Toyota has taken the checkered 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 Brendon 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.
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.
MORE RACING NEWS:
Here’s the prototype racer with which Cadillac will make its Le Mans comeback
Even Formula 1 engineers have faith in the power of duct tape
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.
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.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.