Fifty years after its last participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ferrari returned to victory on Sunday in the 100th edition of the endurance race.
The return of historic manufacturers for the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans meant a thrilling race and increased competition for Toyota. Ferrari number 51, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi, confirmed these predictions. The Italian team won on Sunday May 11, ahead of the number 8 Toyota of Sébastien Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley. Cadillac number 2, driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook, completes the podium in Hypercar.
Performing well during free practice, the Ferraris managed to get to the front row for the start, given by LeBron James, on Saturday at 4 p.m. But it was not car number 50, which started on pole, which won. Victim of a mechanical problem and therefore forced to make an extended pit stop during the night, she finally finished fifth. It was his sister, the number 51, which engaged in a mano to mano for the victory with the Toyota number 8, while the Peugeot 94, which was in the lead at midnight, also needed too long repairs after a spin having thrown her against a wall of tires.
A track exit of the Toyota which offers victory to Ferrari
Since early morning on Sunday, the public massed around the Le Mans circuit has been able to witness a skirmish between the No. 51 Ferrari and the No. 8 Toyota. Shortly after 10.30 a.m., the Japanese team’s car, then second a minute behind its rival, which had been in the lead since dawn, took advantage of its rival’s setbacks during a pitstop to regain the lead in the race. , equipped with a set of new tires unlike the Toyota, the crew led by the Italian Alessandro Pier Guidi took control of the race around twenty minutes later, never to let go again. AT less than two hours from the finish, the two prototypes were separated by less than 30 seconds when the driver of the n°8, Ryo Hirakawa, then second, failed to brake before hitting a barrier in the Arnage corner .
Ferrari thus won for the 10th time at Le Mans, after its nine coronations between 1949 and 1965, and put an end to the hegemony of Toyota, ultra-dominant on the Bugatti Circuit for the past five years. In the LMP2 category (more standardized and slower prototypes), Inter Europol won ahead of Team WRT and the French team Duqueine Team.