Toyota won the 24 Hours Le Mans in the classic endurance race for the fifth straight time, with the No. 8 car finishing ahead of the No. 7 in another dominant performance on Sunday.
Former F1 driver Brendan Hartley had clinched pole position and was at the wheel as Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 completed the race in sunny and warm conditions, with teammates Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa watching from the team garage.
Swiss driver Buemi has won the race four times while Hartley clinched his third win, and second for Toyota after his first victory with Porsche in 2017. Both had modest Formula 1 careers. Dane Tom Kristensen holds the records with nine wins.
Hirakawa secured his first victory to join Japanese countrymen Kazuki Nakajima (3 wins) and Kamui Kobayashi (1) as winners in the famed race, which was first held in 1923.
Jose Maria Lopez of Argentina followed a couple of minutes behind for Toyota’s No. 7 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in northwestern France.
Lopez was joined by Kobayashi and British driver Mike Conway, his teammates when No. 7 won last year to underline how Toyota has broken the stranglehold of Audi and Porsche.
After a calm night, Toyota experienced a rare blip when the No. 8 punctured with Buemi at the wheel at around 7:30 a.m. and 15 minutes later Lopez stalled and needed an electrical reset, costing one lap.
The race between the two Toyotas raged for the first 16 hours of the event with each car leading at stages. But an issue with the front hybrid system of the No.7 loses crucial time and ensures No.8 is clear to take the win.
Toyota’s win marks the first time a factory manufacturer team has won five straight victories at Le Mans between since the works Ferrari team achieved the feat between 1960 and 1964.
Glickenhaus Racing went one better than its 2021 fourth place by sealing a 3-4 finish. Ryan Briscoe, Franck Mailleux and Richard Westbrook take a popular podium in the No.709 Glickenhaus 007LMH after fighting back from an early unscheduled pit-stop for a sensor change.
The sister No.708 Glickenhaus Racing entry driven by Pipo Derani, Olivier Pla and Romain Dumas took the flag fourth after recovering well from damage and time lost from an off-track excursion by Pla at Tertre Rouge just before midnight.
Alpine ELF Team took fifth place points for 2022 WEC Hypercar title bid but leave Le Mans disappointed after a difficult weekend. A clutch issue, an accident and other smaller problems ensure it places 24th overall
American Josh Pierson became the youngest driver to participate at 16 years old, 188 days – making him slightly younger than fellow 16-year-old Matt McMurry was in 2014.
Pierson drove 97 laps as he shared duties on the United Autosports USA team driving an Oreca 07 with Oliver Jarvis and Alex Lynn, finishing sixth in the LM P2 category.
LMGTE Pro – No.91 Porsche GT Team Victorious
Porsche took a first Le Mans LMGTE Pro win since 2018 as Frederic Makowiecki, Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz claim a hard-fought victory in No.91 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR-19.
The win by Porsche GT Team was its 20th victory in the WEC and overtakes Aston MArtin’s haul of 19 wins.
Makowiecki took the chequered flag ahead of the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari driven by James Calado, Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi in a close and tactical battle to the very end.
Each of the three manufacturers in LMGTE Pro – Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette spend times leading the immensely competitive category over the course of the 24 Hours.
Several incidents and tales of misfortune play out over the race, with initially Corvette Racing appearing to have the advantage.
No.63 and No.64 Chevrolet Corvettes spend time in the lead but a suspension issue for the Nicky Catsburg, Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia crewed No.63 car, and then an early morning accident for the No.64 Alexander Sims driven C8.R, means an early end to US entered team’s hopes.
Sims, who shared with Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner, was innocent party in three car incident on Mulsanne Straight after he was swiped into the barriers by the No.83 AF Corse LMP2 car.
The incident came just over two hours after No.92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor exited from class lead with a puncture before fighting back to fourth place at the chequered flag.
This was one place behind the Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Antonio Fuoco driven No.52 AF Corse Ferrari which was delayed in the early stages of the race, also by a puncture.
Final finisher in LMGTE Pro is the Riley Motorsports Ferrari of Felipe Fraga, Sam Bird and Shane van Gisbergen that finishes fifth.
LMP2 – JOTA Joy at 1-3 Finish
JOTA celebrates a hat-trick of Le Mans LMP2 victories as Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens dominate class from early stage in flawless performance.
Adding to the British team’s previous wins in 2014 and 2017, the No.38 JOTA control the field and lead home the Prema Orlen Team trio of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Lorenzo Colombo.
Stevens took the chequered flag to trigger wild scenes of jubilation in the JOTA pit as they also toast a double podium success as the No.28 claims third with Ed Jones, Oliver Rasmussen and Jonathan Aberdein completing a fine showing.
British ace Stevens becomes a double class winning Le Mans driver after tasting success with the JMW Ferrari team in the LM GTE Am class in 2017.
Roberto Gonzalez joins his brother Ricardo, who won in 2013, as an LMP2 champion.
Reigning champions WRT suffer bitter disappointment as pole-sitting No.31 car drops back after 60-second penalty for first corner contact with No.22 United Autosports USA entry.
But heroic fightback sees car in contention for podium result until Robin Frijns crashes on exit of Indianapolis Corner on Sunday lunchtime.
TDS Racing x Vaillante Oreca-Gibson serves up feelgood story of Le Mans after replacing its chassis and a driver ahead of the race.
Nyck de Vries makes last minute cameo appearance and is a significant weapon in the car claiming forth position alongside his teammates Mathias Beche and Tijmen van der Helm.
Team Penske place fifth with Felipe Nasr, Dane Cameron and Emmanuel Collard in their final WEC appearance of 2022 together. Yellow and blue Oreca-Gibson loses time with bodywork repairs early on.
United Autosports conclude fightback race from first hour issues to place sixth with the No.23 car of Alex Lynn, Oliver Jarvis and the youngest ever driver to start at Le Mans – Joshua Pierson.
The Pro/Am division is taken by the No.45 Algarve Pro Racing entry of Steven Thomas, James Allen and Rene Binder, as they lead home the Nielsen Racing car of Ben Hanley, Rodrigo Sales and Matt Bell.
LMGTE Am – TF Sport Confirm Second Le Mans Win!
TF Sport sealed victory in 23-car LMGTE Am category with Ben Keating, Marco Sorensen and Henrique Chaves to double up and reprise 2020 Le Mans success.
The Aston Martin Vantage took the lead of the class from the WeatherTech Porsche 911 RSR-19 in the early morning and never looked back and extended its lead beyond the reach of the US-entered car.
Keating takes a much-coveted first win at his eighth attempt and banishes the memory of losing victory through disqualification in 2019, while Sorensen adds Le Mans win to 2016 and 2019-20 FIA WEC title success.
Weathertech Racing an excellent race but ultimately lose the chance of victory after off rack excursion in early morning period.
Fine day for Aston Martin as the No.98 Northwest AMR line-up of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard take third place after a smooth run to the flag.
GR Racing take the best ever Le Mans result as Ben Barker, Mike Wainwright and Riccardo Pera claim fourth, ahead of similar No.88 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 entered for Jan Heylen, Fred Poddard and Maxwell Root.
Click HERE for provisional results