Alonso-led Toyota team takes Le Mans 24 Hours
TWO-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, along with teammates Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi, won the premier LMP1 class in the 2019 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It marked the second consecutive year Toyota Gazoo Racing won the class.
The team of Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi, which took the lead with an hour to go, also clinched the World Endurance Championship title. Nakajima was driving the team’s No.8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid in the final stint.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s No.7 car driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez led most of the way but suffered two punctures late in the race. The team dropped to second in a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin finished third in LMP1 in their Le Mans debut with the No.11 SMP Racing BR Engineering car.
The Toyota TS050 Hybrid power unit was lubricated by a specially made blend of Mobil 1 engine oil.
Toyota Gazoo Racing company president Shigeki Tomoyama said winning Le Mans with “a fast car alone is not enough.”
“We also need a strong car and team. We wanted to improve on the victory last year; we made a continuous effort to improve everything and I believe this was clear in this year’s victory,” he said.
For his part, Alonso said; “Our main goal was to win the world championship and we are very proud we have achieved this.”
Meanwhile, the Porsche GT Team claimed a double podium finish in the GTE Pro class, with the No.91 car of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki claiming second place ahead of the No.93 Porsche of Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber and Patrick Pilet.
The victory allowed Porsche to take the GTE Manufacturers’ title in the World Endurance Championship while the No.92 car of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen took the Drivers’ title.
The Porsche 911 RSR power unit was lubricated by the same Mobil 1 engine oil supplied to the German manufacture for production factory fill. With a report from Reuters
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