McLaren driver Fernando Alonso helped guide the Toyota Gazoo team to their maiden Le Mans 24 Hours win today. The Spaniard teamed up with former F1 drivers Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima to participate in the iconic race.
The #8 Toyota took the lead after an impressive night time stint from Alonso. From then onwards, the #8 remained unchallenged in the final six hours of the day-long race. They led a 1-2 finish for Toyota. The #7 TS050 Hybrid sister car of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez finished a lap down in 2nd. The second car suffered a fuel flow problem in the closing stages of the race.
The final podium spot went to the #3 Rebellion R13-Gibson of Mattias Beche, Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent.
In LMP2, it was the G-Drive Racing’s Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne and Andrea Pizzitola emerged victorious. They beat the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut car of Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thiriet.
In third place was the #39 Graff-SO24 of Tristan Gommendy and his co-drivers. The Porsche GTE teams dominated qualifying earlier in the weekend and later the race itself. Porsche’s #92 GT Team entry in GTE Pro, with the ‘Pink Pig’ 911 RSR of Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor beat fellow #91 car which finished in second place in the premier GT category.
The #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA car finished in third place in GTE Pro through the services Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais. Ford posed a threat for second in an intense battle around the 13.626km-long circuit.
In GTE Am, actor/racer Patrick Dempsey’s #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing machine was victorious, with Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Christian Ried taking the chequered flag. Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flöhr that finished in second place and 29th overall.
The #85 Ferrari 488 crew of Keating Motorsports stood on the final step of the GTE Am podium, with Jeroen Bleekemolen taking the chequered flag after 24 hours having shared driving duties with Ben Keating and Luca Stolz.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the race.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) June 17, 2018
— Alex Todd | ATCT (@alxtodd) June 17, 2018
Congratulations to @Toyota_Hybrid and to all the drivers for a 1-2 at the #LeMans24 ??? you never gave up and finally get the win you deserve and first win for Toyota in the LM24! ? https://t.co/Jx81FlAH8a
— Petter Solberg RX (@Petter_Solberg) June 17, 2018
— Adam Caffrey (@adamcaffrey) June 17, 2018
— Erb (@sportsnut8829) June 17, 2018
Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi AND Fernando Alonso won the #LeMans24 Hour race today. Important to remember that
— Jack Prentice (@JPrentice8) June 17, 2018
— Charl Bosch (@CharlBosch) June 17, 2018
— Dom (@dom0006) June 17, 2018
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@Toyota_Hybrid) June 17, 2018
Congrats Toyota on their 1st #LeMans24 win ?️???
— Zdravko (@zdravkost) June 17, 2018