24H: Toyota ushers in the Hypercar era with a Historic 1-2 at Le Mans

24H: Toyota ushers in the Hypercar era with a Historic 1-2 at Le Mans

Sun 22nd 2021 – The #7 Toyota in the hands of Conway/Kobayashi/López triumphed in a race affected by temperamental weather. Much to the pleasure of the endurance racing family, the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship took place before a crowd of 50,000, the maximum authorised in current circumstances.  The Toyota GR010 HYBRID will go down in history as the first Hypercar to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Random downpours perturbed proceedings early on at the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans. With crowds happily back at the track to witness the dawn of the Hypercar era, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was true to form – a gruelling test of mechanical and human resilience. Of the 61 cars at the start, 44 crossed the finish line at 16:00 today, Sunday 22 August.

HYPERCAR – TOYOTA, A HISTORIC ONE-TWO

  1. Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 – CONWAY / KOBAYASHI / LÓPEZ
  2. Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 – BUEMI / NAKAJIMA / HARTLEY
  3. Alpine Elf Matmut #36 – NEGRÃO / LAPIERRE / VAXIVIERE

For their first 24-hour race, the Hypercars streaked ahead of the rest of the field, displaying impressive reliability and consistency. Rapidly putting the incidents in the early stages of the race behind them, the Toyotas gradually forged a comfortable lead. Untouchable throughout the night, the Japanese cars settled in for some sibling squabbles, hustling around within seconds of each other. Lagging several laps behind, Alpine and Glickenhaus could only dispute third place. The French team won that battle when Glickenhaus fell foul of mechanical issues as the day dawned.

LMP2 – AN INCREDIBLE END TO THE RACE

  1. Oreca 07 – Gibson #31 Team WRT – FRIJNS / HABSBURG / MILESI
  2. Oreca 07 – Gibson #28 Jota – ELAEL / VANDOORNE / BLOMQVIST
  3. Oreca 07 – Gibson #65 Panis Racing – CANAL / STEVENS / ALLEN

Competition is always tight in LMP2 but this year Team WRT went from excitement to bitter disappointment in the space of a lap. Having dominated the race in spectacular fashion the Belgian outfit was poised for a one-two finish, when the #41 in the hands of Yifei Yi came to a halt (broken throttle sensor) on the final lap. The #31 held off Blomqvist in the #28 JOTA in a memorable dash to the line. Panis Racing took third place.

LMGTE PRO – FERRARI IMPRESSIVE

  1. AF Corse #51 – PIER GUIDI / CALADO / LEDOGAR
  2. Corvette Racing #63 – GARCIA / TAYLOR / CATSBURG
  3. Porsche GT Team #92 – ESTRE / JANI / CHRISTENSEN

The LMGTE Pro class often provides spectacular sporting entertainment and this year was no exception, with an epic head-to-head between Ferrari and Corvette. After 24 hours, there were only 42 seconds between the AF Corse #51 Ferrari 488 GTE and the Corvette Racing #63 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, on its maiden Le Mans!  The Pier Guidi/Calado/Ledogar crew admirably resisted the Corvette onslaught to give Ferrari chairman and this year’s race starter John Elkann the result he hoped for. The Italian firm has announced its return to the top class of endurance with a Hypercar entry in 2023.

LMGTE Am – AF CORSE… AGAIN!

  1. AF Corse #83 – PERRODO / NIELSEN / ROVERA
  2. TF Sport #33 – KEATING / PEREIRA / FRAGA
  3. Iron Lynx #80 – CRESSONI / MASTRONARDI / ILOTT

AF Corse reaps two class wins at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team founded by the 2020 Spirit of Le Mans awardee Amato Ferrari drew on its wealth of experience to stay ahead of the TF Sport #33 Aston Martin. Rookie Callum Ilott and his teammates take third place with the Iron Lynx #80 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

SRT41, A WORLD FIRST

The crew of the SRT41 #84 l’Oreca 07-Gibson, this year’s innovative car entry, comprised two disabled drivers. Frédéric Sausset, the first quadruple amputee to start, and finish, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was eager to see his team cross the line to deliver his charity’s message: nothing is impossible. Mission accomplished

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