Toyota Shines at 24 Hours | E3 Spark Plugs | Le Mans Race Results
After years of frustration with consecutive victories having slipped from the team's grasp, it was time for Toyota to enjoy the spotlight. Qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans saw the team qualify with two Toyota TS050 Hybrids sharing the front row. However, the automotive giant had been teased before by early race success at the world's most challenging auto endurance event; but still came up short. It's twenty-four grueling hours of high-performance racing that tests every inch of a team's strengths and weaknesses; not 23 hours 59 minutes.
But this year, Toyota had something new on their side... Luck!
Finally, all the hard work and effort paid off big. Twenty-four hours after the team Toyotas took the green flag, they saw the checkered flag fly at Le Mans. The No. 8 LMP1 Toyota piloted by two-time World Grand Prix Champion Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Kakajima had won the 86th running of the 24-hour event. Moreover, both Toyota Hybrids had enjoyed good luck this year with the team car finishing in second. The winner for the LMP2 class was G-Drive Racing but the team reportedly was stripped of its win due to an illegal fueling part. Signatech Alpine Oreca team was credited with the class win.
During the winter, modifications were made to the Porsche Curves section of the historic Circuit de la Sarthe. This allowed the track safety barriers on the inside of the final right-hand corner to be moved further away from the pavement. In turn, a paved run-off area and emergency escape roads were installed. LMP2 was the biggest class in the 24-hour race with 20 team entries To nobody's surprise, Porsche dominated GTE Pro and GTE Am with victories in both of the popular endurance classifications. Congratulations to all the officials, teams, drivers, crews and fans of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship series.