Toyota Wins At Le Mans With Fernando Alonso, Nakajima, and Buemi

Toyota has claimed its maiden victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours and Fernando Alonso has moved one step closer to capturing motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’.

The Spaniard, partnered with former F1 drivers Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima won the race ahead of the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

While the #8 Toyota driven by the winning trio started from pole position, it didn’t lead from start to finish. For much of the first six hours, the two Toyota LMP1 cars traded places and by the seventh hour of the race, the #7 car had built a lead exceeding two minutes.

Alonso then jumped behind the wheel for his race-changing second drive at around 1:30 am. The two-time Formula One World Champion completed a quadruple stint and ran until 4 am, regularly lapping up to five seconds per lap faster than Lopez in the #8 car. Thanks to Alonso’s effort, Nakajima was able to make easy work of Kobayashi in the sister car just before two-thirds distance.

Alonso now just needs to win the Indy 500.

When the chequered flag fell, the #8 Toyota had completed 388 laps, two more than the #7.

As Toyota was the only manufacturer-backed team racing in the LMP1 category this year, it was always a clear favorite to take victory. All other LMP1 cars competing were run by privateers. The #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 driven by Thomas Laurent, Mathias Beche and Gustava Menezes took the final step on the podium, 12 laps behind the winning Toyota.

In the LMP2 category, the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA of Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Romain Rusinov won. Elsewhere, Porsche’s special 911 RSRs claimed a 1-2 finished in the GTE pro class while the GTE AM class win also went to a Porsche 911 from the #77 Dempsey, Proton Porsche crew.

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  • Shahul Usman

    back to indy for Alonso.. I don’t want to call it a hollow victory but It’s not like toyota raced against Audi/Porsche/Renault…

    • They do fight against themselves, the beauty of Endurance racing is that there is always something that prevents you to win. Toyota perform brilliantly without any major incidents and they deserve the win.

      Beside, when Audi dominate alone in LMP1, no one complained about it.

  • alexxx

    Alonso…difference between top f1 driver and the others…

  • Jason Miller

    Looking forward to the new regs.

  • Autoexperte

    good job Toyota

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    It’s great but they were pretty much expected to win. And with no one to race against it doesn’t feel as special.

    • Well honestly they deserve this win, they manage to run a car without single major incidents and with endurance racing, not only you compete with others but you also compete with yourself.

      • Shahul Usman

        lots of people called those hollow wins.. I dont see how you can win Lemans and be so happy when your team raced nobody… Toyota was in a class by themselves.. every other LMP1 team was a privateer.. non hybrid.. as long as they didnt breakdown they’d win… which based on past attempts was a big “IF”.. almost sadder. Im glad Alonso won, but it’s funny to see them launch “commemorative” cars and such.. I dunno..Im being trite..but it’s apt

        • Well not that I’m defending Toyota but since I follow the races for full 24 hours, in the first part the gap between privateer and hybrid is just one lap, by midnight it has extended partly due to a lot of incidents among the privateer, even Rebellion had some incidents that widened the gap.

          Also the whole not breakdown thing is actually a big thing, if we see past decade LMP1 always full of mechanical failure, and also nursing a car without big incidents is really an achievement of it’s own, but in the end let’s agree to disagree.

  • Bo Hanan

    Its about time he won for somebody.

  • Naysayers are going to say that Toyota win because they are alone, I think they deserve it and running a car without single major incident is an achievement of it’s own. They deserve the win.

    Also some update, the LMP2 winner the G-Drive were Disqualified because post race scrutineering found illegal device that could speed up refuelling. Similar device were also found in TDS car. The Signatech Alpine therefore were promoted as winner and also JPM drove United Autosport were promoted to third place.

    In GTE Pro, the #69 and #67 Ford GT were also penalized because Dixon and Kanaan were found to be driving under their minimum drive time of 6 hours. This make #68 move to third in GTE Pro class.

    • Eythan Aldrich

      lmp2 winner disqualified? didn’t see that coming

      • Yeah illegal modification as I described, they planned to appeal the decision though.

  • Philip George

    THAT’S ALONSO’S CALLING and purpose in motorsport: to win the triple crown. He’s probably going to retire with 2 Formula 1 World Championship Driver titles but with a “triple crown’, he’ll be placed with the all-time greats of motorsport.

  • Vassilis

    Took them a while :p I’m totally fine with Alonso winning it that way though.

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