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Toyota wins 24 Hours of Le Mans for the fifth year in a row

#8 Toyota of Brendan Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa leads home a comfortable 1-2 for the Japanese team

Published: 12 Jun 2022

Toyota has taken the chequered flag at the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, sealing the team’s fifth victory in succession after clocking well over 5,000km and 380 laps of Circuit de La Sarthe.

Victory for the team’s #8 car means Brendan Hartley and Sebastien Buemi collected their third and fourth wins at Le Mans respectively, while teammate Ryo Hirakawa tasted success at the world-famous endurance event for the first time.

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Having qualified on pole ahead of the #7 Toyota of Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, the two GR010 Hybrid cars eased away from the rest of the Hypercar field, quickly extinguishing any hopes that either of the Glickenhaus cars or the sole Alpine A480 could challenge for overall victory on pace alone.

That left Toyota’s rivals praying for drama (who still remembers that last-lap heartbreak from 2016?), but none came as the two frontrunners enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run. The only hiccup came approaching two-thirds distance as the #7 car briefly stopped on track with a hybrid system issue, and although it managed to get back on the lead lap the incident essentially decided the race.

With the #709 Glickenhaus of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux wrapping up the final podium place, JOTA’s #38 - driven by Antonia Felix da Costa, Robert Gonzalez and Will Stevens - took a dominant victory in the LMP2 class.

More than two minutes ahead of the second-placed #9 Prema Orlen of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Lorenzo Colombo, the team also secured third in LMP2 with the #28 of Ed Jones, Jonathan Aberdein and Oliver Rasmussen.

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In the GTE pro category, Corvette had high hopes of victory having locked out the front row in qualifying, but neither of the C8.Rs made it to the finish having struck reliability issues… and the opposition.

First, the team’s #63 entry was forced to retire following a suspension failure under the cover of darkness. Then with a quarter of the race still to run, the #64 car was inexplicably punted into the barriers on the Mulsanne Straight by AF Corse’s #83 LMP2 car.

That earned the latter a one-minute stop-go penalty, and allowed the Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki to take victory for the Porsche GT Team ahead of two AF Corse Ferraris.

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Meanwhile, GTE Am honours went to the #33 Aston Martin Vantage of TF Sport, piloted by Ben Keating, Marco Sorensen and Henrique Chaves. 

Further back, Michael Fassbender - who spoke to TG in the build-up to his Le Mans debut - had an eventful race in the #93 Proton Competition: at one point overnight the actor found himself embedded in the tyre wall at Indianapolis corner, albeit through no fault of his own having been shunted into the gravel by the #61 AF Corse. Despite sustaining damage, Fassbender managed to get his car going again a few minutes later, and his team eventually recovered to be provisionally classified 51st of the 53 finishers.

Le Mans, it never disappoints. Now everyone get some sleep.

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