Toyota bags 1-2 finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans
An Alpine A470 took first in the LMP2 category.
Toyota has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second consecutive year, this time in front of 252,000 spectators who traveled to northwestern France to watch the race. Once again, it was the only automaker competing in the top LMP1 category.
Many expected Toyota would win this year's edition of the race, but the winning car came as a surprise. The #7 TS050 that led the pack for most of the race slowed to a crawl about an hour before the end of the event. It went into limp mode when its on-board computer detected a flat tire, its transmission wouldn't go above third gear, so it retired to the pits. The pit crew quickly changed the tire but they replaced the wrong one, forcing the car to pit again. It lost its lead for good.
The #8 TS050 -- driven by Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi, and Kazuki Nakajima -- finished first. The #7 car -- driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez -- managed to finish second, about 16 seconds behind the winning car. Third place went to SMP Racing's #11 BR Engineering BR1, which was driven by Vitaly Petrov, Mikhail Aleshin, and Stoffel Vandoorne.
First place in the LMP2 category went to Signatech-Alpine's #36 A470, which finished sixth overall. Ferrari's #51 488 GTE took first in the GTE Pro category, earning its first victory since 2014, and the privately-entered #85 Ford GT won the GTE Am class.
The next edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 13 and 14, 2020.