Toyota Gazoo Racing just took its second one-two finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year, and it was another dominant performance. As the only factory-backed cars in the top-tier LMP1 class, Toyota was expected to beat the rest of the field with ease. However, a tire puncture and pitstop shenanigans in the final hour ended up causing more drama than was necessary for the No. 7 Toyota that was leading for the majority of the race. That allowed the No. 8 Toyota to snag first place near the end, making Fernando Alonso, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima the winners.
The No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE took home the class win in GTE Pro, and the No. 85 Ford GT nabbed the win for the GTE Am class. Ford will be happy to see the GT go out on top at Le Mans, as the company already announced that this is the last 24 Hours of Le Mans it's backing in the Ford GT program. We compiled a gallery of best hits above, so enjoy the photography from Circuit de la Sarthe in France.
LONDON — Fernando Alonso will be replaced by New Zealander Brendon Hartley in the Toyota World Endurance Championship (WEC) team after the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, the Japanese manufacturer announced on Wednesday. Toyota said Formula One two-time champion Alonso "will explore new motorsport adventures within the Toyota Gazoo Racing family." No details were given, but the Spaniard recently tested a Toyota Dakar Rally car in South Africa. The next edition of that race will be held in Saudi Arabia in January 2020. Alonso won Le Mans with Toyota last year and will be trying to win the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren later this month to become only the second driver to complete the so-called "Triple Crown of Motorsport." "Now is a good time to take on new challenges, and there are many interesting opportunities to explore within Toyota Gazoo Racing," said the 37-year-old, who left Formula One last year. "We still have two important races remaining as we are still in the fight to become WEC World Champions, and I will be pushing hard to win both of them." Hartley won Le Mans with Porsche in 2017 and is a two-time World Endurance champion. He raced in Formula One with Toro Rosso last year. "I believe I am returning to WEC an even stronger driver following my experience in Formula One," he said. The 2019-20 WEC season starts at Silverstone on Sept. 1 and runs to Le Mans on June 14, 2020.
Fernando Alonso will drive for Toyota in this year's Le Mans 24-hour race and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), his McLaren Formula One team said on Tuesday. The Spanish double F1 world champion has been considering taking part in endurance events as he bids to emulate Graham Hill, the late Briton who won the Formula One world title, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans in the 1960s. "I've never been shy about my aim of winning motorsport's Triple Crown — the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
LONDON — Toyota will try again to win Le Mans next year and in 2019 after committing to another season of the world endurance championship. The Japanese car maker had been considering its position after champions Porsche pulled out at the end of the 2017 season, leaving Toyota as the only major manufacturer in the top LMP1 category.