Toyota concludes LMP1 adventure at Le Mans with third win
Toyota closed the curtain on its LMP1 adventures at Le Mans on Sunday with a third consecutive win, with Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley delivering a swansong triumph to the manufacturer’s TS050 hybrid car.
The triumph was also Buemi and Nakajima’s third consecutive victory, while Hartley added a second win to track record opened up with Porsche in 2017.
Sportscar racing’s endurance classic was postponed from June to this weekend and run behind closed gates due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But circumstances did not lessen Toyota’s might in the Sarthe, although mechanical issues thwarted the winning efforts of the Japanese outfit’s #7 car steered by Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez.
The latter had led the race into the night following a brake change for the #8 car but an exhaust manifold problem that required a turbo change eventually pushed the car back to fourth from where it gained a spot to finish third its sister car and the #1 Rebellion entry of Bruno Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes.
The second Rebellion of Romain Dumas, Nathanael Berthon and Louis Deletraz rounded off the top four LMP1 contenders.
Top spoils in the tightly contested LMP2 category went to the fifth-placed United Autosports Oreca 07 handled by Paul di Resta, Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque that edged the #38 JOTA Sport Oreca of Antonio Felix da Costa, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez.
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The top spot in the LMGTE Pro class was secured by the Aston Martin of Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell who beat to the flag the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra.
It was a clean sweep for Aston in the Sarthe, with the British manufacturer also snatching a comfortable win in the LMGTE AM category thanks to Jonathan Adam, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc.
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