FLASH: Toyota’s win makes them the 1st Japanese manufacturer to triumph 2X in the elite GTE class at Le Mans, and Ferrari claimed their 1st Le Mans GTE Pro victory since 2014,
Fernando Alonso, 37 anni, helped Toyota triumph for a 2nd year running at the Le Mans 24 Hours as the F1 great chalked up another major motor racing success.
Mr. Alanso still must to win the Indy 500 in order to match British driver Graham Hill’s feat of completing the Triple Crown: winning Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500. He has won Monaco and Le Mans 2X, both of them back to back.
At Le Mans he teamed up with Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima and Swiss Sebastien Buemi, reuniting the line-up that won the French marathon last year, and they repeated the win.
The victory secured the World Endurance Championship season drivers’ title for the 3 champion drivers.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s #8 car looked set to be pipped by the #7 drivers, only for Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez to see their 1st-place hopes ‘punctured’ in the closing stages of the race.
As tire pressure decreased, Mr. Lopez was forced to drive to the pits for a replacement, and the stop meant the lead changed hands decisively.
There was action during the race.
A number of safety cars had an influence on the lead through the night, with the 2 Toyotas trading places at the front on a number of occasions.
Then on Sunday morning Mr. Conway settled in for an excellent stint in the # 7, pulling away from Mr. Buemi in the #8.
When Mr. Conway handed over to Mr. Lopez for the final stint of the 24 hours, the team were in a strong position and with just two hours left of racing, they had a sizable margin in hand.
Then disaster struck for #7 late on as Mr. Lopez suffered 2 punctures in successive laps, prompting two separate pit-stops.
It was hard luck on the #8 team, who had performed brilliantly throughout the course of the race.
Meantime, Mr. Nakajima was able to overtake the other Toyota team and put his crew in control of the race with the mins ticking off.
The #7 took the lead on the track again late on temporarily, as both cars had to come into the pits. When Mr. Lopez was told by his engineers to concentrate on getting the car to the finish in the final stages, the run for the Chequered flag was called off.
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) claimed their 1st Le Mans GTE Pro victory since Y 2014, with the #51 AF Corse 488 GTE shared by James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Daniel Serra taking the Checkered flag.
The No. 84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rodrigo Baptista, Jeff Segal, and Wei Lu was 3rd on the GTE Am podium.
The Ferrari team claimed the win over the #91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni, Frederic Makowiecki, and Richard Lietz, with the #93 Porsche of IMSA regulars Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber, and Patrick Pilet finishing third.
The #66 Chip Ganassi Ford GT of Sebastien Bourdais, Dirk Muller, and Joey Hand finished fourth, as the team and manufacturer marked their final Le Mans run together as a factory effort.
The Corvette entries did not do well in the event, with the #64 entry of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler out of the race when Fassler hit the tire barriers in the Porsche curves towards the end of Hour 6.
The #63 Corvette of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, and Mike Rockenfeller battled for the class victory into the morning hours. But Magnussen spun in the same part of the track asMr. Fassler, making contact with the barriers and sending the car into the garage for 15 mins. The team eventually finished 5 laps off the pace.
Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
The iconic Italian Supercar manufacturer claimed the title according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Bullish to Very Bullish, light resistance now at 153.83, and strong support 146.91, all of our Key indicators are Very Bullish in here. Ferrari finished at 152.88, – 1.17 on the day in NY Friday
This coming weekend is the French Grand Prix, tune in.