Toyota celebrate dream season in the WEC with Le Mans 1-2
Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a dominant victory at the FIA WEC Season Finale after the No.8 and No.7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID sister cars finished first and second following an epic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Today’s result sees Sébastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima clinch the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship to add to the Manufacturers’ Championship title that the team won at Spa. Furthermore, Nakajima enters the history books as the first Japanese driver to win an FIA World Championship title.
Nakajima was behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as it took the chequered flag 16.972s ahead of the No. 7 entry. The sister cars had been running closely together through much of the 24 hour race but late-race drama and penalties saw the No.7 drop back in the event’s closing stages.
The LMP1 non-hybrids were unable to match the Toyotas but put up a terrific fight. Le Mans debutant Stoffel Vandoorne was partnered with Russian duo Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the SMP Racing No. 11 car, with the trio successfully bringing the BR Engineering BR1 – AER car home in third position. The sister No. 17 SMP car retired after 18 hours following an incident at the Porsche Curves.
Bruno Senna crossed the line fourth in the No. 1 Rebellion Racing Car, after losing time early in the race following a puncture. The sister No. 3 car finished fifth. ByKolles Racing Team and the No. 10 DragonSpeed Oreca-07 Gibson were hindered with reliability problems with both cars unable to finish.
Double celebration for Signatech Alpine Matmut
Signatech Alpine Matmut have successfully defended their LMP2 Le Mans title after taking the overall win following a stellar drive by Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrao and Pierre Thiriet in the No. 36 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson car. It also marks the first time that an LMP2 car equipped with Michelin tyres has won at Le Mans since the WEC began.
Moreover, the French team have clinched the coveted LMP2 title over Jackie Chan DC Racing who put up a terrific fight but eventually finished second – 15 points adrift of category victors Signatech.
TDS Racing finished the FIA WEC Super Finale in third position, the French team taking solace in a podium position after their misfortune last year.
Meanwhile, it was a race to forget for American-based team DragonSpeed with the No.31 ORECA 07 – Gibson car crashing out in the 16th hour with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel.
The event, which was started by HSH Princes Charlene of Monaco in front of a host of stars and celebrities including basketball star Tony Parker, attracted a 252,500 strong crowd.
For all provisional results and championship points, please click HERE