Formula One

Toyota #8 Wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Third Consecutive Year

Toyota Gazoo Racing. Photo borrowed by Autosport.com

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastian Buemi and Brendon Hartley won the 88th running of the most iconic endurance championship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. This year’s edition was the first one since 1968 to be scheduled in the month of September (instead of June), due to delays related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Toyota #8 is also the prototype that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans both in 2019 and 2018 with Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastian Buemi.

LMP1 – Bruno Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes with Rebellion Racing #1 came in second with over 5 laps gap to the winning Toyota. It was Rebellion’s last participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and this podium finish comes as a nice “farewell” memory for the Swiss team. Nevertheless, Rebellion wasted their chances for a double podium finish, due to a small crash by the Rebellion #3 just over an hour before the end of the race. Ultimately, the extended pit stop, which followed, cost them the track position against the Toyota #7, which completed the podium finish with Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

The ByKolles Racing Team car crashed heavily after only 97 completed laps, which took them out of the race. Despite all hopes, the Austrian team continued its bad record, marking its 9th consecutive Le Mans DNF result.

LMP2 – This year’s LMP2 drama was more than compensating for the lack of competition in the LMP1 class. The #22 of United Autorsports driven my Phillip Hanson had to come into the pits for fuel just 7 minutes before the end of the race. This put the Jota #38 of Antoni Davidson at a position of challenging the lead. Nevertheless, Hanson managed to come out in front of Davidson, who later had to stop for fueling, as well. Ultimately, United Autosports #22 took the win at the LMP2 with drivers Phillip Hanson, Paul di Resta and Filipe Albuquerque. The Jota #38 came in second with Antoni Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzales. Panis Racing’s #31 with Julien Canal, Nico Jamin and Matthieu Vaxiviere completed the podium for the LMP2 class.

Multiple accidents involving LMP2 prototypes and GTE Am cars caused an extended safety car period just under one hour prior to the checkered flag. This impacted team’s final pit strategies, as well as, some drivers’ positions on the track because of the heavy traffic that came as a result.

GTE Pro – The Aston Martin #97 of Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell won the GTE Pro class fight against the #51 Ferrari of AF Corse with drivers James Calado, Daneil Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi. The two cars kept on exchanging the leader’s position, however, the Aston Martin seemed to have a pace advantage after the early morning on Sunday. The other Aston Martin #95 finished in third with Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen and Richard Westbrook.

The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans turned out to be a complete disaster for Porsche in the Pro category. The #91 and #92 cars placed 5th and 6th, respectively (in the GTE Pro class). This poor result for Porsche becomes even more unbelievable when you consider the fact that the #91 car finished some 11 laps behind the #97 Aston Martin. On one hand, Porsche did run a newer version of their 911s, and the Covid-19 situation did not allow them to do enough testing in 2020. On the other hand, however, this 2020 race marked Porsche’s 50th anniversary since their first win at Le Mans, and we can be sure that this serious failure will be largely discussed in the months to come.

GTE Am – The #90 Aston Martin of TF Sport with drivers Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Jonathan Adam won the amateur class at Le Mans. This further established the Aston Martin brand as the ultimate GT conquerer of Le Mans. The #77 of Dempsey-Proton Racing finished with Matt Campbell, Riccardo Pera and Christian Ried. The AF Corse #83 Ferrari of Emmanuel Collard, Nicklas Nielsen and Francois Perrodo was the last to finish on the podium in today’s Le Mans running.

You can access the complete results from the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans HERE.

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