it was the last appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette saw its hopes of victory go up in smoke. The n°63 retired with a mechanical problem at the start of the morning when the n°64, in the fight for victory, suffered contact with the LMP2 of the AF Corse team on the Mulsanne Straight and had to to abandon. The duel between Porsche and Ferrari then turned in favor of the German manufacturer with the n°91 of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki which won. The French driver, the only member of the Porsche team to never have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMGTE Pro, has finally reached this grail. Finally, in the LMGTE Am category, the Aston Martin of the TF Sport team entrusted to Ben Keating, Henrique Chaves and Marco Sørensen won. While the teams will return to normal WEC action next month, with the debut of the Peugeot 9X8 in Hypercar, eyes will turn to the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, with Toyota having a real competition.

Final ranking – Sunday June 12, 2022
1- Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 (Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa/SUI-NZL-JAP/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) 380 laps
2- Toyota Gazoo Racing n°7 (Conway-Kobayashi-Lopez/GBR-JAP-ARG/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) at 2’01”222
3- Glickenhaus Racing n°709 (Briscoe-Westbrook-Mailleux/USA-GBR-FRA/Glickenhaus 007 LMH) at 5 laps
4- Glickenhaus Racing n°708 (Pla-Dumas-Derani/FRA-FRA-BRE/Glickenhaus 007 LMH) at 10 laps
5- JOTA n°38 (Gonzalez-Felix da Costa-Stevens/MEX-POR-GBR/Oreca 07-Gibson) at 11 laps (1st LMP2)

23- Alpine Elf Team n°36 (Negrão-Lapierre-Vaxivière/BRE-FRA-FRA/Alpine A480-Gibson) at 18 laps

28- Porsche GT Team #91 (Bruni-Lietz-Makowiecki/ITA-AUT-FRA/Porsche 911 RSR-19) at 30 laps (1st LMGTE Pro)

34- TF Sport n°33 (Keating-Chaves-Sørensen/USA-POR-DAN/Aston Martin Vantage AMR) at 37 laps (1st LMGTE Am)

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