Toyota TS050 Hybrid Claims Le Mans Win

Toyota 1-2 finish at the Le Mans 24 hours 2 photos
Photo: Toyota
Toyota TS050 Hybrid
One of the most anticipated endurance races of the year, the Le Mans 24 Hours, concluded on Sunday with a historic win for Japanese automaker Toyota.
At its 20th attempt, the Japanese have managed to snatch the win with the help of drivers Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso. The three took turns getting behind the wheel of the #8 TS050 Hybrid and raced for a total of 388 laps.

The second car fielded by Toyota and driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and José María López, the #7, managed to finish the race in second place. Both cars took turns leading the race during the 5,286 km (3,284 miles) traveled by the two vehicles.

The win belonged to the #8 car after a late fuel issue dropped the #7 car off the lead lap. Despite having two stop-go penalties during the race, the #8 managed to finish the day-long run two laps ahead of its sister car and 12 laps ahead of the third place, which belonged to the  #3 Rebellion racer.

The win managed to give Toyota a further boost at the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). For Alonso, the win got him one step closer to achieving the coveted Triple Crown of motor racing, that is winning the Indianapolis 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix.

In all the previous years it has raced at the famous French, the Japanese have fielded 47 cars. They only managed to get on the podium six times.

“It has been amazing. We know how important and iconic Le Mans is in the world of motorsport and as a team we achieved an amazing result," said Alonso in a statement.

"Every moment was a reminder of how tough and long this race is, anything can happen so we tried to execute our race and stay calm. Happily everything worked well. The race was hard because the two cars were very close, within one minute after 23 hours, so it was tough competitive but fair and very sporting. We wanted a one-two and we achieved that so I am very happy.”

The next challenge for Toyota and the other carmakers in the WEC is the 6 Hours of Silverstone in mid-August.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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