The 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans Win Goes to Porsche
Putting the last 3 mins of Le Mans 2016 into perspective.
The 84th running of the race began behind the Safety Car due to some bad weather, and much to the frustration of fans in attendance, it lasted 53 mins.
Fast forward 24 hours to the finish, and with 3 mins and a single lap between him and Toyota’s 1st win at Le Mans, Kazuki Nakajima slowed dramatically in the 2nd half of what should have been his wind-down, savor-the-moment lap, then stopped completely right by the finish line, just a lap too soon for the dream to come true and to turn it into a nightmare.
His Toyota Hybrid failed…and is not even a feature in the race’s final results because it was not running at the end.
There was a suggestion that backing off to stage a photo finish with its team car may have thrown the otherwise metronomic Hybrid out of wack. But whatever, Mr. Nakajima reported a total loss of power, and that he was trying to keep moving on hybrid energy alone, that did not happen.
These kinds of moments are what make Le Mans special for those who see success and so difficult for those who come up just short of victory.
The 2 Porsche Team of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb took Porsche’s 18th Le Mans victory, a back-to-back win after Y 2015, and to the most unexpected win of all.
Audi marked a podium from out of the blue, which maintains an unbroken run since their 1st appearance in Y 1999.
Toyota Motorsport boss Hugues de Chaunac was upset and tearful at the end, “Sometimes we have a dream, but this is hard to accept. I just cannot believe it,” he said in a post race interview.
Porsche won, and Toyota has consolation of 2nd place with the #6 car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin, while Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Nakajima is beyond consolation.
For the entire race, there was not more than a minute or two between 1st and 2nd in every class, but the only Story is a sad one that endurance racing fans will remember and talk about for many years to come.
The Top 10 finishers, as follows:
|1||2||Porsche Team||Neel Jani||Porsche 919 Hybrid||384|
|2||6||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Stephane Sarrazin||Toyota TS050 Hybrid||381|
|3||8||Audi Sport Team Joest||Lucas di Grassi||Audi R18||372|
|4||7||Audi Sport Team Joest||Marcel Fassler||Audi R18||367|
|5||36||Signatech Alpine||Nicolas Lapierre||Alpine A460 Nissan||357|
|6||26||G-Drive Racing||Roman Rusinov||Oreca 05 Nissan||357|
|7||37||SMP Racing||Vitaly Petrov||BR01 Nissan||353|
|8||42||Strakka Racing||Danny Watts||Gibson 015S Nissan||351|
|9||33||Eurasia Motorsport||Pu Junjin||Oreca 05 Nissan||348|
|10||41||Greaves Motorsport||Julien Canal||Ligier JS P2||348|
For the complete list go to: http://www.motorsport.com/wec/results/
Have a terrific week.