Toyota has claimed victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the car shared by Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi-* and Kazuki Nakajima.
Like last year, Toyota was the only manufacturer competing in the LMP1 class and was a shoo-in for victory over the privateer teams in LMP1.
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The No.7 Toyota, driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, started the grueling endurance race from pole position and spent most of the race in the lead. However, the team suffered a puncture with just one hour to the finish and it was the No.8 car of Alonso, Buemi, and Nakajima which benefited to snatch the victory. With the Le Mans win, the trio also secured the FIA World Endurance Championship.
"It was luck that gave us the trophy, we’ll take it, because motorsport is like that. I hope they’ll [No.7] win next year," Alonso said.
In a tweet after the race, Toyota stated: "Dramatic and unexpected end to the race, but it’s a TOYOTA one-two nonetheless. We feel so sorry for our #7 crew, but big congratulations to our new @FIAWEC World Champions and two-time Le Mans winners."
Alonso’s win at Le Mans came just a few weeks after he and his McLaren team spectacularly failed to qualify for the Indy 500.
The Spanish racing driver also says goodbye to the Toyota team and next season, will be replaced by ex-Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley. Alonso will focus on other racing series’ next year, potentially including the Dakar Rally, and suggested he could return to Le Mans one day, perhaps when the forthcoming hypercar class is introduced.