No.7 Toyota wins thrilling WEC 6 Hours of Imola
Photo: WEC

No.7 Toyota wins thrilling WEC 6 Hours of Imola

The No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Nyck de Vries has won a dramatic and action-packed FIA WEC 6 Hours of Imola.

Reigning World Champions Toyota clinched the victory on Ferrari’s home turf after rain brought drama and uncertainty in tyre strategy in the final two hours which saw epic battles for the lead and other top 10 Hypercar places.

Kobayashi, however, managed to repel several changes, notably from the No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar which in the hands of Kevin Estre hustled the Toyota to the chequered flag with the two covered by just two seconds at the flag (7.081 seconds after a five second penalty was applied).  It marks the No. 7 crew's first triumph since the 2023 6 Hours of Fuji.

A total of 73,600 spectators attended the second round of the WEC as the World Championship made its debut at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and marked the first race on European soil this year. 

Round one winners Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor keep their title points lead after another strong performance for second position. Rounding out the podium was Porsche Penske team-mates Matt Campbell, Frederic Makowiekci and Michael Christensen to make it a double podium for the German manufacturer.

Ferrari AF Corse were on course to win today's race but a tyre strategy decision when rain fell during the race's fourth hour ultimately led to the No. 50 and No. 51 Ferrari 499P Hypercars dropping down the leaderboard. Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco clawed back up the leaderboard to finish fourth, Fuoco passing Hartley when the Toyota he shared with Sebastien Buemi and Rio Hirakawa lost time at the Tamburello chicane on the final lap.

BMW M Team WRT scored its best WEC finish so far after Rene Rast, Robin Frijns and Sheldon van der Linde crossed the chequered flag in sixth place, the crew hindered by a late drive-through-penalty following a pit infringement.  AF Corse Ferrari's No. 51 Hypercar finished the race seventh, one spot ahead of the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari which lost time earlier in the race due to a penalty as a result of speeding under a FCY.

The new-look Peugeot 9X8 driven by Nico Mueller, Mikken Jensen and Jean-Eric Vergne finished ninth overall, taking points on the squad's first race with the addition of a rear wing. Cadillac's Racing Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn rounded out the top ten in the Cadillac V-Series.R.

The WEC will resume in just three weeks' time in Belgium for the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (9-11 May).