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Le Mans 24-Hour: Toyota Hybrid hat trick

PHOTO LEMANS24 NO 8 WINNERSLMP1 winners celebrate (Harry Parvin/AdrenalMedia.com)

Toyota wins Le Mans and seals LMP1 championship title

Le Mans, France, September 20/20 (WEC): Toyota Gazoo Racing’s No. 8 TS050 HYBRID belonging to Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley has won the 2020 edition of the rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans, round 7 of FIA WEC Season 8.

It is the No. 8’s third victory of WEC Season 8 and Toyota’s third consecutive win at Le Mans. Toyota’s Le Mans triumph means the Japanese team have successfully won the FIA LMP1 World Endurance Championship with one round [Bahrain] still remaining.

This year’s Le Mans was staged behind closed doors and saw a total of 11 retirements (out of 59 starters) and four separate safety car sessions. Despite the threat of rainfall as darkness fell, the race remained dry throughout.

The No.1 Rebellion R13 Gibson shared by Gustavo Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato came home in second place, five laps down on the winning Toyota which completed a total of 387 laps.

Rounding out the podium was the No. 7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID belonging to Jose-Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, which started today’s race in pole position. The trio led for the first 12 hours before the car spent 30 minutes in the pits getting the turbo replaced, dropping the team behind the sister No. 8 car.

● Click HERE for the results

United Autosports claims LMP2 FIA World Endurance Teams’ Trophy

United Autosports’ Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Paul Di Resta claimed its fourth successive LMP2 victory and first ever Le Mans trophy after winning the LMP2 category at Le Mans today.

It marks the first ever WEC title for a British privateer team and saw the Anglo squad secure enough points to ensure it has won the prestigious title with one round still remaining.

United Autosports eventually finished the race 32.831s ahead of runners-up JOTA (No. 38) who were hot on the tails of the No. 22 car but were knocked out of winning contention when Anthony Davidson was forced to bring the car back to the pits for a last minute splash-and-dash.

Last year’s Le Mans winners and overall category victors Signatech Alpine Elf finished third out of the WEC entrants (and fourth overall behind the No. 31 Panis Racing entry). Signatech’s trio of drivers André Negrão, Pierre Ragues and Thomas Laurent did a superb job of fighting back after the No. 36 car spent significant time in the pits early in the race with water pressure problems.

Fourth out of the full-time WEC entrants (and seventh overall) was the Cool Racing entry shared by Nicolas Lapierre, Antonin Borga and Alexandre Coigny. The Swiss-based squad had a relatively trouble-free race with the only real issue for the No. 42 car being a left rear puncture.

Aston Martin Racing celebrate victory in LMGTE Pro and Am at Le Mans

The British Union flags will be proudly flying high outside Aston Martin Racing’s factory as the team today recorded its best ever 24 Hours of Le Mans results. Victory in both the LMGTE Pro and GTE Am class could only have been improved upon if fans had been able to be present – sadly not possible this year due to the COVID health situation.

The 1st and 3rd places secured in LMGTE Pro secures Aston Martin its first FIA World Endurance GTE Manufacturers Championship.

At the chequered flag it was the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Alex Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell which took the winners’ laurels. It was the second win for Martin/Lynn together after Spa 2019 last season and the 10th victory in the WEC for the No.97. Tincknell celebrated victory on his debut for the manufacturer.

TF Sport triumphs in LMGTE Am

Aston Martin’s stellar day was crowned by the victory of customer team TF Sport in the Am category, the first podium for the marque in the category since 2014.

The No.90 Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam finished 49s ahead of the No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche after a flawless run throughout the race. Factory driver Adam becomes the first Le Mans winner in both GTE classes in the WEC era, and Salih Yoluc becomes the first Turkish winner at Le Mans.

For a large part of the race, the TF Sport Aston Martin had had a close battle with the No.98 Aston Martin Racing car of Augusto Farfus, Ross Gunn and Paul Dalla Lana until that car encountered rear suspension trouble with eight hours to go. Although out of contention, it recovered in the remaining hours to finish 8th in class.

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